Witnessing to Evolutionary Philosophers

"And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. . . . Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them" (Acts 17:32,34).

Our text verse describes the reaction of the Athenians to Paul's preaching on the resurrection. These listeners seem to have consisted mostly of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers: these were the ones who got Paul to come over to the Areopagus (near the famous Parthenon) to present his case there to an open-air gathering of curious spectators.

Now these philosophers, like most of our modern philosophers, were evolutionists. The Stoics were pantheists and the Epicureans were atheists: neither believed in a personal Creator God nor in a primeval creation.

Paul began his message by stressing the fact of special creation. They had been worshipping many nature gods and goddesses, but Paul insisted that they must turn to the true Creator God, who had revealed Himself in Christ and had "given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (v.31).

Paul seems here to be giving us the general pattern to follow when witnessing to people who neither know nor believe the Bible. That is, begin with the fact of creation, then climax with Christ's resurrection and the requirement to believe on Him for salvation.

Paul's audience reacted much as modern skeptical audiences tend to react today. "Some mocked" and others said they would consider it later. Most went away unsaved. But "certain men clave unto him, and believed." That's the way it is today with evolutionist hearers of the message. Many will scoff and others will say they may think about it.

But some will believe! HMM


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