By Joe Slater
This article’s title sounds narrow-minded in today’s politically correct world. Most likely Paul’s audience in Athens (Acts 17) thought he was narrow-minded too. Petronius, a writer at Nero’s court, remarked that it was easier in Athens to find a god than a man! Yet here was Paul, telling the brilliant Greek philosophers that their views about deity were erroneous! His magnificent sermon mentioned at least thirteen points about the true God. Let’s look briefly at the first few.
“The God who made the world and everything in it” (Acts 17:24a). Indeed, the true God is the creator of the universe (see the first two chapters of Genesis). Greeks, like other pagan cultures, worshiped dozens of gods and goddesses, crediting certain ones with creating and having charge of various portions of nature (e.g. god of the sun, god of the sea, goddess of the forest). But Paul affirmed that the true God, whom the Athenians didn’t know, is the creator of all things.
“He, being Lord of heaven and earth” (17:24b). Pagans believed their gods ruled over various parts of the world, fighting back and forth to take over one another’s dominion. The true God, however, is Lord of heaven and earth; He admits no rival.
“. . . does not dwell in temples made with hands (17:24c). Athens, like other cities, contained numerous temples where the gods supposedly dwelled. Jerusalem also boasted of the temple where the true God manifested His special presence. But Solomon knew and freely confessed, “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built?” (1 Kings 8:27).
There is but one true God!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com