June 26, 2018
PAUL’S COMMON GROUND APPROACH
After debating with some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Athens, they invited the apostle Paul to appear before the city council to explain more fully his teaching. For the Athenians loved talking about different religions and philosophies. Noticing that Athens was filled with shrines and altars to a multitude of gods, Paul saw one with an inscription to an “Unknown God” and indicated that he wanted to tell them more about Him. He commended the Athenians for their religious interest and used the example of the shrine to tell them about the God they didn’t know. He even quoted the Greek poet, Aratus, who wrote a poem describing Jupiter (Acts 17:28), to win common ground with them.
Paul described his approach to sharing the gospel with the peoples of different cultures in his letter to the Corinthians: “Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:22-23).