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Bold Reasoning in Public Forums: Acts 19:8-10

April 10, 2022 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts of the Apostles

Scripture: Acts 18:8-10

In Acts 19:9, Paul moved to a lecture hall in Ephesus after there was hardening in the synagogue and rejection of “the Way.” As with the previous teaching about public forums, we see evidence that the topic does not change, but there are differences between the synagogue and public forums. We also discuss Paul’s previous visit to Athens where he preached about “Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18). This message was first expounded in the synagogue and market place where Paul reasoned with Jews, God-fearing Gentiles, and then philosophers. This led to Paul’s famous address at Mars Hill. We have a robust discussion about whether Luke portrays Paul’s time in Athens as somewhat of a disappointment that led to a change, or as a model for bringing the objective facts of the gospel to all people. I claim that Luke intends this to be seen as consistent with other places in Acts where Jesus and the resurrection is preached and debated.  We also show slides of various places where these places or ones like them have been excavated. The historical reality of the events and places described in Luke-Acts is strong evidence that we are not promoting a ‘leap of faith’ but sober truth that will stand up in any arena of public debate. According to Acts, this went on in Ephesus in the ‘school of Tyrannus’ after first reasoning in the synagogue then in the public forum. We will continue this study next week.