Thursday, August 25, 2016

Influence and Change Chapter 3

It is a big question today about how Christians can influence a pagan culture. Do we confront it? Withdraw from it? Join it? Enjoy it? How do we act?

Paul in Acts 17:22 did it. How? He used a very modern technique to influence the highly educated Pagans of Athens, Greece. These men loved to debate. 

The first goal of their debates is not to crush the opponent but to get them to see that you and he agree on an issue. Paul wisely did the same.

 Paul changes the medium for this message. In other sermons he often began with the history of Israel. Not this one. Here he  spoke to Greeks who knew little about Israel's holy history. As a result he was brilliant when he opened his debate remarks with:

1.     A visual aid tool.Visuals are more impactful than words. The picture becomes wedded to the brain. 
2.     He focused on an idol that was very familiar to the Greeks. Idols were everywhere. 
3.     He wisely affirmed them for their religion! Could you have had the courage to do that? It was a false god!!
4.     He then asked great questions in the Greek manner. It is designed to make them think and put them at ease.

It was a masterful presentation with enormous psychological impact. It made Paul's sharing applicable to the current situation. He related to their cultural and religious context so he could communicate to them persuasively. (We catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!) 

Can we do that? Can we affirm a Muslim or Buddhist for his or her devotion? 

Is it right to do what Paul did or is it "watering down the word" by "failing to take a stand"? 

Was Paul right or wrong?

Support Sweeten Life Systems, Inc.

No comments: