The Gospel to the Philosophers
STEVE McKENZIE
Acts 17:16-34
THE GOSPEL TO THE PHILOSOPHERS

LINK: Study Guide

Series Big Idea: The gospel will be proclaimed among all peoples through witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit.

SEE & FEEL THE CULTURE’S STORY | Acts 17:16
  • “saw the city was full of idols” – Athens had a population of 10,000 people with over 30,000 statues of gods and goddesses
  • Pausanias, a 2nd-century Greek traveler and geographer visited Athens 50 years after Paul and said, it is “easier to meet a god or goddess on the main street of Athens than to meet a man.”
  • Idolatry is more than carved images (Ezekiel 14:3 says, “leaders have set up idols in their hearts.”
  • Definition of Idolatry: 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.” Tim Keller
  • References:
SHARING GOD’S STORY | Acts 17:17-21
  • Paul preaches Jesus and the resurrection
CONNECTING THE TWO STORIES | Acts 17:22-34
  • Paul Compliments the Athenians
  • He Connects to their Story
  • He begins with God’s Story to help them make sense of their own story
  • He retells their story in light of the gospel
  • He calls for a decision (article to Barna study)
COMMUNITY GROUP QUESTIONS
  1. If you could visit one foreign country where would it be and why?
  2. Read Acts 17:16-34
  3. The Apostle Paul saw and was provoked by the idols in Athens (Acts 17:16). What does our culture value more than God? What things absorb our hearts and imaginations more than God?
  4. Tim Keller says, “God was saying (Ezekiel 14:3) that the human heart takes good things like a successful career, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our heart deifies them as the center of our lives, because, we think they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment if we attain them.”
  5. How have we personally elevated good or bad things to the place of an idol in our hearts?

In response, we should repent and look to Jesus to give us what he alone is able. Pray with and for one another.