Speaking Of Life 2025 | Where is Your Areopagus?
It’s fascinating to observe how Christians engage with non-Christians in dialogue about the gospel. So often, we fall into one of two ditches when sharing the gospel. On the one side, we can accost people with tracts or abruptly tell them about Jesus even when they are not asking. On the other side, we can believe ourselves to be a “silent witness” and never share the reason for our hope even in our closest relationships. Both sides are mistaken, both ditches are easy to fall into.
Notice Paul at work.
The place where he spoke to them was the Areopagus, which was the venue for discussing legal and religious matters. This is a prominent stone platform which is still in Athens. In Paul’s day, people discussed philosophy and other world views here. He went to the place and time of day these matters were discussed. He didn’t randomly accost people on the street.
“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” Acts 17:22-23 (ESV)
This is the beginning of one of Paul’s most famous speeches. He’s addressing the people of Athens who were constantly hearing the new philosophies that came through town.
“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.” He approaches them with respect for their way of life and worth as seekers. He even quotes the Stoic philosopher Aratus in verse 28: “…even some of your own poets have said, ‘for we are indeed his offspring.’” This is a cultural voice they knew, and Paul quotes him respectfully.
Then the conversation takes a turn:
Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. Acts 17:29 (ESV)
When the moment comes to speak the truth, Paul doesn’t hesitate. He speaks the truth with pointed clarity and then let’s them react as they will. Some mock him, some want to discuss it further, and some fully convert. He doesn’t drive the point into the ground, he doesn’t remain silent, he says what he needs to and lets God take over.
Where is your Areopagus? Where can you approach those that haven’t heard the gospel and speak the truth boldly, yet with respect and love? Then when you’ve said your piece, do you let God do the work from there?
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life