Sunday, November 2, 2008

Reformation Sunday

Today in Bible study we studied Acts 17 where Paul preaches in Athens. After reading this it is apparent that Paul was the first "Church Growther". He went to Athens and:

Went to the market place and talked to anyone who would listen.
  • That my folks is evangelism. He was teaching the Word outside of church the unbelievers. A crusader would have no part in this. The Word is only present in a church, with a traditional service and communion offered.
He went to the Ariopagus (sp?) to speak to the intellectual leaders of the day.
  • That is like a WELS pastor walking giving a talk to UC Berkely or UW Madison. A hot bed of stoicism and epicureanism so we learned. Funny but those two philosophies are alive and well today. Its pretty shameful that Paul would ever give a talk outside his Lutheran church, hey?

He was contemporary:

  • When he spoke, as usual, he used a style that spoke to the people in that community and that appealed to their intellectual interests. He noted that they had an altar to an unknown God and indicated he had the answers as to whom that God was. Without ever once mentioning the name of Jesus he told them the gospel. He appealed to their natural knowledge of the law to establish the creator God's existence. He quoted two famous poets of the day to show that even their own poets and philosophers spoke of an Almighty God.
  • So far in Paul's travels he adjusts his approach and message based on whether he was addressing jews or greeks. This is just an exemplary case.

He created an opportunity to speak the Word again.

  • Paul was invited back to discuss more about what he had said. He did not fully reveal all of God's truths yet some believed and started following him right away. It was baby steps in a bastian of humanism.

Last week we talked about his travels in Thessalonica and Berea. Before that his mission in Philippi with Lydia and crew. Everything was non-traditional. Even the messages he spoke when he went to the traditional Synagogue was not like they had heard before which is evidenced by how the traditional jews often tried to stone paul, arrest Paul, etc...

You cannot study Acts and ephesians and believe the legalism that falls out of the mouths of crusaders. Although their intentions are good they simply lost true Lutheranism in an attempt to create a Lutheran canon church. The more I study both the Bible and the confessions my pity for them increases.

No comments: