[Audio Intro] - Paul Copan introduces this chapter.
[Chapter 8 Study Questions] (with kindle locations) - PDF study guide.
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Chapter Eight: The Art of Persuasion
Chapter 8 describes the logic of Paul’s speech in light of his theology and the worldviews of his audience. The authors look at the biblical background of Paul’s statements and the way he expressed them in forms conducive to dialogue with his audience. They explore the content of Paul's speech and the way that he used tools of rhetoric to persuade his audience with a Gospel message that built bridges.
Paul’s speech is fundamentally biblical, even though he uses terminology and quotations from Greek poets that many in Paul’s audience would find acceptable. (Kindle 2024)
Quoting Scripture to the Areopagus would have been as useful as it is now to quote John 3: 16 without taking time to help a listener understand what you mean by God, believing in Jesus, eternal life, perishing and more. One has to establish first that the statements of Scripture should be considered as valid proofs for arguments. (Kindle 2082)
Luke’s audience— and Christians today— can see from Paul’s speech the value of finding something that a listener to our evangelism would likely know about, if not wholly embrace. (Kindle 2112)Discuss
- How was Paul's speech introduced in a way that would connect with a hostile audience?
- What tools of rhetoric do you think are essential for communicating the Gospel today?
- Does using the language, philosophy, and cultural context of the day change the message?
Next Week: Chapter 9—Acting on the Truth