Steve Greene’s Column for January 6


Everything has a starting point. Have you ever thought about that?

You and I had a starting point. Romance has a starting point. Your marriage had a starting point. Your career had a starting point. Parenting had a starting point.

Even faith has a starting point. For faith to be meaningful, it must be personal.

If you didn’t know anything about living a life of faith, where would you begin? Where would you tell someone else to start? What if you’d never read the Bible? What if you’d never gone to church? What if you didn’t know anything about prayer? What if the whole idea of faith was brand new to you? Where would you start?

The Apostle Paul is a historical figure. Paul learned about Jesus from the people who knew Jesus. Sometimes, we forget that the apostle Paul wasn’t always a Christian. In fact, he hated Christians at first. He wanted them all gone.

He viewed Christianity as a cult. Then he had an amazing conversion experience. You might have heard it referred to as his Damascus Road experience. You can read about it yourself in Acts 9.

After becoming a Christian, Paul was in Athens, Greece. While he was there, he saw something that was very disturbing. In Acts 17, we see Paul “was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.”

There are idols everywhere. “So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.”

Since Athens was so full of philosophers, it was not hard for Paul to engage people in conversations about philosophy and religion. They loved to discuss and debate. They had never heard anyone say the kinds of things Paul did. His teachings were new to them.

Acts 17:18 tells us “Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” Paul was introducing a new idea. He was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

Nobody had ever read anything about Jesus. Paul is explaining to people who knew nothing, the whole story of Jesus. Paul knew these Athenians were religious people. They were trying to cover all of their bases.

They even had built an altar to an unknown God. What was unknown to them, Paul was about to make known. They are at the front end of faith in God. This was their starting point for faith (see Acts 17:15-34).

We’ll pick up there next time.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at or you can email him at [email protected].

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