Thursday, June 22, 2017

Acts 17:16-21

Acts 17:16-21
English Standard Version (ESV)

  It's so easy to shrink back from conflicting ideas.  You can close a browsing window or just walk away from a person now.  Or, there is the preferred method of making disparaging comments and discarding their entire argument simply because it makes you uncomfortable.  We see this a lot in both political parties -- we use labels to shut down debate.
  Here, 2,000 years ago, they did that as well.  But some people weren't afraid to engage -- they brought Paul in and wished to know more.  They asked tough questions in order to find the truth.  They listened, they shared, and they were changed through the experience.
  One of the things I love most about Christianity is how robust it is.  It has been intellectually challenged for thousands of years.  People have been poking it, prodding it, exposing every weakness and trying to find a fatal flaw.  At its best, Christianity doesn't back down from these challenges, but engages them, willing to listen and be examined because of our confidence -- not in ourselves, but in our Creator and Savior.  We are willing to allow people to ask big questions because we trust that what we believe is true, and we believe that the questions will only make us more amazed at the depth and love of God.
  So let us not shrink back from examination, or be afraid of questions, and even opposition.  For centuries people have been trying to disprove God.  The Gospels are the most examined pieces of literature in human history.  We can engage in debate and conversation, because we trust in the Truth of the message and the One who delivers it.

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