Reading Acts

In Acts 17, Luke contrasts the response of some Jews in Thessalonica with those in Berea. In fact, all three episodes in Acts 17 show that the gospel was presented in a rational and reasonable fashion. Some accept that rational message (Berea), others act in a disorderly fashion to oppose Paul’s message (Thessalonica). While some in Athens scoff at Paul’s message, there is some respect given to him by those who hear his message on Mars Hill.

Paul engages in rhetoric in the synagogue at Thessalonica and Berea, and in a public philosophical discussion in Athens. Luke describes him as persuading people with positive arguments for the truth of the gospel and the evidence of scripture and reason. This was an important theme for Luke if he was addressing a Roman who is likely from the upper-levels of society. Christianity is not at all like a mystery cult which hides…

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