Loving the Lord with Our Minds — The Apostle Paul in Acts 17 (Part 2)

21 Jan

We are preparing our messages for Emmaus Bible College’s “Christian MInistry screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-5-57-12-amSeminars” for February 6-7.  Here in Acts 17 Paul is our example in using his mind to reach his audience with the gospel.  Our text is Acts 17:19-34.  Let’s look at the first few verses, make some observations, and draw some tentative conclusions.

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-6-30-46-amPaul is waiting for his friends (presumably Timothy and Silas, although Luke might have been with him on this missionary journey [see Acts 16]).  But Paul is not just waiting around.  He busies himself as he waits.  He becomes culturally aware of his surroundings.  In Athens he “was greatly distressed” to see that the city was “full of idols” (v. 16).

The word used for “greatly distressed” is παρωξύνετο which means “stirred up, incited, provoked, distressed, irritated” (only used 2x in the New Testament – here & in I Cor. 13:5- that love “is not easily angered”)

Are our cities not “full of idols” today?  Timothy Keller in his book screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-6-42-23-amCounterfeit Gods makes the point that “[an idol] . . . is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give…”

Are we “greatly distressed” by the idolatry that we see in our culture?  Do we even notice how people’s hearts and imaginations are absorbed by everything . . .  but God?

Your comments?


Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Acts 17


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2 responses to “Loving the Lord with Our Minds — The Apostle Paul in Acts 17 (Part 2)

  1. bkrown09

    January 22, 2017 at 7:22 am

    So happy to hear you will be coming our way! My heart is glad. Would love to have you for a meal, but I imagine you will be pretty busy during that time. Ben can lend your his chess board if you want it. It’s always in his office. In case you don’t remember my name. I had the Tony baby with me when you were here for ISI.

    • Anonymous

      January 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      So many typos oh man. Autocorrect is not a friend of mine. My name is Kerry and I was holding a “tiny” baby. Not a baby named Tony. 😀 Excited you are coming and so is ben!


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