Original Research

Acts 17:16-34 as paradigm in responding to postmodernity

G. A. Lotter, G. G. Thompson
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 39, No 4 | a410 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v39i4.410 | © 2005 G. A. Lotter, G. G. Thompson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2005 | Published: 31 July 2005

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G. A. Lotter, Faculty of Theology, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
G. G. Thompson, Faculty of Theology, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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This article shows, in the description of Acts 17:16-34, important guidelines that may be found from Biblical material and how to understand and respond to postmodernity today. The main argument of this article is discussed under the following headings: Paul and Hellenistic pluralism; idols and gods: pluralism par excellence; Paul in Athens: prolegomena (Acts 17: 16-21) and Paul’s address to the Areopagus (Acts 17:22-34). Similarities between the situation in Athens will subsequently be discussed, followed by guidelines from Acts 17 to address postmodernity: the primacy of Biblical revelation, the utilisation of apologetics and flexibility through contextualisation. Finally, it will be shown how Paul did not assume a combative posture, but how with admirable delicacy, he challenged and corrected the major positions of the Stoics and the Epicureans, whilst being sensitive towards the Athenians. He portrayed how the message of the gospel can be conveyed by speaking relevantly and pointedly in the same manner to postmodern society.


Acts 17:16-34; Paradigm; Postmodernity


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