Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Intellectual Dilettantes

From IVP Commentary, Acts 17.16ff:

These reactions show us that Paul had proclaimed the simple gospel with integrity to the intellectual sophisticates of Athens...

Luke seems to prepare us for the relative lack of positive response to Paul's sermon by portraying Athenians as intellectual dilettantes more than genuine seekers after truth. With skepticism making major inroads in the first century, Athens's intellectual life was characterized by uncertainty, turmoil, and lack of progress, so that hunger for, and fascination with the new, was very strong (Bahnsen 1980:12). The postmodernist phase of the post-Christian era manifests the same tendencies.

W. D. Davies wonders, "Is ours one of those situations in which `Things fall apart; the center cannot hold' . . . The new pluralism can often become banal, trivial and pretentious, like a fish in that ocean of the transcendent: always keeping its mouth wide open, afraid to shut it, and therefore, never taking a bite."

No comments:

Post a Comment