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The Concept

Is there a biblical basis for the concept behind the Ambassador Approach? If so, is there a model that Christians in modern times can follow? The answer to both questions is: Yes! Both the model and the basis is found in Acts 17 in Paul’s famous address at the Areopagus (aka Mars Hill) in Athens. To get some background information on this famous speech, click the link below.
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Acts 17:22-34 (New International Version)

22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

24The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Unavoidable Questions
  1. Athens is full of idols and yet, Paul doesn’t condemn them for that. Why not?
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  2. In an earlier verse from this chapter, the scripture makes reference to Paul being “distressed” at the sight of all the idols. Yet he mentions that he “looked carefully” at the idols in verse 23. Is there an application for us today?
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  3. Why didn’t Paul quote from Moses or the Prophets?
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  4. Paul does quote from a nameless poet. Is that poet a Christian, Jew, or Greek? How did Paul even know about this poet to begin with?
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  5. The end result of Paul’s address is found in verses 32-34. What do these verses- especially verse 32 say about the effectiveness of Paul’s approach?
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What we basically see Paul doing is taking a strand of truth from Greek culture and explaining how it conforms to the ultimate truth about who God really is. This is the same method that I have used in Jesus and Jigga: Where Hip-Hop Meets Scripture. Several lines have been selected where I take a truthful statement in a rap song and demonstrate how it conforms to the truth of the Holy Bible. In addition, I have taken some other statements from rap songs for the purpose of testing their truthfulness in light of scripture. So that’s the concept: all truth is God’s truth. Doing what Paul did is what makes The Difference…

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