Sermon Snap Shot January 14, 2018

Thornhill, James; Paul Preaching in the Areopagus; Royal Academy of Arts; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/paul-preaching-in-the-areopagus-149263

Sermon Snap Shot January 14, 2018

Living nearly 2,000 years later we share the same challenge that Paul had during his visit to Athens. How do we take the stories of Scripture – from both the Old and, in our case, the New Testaments – and communicate them in our own day and time? Do we use one canned approach or do we seek to share the Good News using a range of language, techniques and illustrations designed to reach different kinds of people?

And while I’m sure that serving in this role of primary teacher and interpreter of the Gospel was a burden at times, Paul also had a luxury that we don’t have: he was blazing new ground. He was setting precedent. His words, his counsel, would eventually become authoritative Scripture for us as Christians.

So today, we are faced with a dilemma that the early Church did not have: We can’t write Paul a letter seeking his counsel!

Sure, like Paul we too have the story of Jesus’ life, teaching and ministry – now captured in four, written Gospels – to guide us (and we also have many of his and other early church leaders’ letters that have been canonized in the New Testament). Like Paul, we too have the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. And like Paul, we too have the Holy Spirit to help us.

But unfortunately, there are a variety of questions and issues that arise every day that are unique to our day and time. So, when the Scriptures are silent or when the Scriptures seem to speak to us in different ways, where do we turn for the answers? How do we faithfully discern God’s will?

From Sunday, January 14 message “The Nature of Our Theological Task” based on Acts 17:16-34 and the first of five messages in the series, “Thinking Theologically: A 3-Legged Stool Approach”
 
 
Rev. Lane Glaze
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC

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