The Philosophers | The Institute for Creation Research
The Philosophers

"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 17:18).

The important ministry of Paul in Athens (the cultural center of the world of his day) was climaxed in this confrontation with two groups of philosophers representing the spectrum of all humanistic evolutionary systems of past or present. The Epicureans were essentially atheists, devoted to the cultivation of pleasure as the chief aim of life. The Stoicks were pantheists, dedicated to passive acceptance of whatever happens.

In all essentials, these were no different than the evolutionary humanistic systems of the present day. Any philosophy that rejects special creation also must reject the atoning death and bodily resurrection of the Creator, so the Athenian philosophers regarded Paul's preaching as nothing but strange babbling.

Paul did not try to "dialogue" with them in the context of their own philosophies, but appealed rather to the evidence of creation and their intuitive awareness, supported by the ancient traditions of the entire human race, that their "UNKNOWN GOD" was the "God that made the world and all things therein" (Acts 17:23-24). Furthermore, this Creator God had demonstrated His identity to all men "in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

Since these ancient pagan philosophies were essentially no different from either modern atheistic evolutionism, pantheistic eastern evolutionism, or popular street-corner evolutionism -- all rejecting or ignoring the God of the Bible -- we might do well to emulate Paul's method of reaching them. HMM

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