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Acts 17

ACTS 17-
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
ACTS 17- https://youtu.be/fQSdBK5I6bk
https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/7-20-17-acts-17.zip
https://ccoutreach87.com/7-20-17-acts-17/
Guitar Jason- https://youtu.be/i4fyvjvI1y4
Timons?- https://youtu.be/vmtg-tz5WEg

ON VIDEO
.The philosophers
.Mars Hill
.Jesus is the Christ
.General revelation
.Freud
.Apologetics
.Zeus
.3 cities
.3 Sabbath days
.Simple church planting
.Athens
.Epicureans and Stoics
.Hedonism
.Altar to the unknown God
.Your own poets said it!
.Zeno
.Alice [the city]
.Treason?
.N.Y.Times

NOTES-
I taught this chapter before and will add that below.
On the video I quoted- taught some of the poets- and quotes Paul himself used at his famous Mars hill sermon.
And mentioned the only 2 schools of philosophy actually mentioned by name in the bible-
So I’ll just add some of that info here-
Acts 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
The Epicureans followed the school of thought founded by Epicurus [342- 270 BC]
Zeno [340-265 BC] was the founder of stoicism.

Acts 17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
Areopagus- where Paul preached the famous message was named after the Greek god Ares- the god of thunder and war. The Roman equivalent of the god Mars- that’s where we get ‘Mars hill’.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
The Cretan poet Epimenides [600 BC] said the first part [live and move..]
And the Cilician poet Aratus said the last part [we are his offspring].
It is interesting to note that Aratus [315-240 BC] was referring to the god Zeus- yet Paul still uses it to argue for the true God.

PAST POSTS- [Past teaching I did that relates to today’s post- ACTS 17- verses below]
http://corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com/p/classics-western-literature.html
http://corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com/p/western-intellectual-tradition-covering.html
https://ccoutreach87.com/atheism-apologetics-links-added/
https://ccoutreach87.com/overview-of-philosophy/
https://ccoutreach87.com/further-talks-on-church-and-ministry/
ACTS-
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/01/18/acts-1/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/01/26/acts-2/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/02/02/acts-3/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/02/09/acts-4/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/23/acts-5/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/31/acts-6/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/04/06/acts-7/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/04/14/acts-8/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/04/18/acts-9/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/05/07/acts-10/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/05/16/acts-11/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/05/22/acts-12/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/06/01/acts-13/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/06/14/acts-14/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/07/03/acts-15/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/07/07/acts-16/

Christianity was born at a time where Greek thought/ideas were a big part of society.

We do find the early apostles using the language/ideas of the Greek philosophers when describing the reality of Christ.

The apostle John refers to Christ as THE LOGOS- The word Logos- is a Greek word for ‘word’.

Jesus is called ‘the word of God’.

Now- the Greek thinkers were in fact seeking for the Logos- they used this term to describe the ultimate answer to all tings.
They were on a search for some Divine principle that could explain things.

So- the writers of the New Testament were in a way saying ‘look- we have found the Logos- the thing that you guys are looking for- it is Christ- the Divine Logos’.

We also see the apostle Paul debating with the Greek thinkers in the city of Athens [the seat of Geek philosophy- the city/state where Socrates was forced to drink cyanide].

In Acts chapter 17 he is preaching to these guys on Mar’s Hill- he says ‘In him we live AND MOVE and have our being’.
Now- today as we read this- we don’t get the full import of what he was doing.

But- to the Greek mind- the source of motion was a big thing.

Paul was a smart guy- and he was saying ‘in him we move’ showing that yes- the ‘source of motion’ [Thales water] is not found in the natural world [Physics] but the source comes from the Metaphysical world [God].

He also says ‘when I was walking thru your town- I saw one of your altars- to the unknown god’.

At the time many believed in a Pantheon of gods- and to cover their bases- they had an altar for any god they might have missed- smart thinking!

So Paul says ‘him I declare unto you’.
Notice how Paul was able to debate- converse with them- and at the end actually use their own ideas- to present the gospel.
In this chapter- Acts 17- we read of the only 2 groups of philosophers mentioned in the bible.

The Epicureans and the Stoics.

The Epicureans were an early form of what we call Hedonism today- the idea that pleasure is the principle purpose of man.

The Stoics believed in ‘stoicism’ that man should have no emotional response to pain or pleasure- that’s why we call people today ‘Stoics’- when they seem to not be moved by anything.

Ok- that’s it for now- might make some comments tonight- but I’m getting ready to fly out soon- and trying to wind down before I leave.
If I don’t write tonight- I’ll talk again when in North Bergen- God bless you all.
[parts]
SOCRATES
Socrates was born around 469-470 BCE.
He is famous for introducing a way of learning that engaged the students in a dialogue- the question would be put on the table- and thru rigorous debate- you would come to an understanding thru the process of questioning.

This is referred to as the Socratic Method.
Socrates came on the scene during the famous Spartan wars.

The other day I watched the movie 300- which depicts the battle between the city state of Athens against the city/state of Sparta.
As you know- the Athenians suffered a great defeat at the hands of the Spartans.
The Spartans were outmanned by the Athenians- but their motto was ‘come back with your shields- or on them’.

They were a true warrior nation- trained to fight from their youth- and this defeat sent the people of Athens into a time of disillusionment.

They questioned the power of their gods- and a sort of malaise fell over Athens after the defeat.

This was when Socrates entered the fray- when the people had many questions about life.

He was called the Gadfly of Athens- a title that would also be given to the 19th century Danish father of existentialism- Soren Kierkegaard.

They were called Gadfly’s- because they were like flies that would pester you- and elicit a response.

The leadership of Athens saw Socrates as one that was stirring up the youth of his day- and creating discontent among the populace.

He rejected the many god’s of the day- but did have a belief in a single deity- he- like the Christians 4 centuries later- would be accused of atheism- because of his rejection of multiple god’s.

He was sentenced to death in 399 BCE- and his form of execution was drinking Hemlock.

His most famous student- Plato- spoke with him before his death.

Many were surprised at how willingly Socrates faced his demise- and this willingness had a great impact on those who witnessed it.

Socrates never wrote anything- but most of what we do know about him comes from the writing of others- most notably from Plato’s Dialogues.
Plato wrote down what Socrates taught- In his writings we see Socrates engaging in this method with various people- thus the name of Plato’s works- Dialogues.

There is a debate about how much of what was written about him was actually true- Plato did add his own ideas into these debates- and the controversy about this is so strong that we actually have a name for it- the ‘Socratic Problem’.
During the time of the disillusionment of the Athenians- there were a group of philosophers known as the Sophists.

The word comes from Sophia- meaning wisdom.

Philosophy itself means The Love of Wisdom.
In our day the words Sophomore- Sophistry and Sophisticated are derived from this root word.

The Sophists were the original Pragmatists.

Pragmatism is a form of belief that says ‘do what works- regardless of the ethical implications’.
We will get to Pragmatism at the end of this whole series on Philosophy.

But for now- we see the division between what Socrates taught- and the Sophists.

Socrates did indeed teach a form of Ethics- which contrasted with the Sophists.
He said that the pursuit of virtue was better than the pursuit of wealth- much like the words of Jesus ‘what does it profit a man if he gain the world- and lose his soul’.

His most famous saying is ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’.

He emphasized the importance of mind over body- which inspired Plato’s philosophy of dividing reality into 2 separate realms- the world of senses and the world of ideas.

Socrates actually challenged the Democratic process- he believed it better for the wise men- the Philosopher Kings- to run the show.
Athens did have a form of Democracy at the time- and because of the rise of the Sophists- and the itinerant teachers- you had sort of an election process- much like in our day- where those who would attain office were those who spoke the best- and made the best public argument.

We elect judges and stuff in our day- and even presidents- not because they are the most capable- but because they ran the best campaign.

So- in a way I agree with Socrates- at times I think we need a better process of electing those to higher office- then the one we have now.

It’s important to note that even though we started this study with Thales- and in the study of Western philosophy it’s commonly understood to have started with Thales.

Yet- Socrates seems to be the Father of philosophy in many ways.
He probably has had the most influence in the field philosophy- and the 2 great philosophers that we’ll get to next come right out from the heels of Socrates [Plato and Aristotle].

Why is this important to note?
As we progress in this study- and get closer to the 19th/20th century philosophers- we will see a trend- away from the idea that there are actually any ethical values- moral virtues- or ‘right or wrong’.

These philosophers dabbled with the idea that values themselves are the cause of man’s problems [Freud].

So- keep in mind- one of the main streams of thought in the early stages of philosophy was that values were indeed the main thing- Socrates challenged the Sophists of his day- he said that moral virtue was very important- that to live life with the values of courage- honesty- self-denial- these were the things that made men good- noble.

The bible says ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ ‘those that seek the Lord understand all things’.

Christian tradition would agree with Socrates in many ways- Jesus showed us that the virtue of service to others- to love your fellow man- to honor God- that these were indeed the heart of the matter.

Socrates feared the loss of virtue in society- that if we simply lived for the present time- with no higher values [a form of hedonism] then the foundations of society will erode.
He also believed that it was good to question things- not to simply believe a thing for the sake of believing.

Over time- thru debate and the discourse of other people- he believed you would get to the truth.

The bible says ‘in the multitude of counselors there is safety’.

Yeah- as people have a conversation- as they dialogue- often times they themselves come up with the answer to the question.

The apostle Paul penned the letter to young Timothy- he said ‘preach the word- in doing this you will save yourself- and those that hear you’.

Yeah- when you engage- and even try and teach others- this will have an effect on you too- the actual act of engaging- of teaching- often brings more insight to the one doing the communicating- then the ones who hear.

Yeah- I like Socrates- he believed in what he taught- he drank the Hemlock- knowing full well that his life would pass- but he had belief- faith- that after death man would pass over into another realm- a much better one.

No- he was not ‘Christian’ in the traditional sense of the word- but he was about as close as you could get- for his time.
[parts]

THALES AND THE PRE-SOCRATICS
Ok- let me do a little teaching- maybe finish it tonight.

Christianity is not simply ‘made up stories’ from some bible.

No- the history of Western Thought- Philosophy- ideas- all of the various World Views are imbedded with God- our concepts of God- and ask the ultimate question ‘where did all this come from- and why are we here’.

We usually trace the beginning of Ancient Philosophy to the 6th century BCE.

A thinker by the name of Thales sought to find ways to describe natural phenomena without the use of Greek Mythology.

Even though Philosophy deals with Metaphysics [things beyond the natural- physical realm- Physics] yet Thales wanted to find explanations for existence- without leaning on Myth.

He is considered a ‘Pre Socratic’ thinker [before Socrates] and espoused an idea that water was the key source of all things.

These guys were looking for a singular thing to explain stuff.
Sometimes referred to as a unified theory- the same thing that Einstein was seeking to find some 2 Millennia later.

So- Thales surmised that water was the key thing.

There are various ideas of why he came to this conclusion- but one reason might have been the idea of motion.

Many Geek thinkers were looking for the source of motion- where did it come from?

And to the natural eye- if you observe the ocean- rivers- etc. – there does seem to be no cause for the moving of water- so to these guys it seemed like water itself was the source- motion came from water.

Now- there were other religions who taught a sort of idea along these lines.

Some pagan religions said that the ‘god’s’ moved upon the water- and life came that way.

If you read the Christian account of creation in Genesis- you will notice that God did move upon the waters- and the account in Genesis does indeed say that he brought forth life from the water.

Thales came from for Miletus- in Asia Minor.

He was famous for the prediction of a Solar Eclipse that occurred on May 28th- 585 BCE.

The earliest account of this is found in the writings of Herodotus.
Thales is considered one of the 7 sages of the time.

Christianity was born at a time where Greek thought/ideas were a big part of society.

We do find the early apostles using the language/ideas of the Greek philosophers when describing the reality of Christ.

The apostle John refers to Christ as THE LOGOS- The word Logos- is a Greek word for ‘word’.

Jesus is called ‘the word of God’.

Now- the Greek thinkers were in fact seeking for the Logos- they used this term to describe the ultimate answer to all tings.
They were on a search for some Divine principle that could explain things.

So- the writers of the New Testament were in a way saying ‘look- we have found the Logos- the thing that you guys are looking for- it is Christ- the Divine Logos’.

We also see the apostle Paul debating with the Greek thinkers in the city of Athens [the seat of Geek philosophy- the city/state where Socrates was forced to drink cyanide].

In Acts chapter 17 he is preaching to these guys on Mar’s Hill- he says ‘In him we live AND MOVE and have our being’.
Now- today as we read this- we don’t get the full import of what he was doing.

But- to the Greek mind- the source of motion was a big thing.

Paul was a smart guy- and he was saying ‘in him we move’ showing that yes- the ‘source of motion’ [Thales water] is not found in the natural world [Physics] but the source comes from the Metaphysical world [God].

He also says ‘when I was walking thru your town- I saw one of your altars- to the unknown god’.

At the time many believed in a Pantheon of gods- and to cover their bases- they had an altar for any god they might have missed- smart thinking!

So Paul says ‘him I declare unto you’.
Notice how Paul was able to debate- converse with them- and at the end actually use their own ideas- to present the gospel.
In this chapter- Acts 17- we read of the only 2 groups of philosophers mentioned in the bible.

The Epicureans and the Stoics.

The Epicureans were an early form of what we call Hedonism today- the idea that pleasure is the principle purpose of man.

The Stoics believed in ‘stoicism’ that man should have no emotional response to pain or pleasure- that’s why we call people today ‘Stoics’- when they seem to not be moved by anything.

Ok- that’s it for now- might make some comments tonight- but I’m getting ready to fly out soon- and trying to wind down before I leave.
If I don’t write tonight- I’ll talk again when in North Bergen- God bless you all.

1Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Corinthians 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

1Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.

See? Paul the apostle had the intellectual capacity to engage with the best of them- but he knew that the core issue- was sin. That is those who reject Christianity on the basis of ‘it’s a religion of foolishness’- in reality- even if you win the intellectual argument- yet for the most part people will still not believe. In the end it is always a matter of true repentance- being honest with ourselves- and others. So- Paul didn’t rely on the ‘wisdom of men’ but the power of the Cross. When needed- he would ‘use it’ [men’s wisdom- Acts 17- Mars Hill] but he closed his argument by declaring Christ.
[parts]

VERSES-
Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
Acts 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Acts 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
Acts 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
Acts 17:8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
Acts 17:9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Acts 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Acts 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
Acts 17:14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.
Acts 17:15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
Acts 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
Acts 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
Acts 17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
Acts 17:20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
Acts 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Acts 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
Acts 17:33 So Paul departed from among them.
Acts 17:34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and thelife: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

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About ccoutreach87

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