Summary: Paul's heart is stirred over what he sees in Athens, the idols.
AN EVANGELIST TOURS ATHENS
ACTS 17: 16-34 17 July 2016 Dr. M Pope
What Paul Sees Stirs His Heart, He Sees:
1. ABUSE OF GOD’S GLORY
2. ASTONISHED AT MAN’S BLINDNESS
3. ANGERED OVER THE DEVIL’S ENSLAVEMENT
4. AFFECTION FOR THE SOULS OF MEN
Four Types of People Hear the Gospel
1. v 17 THE RELIGIONISTS - Jews
2, v 17 THE REVERENT – Sincere God-fearing people. Note this does NOT mean these people were saved. They still needed to hear about Jesus – His death and resurrection.
3. v 17 THE RANK AND FILE PEOPLE OF THE CITY – Those in the community, the fathers, mothers, shop keepers. These may not have any particular leanings either way for any certain religion or god, altho they probably had an idol or two tucked away in their home, just for good measure you see.
4. v 18 THE RATIONALIST – Philosophers of the Day
a. Epicureans – Pleasure seekers, world happened by chance, IF there are gods, they are remote and unassociated with the affairs of men.
Leads me to think of a 19th cent philo…
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900 “God is (not) Dead”
The phrase "God is dead" does not mean that Nietzsche believed in an actual God who first existed and then died in a literal sense. Rather, it conveys his view that the Christian God is no longer a credible source of absolute moral principles. Nietzsche recognizes the crisis that the death of God represents for existing moral assumptions: "When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet.
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
Friedrich Hegel - Nihilism –
Soul Nihilism; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived.
b. Stoics – Est by Zeno - basic beliefs, Pantheism – god exists in everything and everyone. In everyone and around everything is a fiery ‘force’ or energy.
They had a Fatalistic approach to life. ‘Whatever happened or occurred because it was supposed to happen. There is no good or evil in the world – No one can do anything to change or impacts what happens because ‘it will be what it will be.’
The characterization of philosophers or those who have thots such as these is seen throughout Scripture:
They are aimless, empty, meaningless lives, w/o profitable purpose.
Three Kinds of People Responded to the Message
1. v 32 THE MOCKERS
2. v 32 THE PROCRASTINATORS
3 v 34 THE BELIEVERS
CLOSE: Nietzche was a fairly young man when he died (55). Some believe he died from a broken spirit. He had a nervous breakdown one day when he saw a horse being whipped in the streets.