The Areopagus in Athens served different purposes over the years. Situated on a hill with a breathtaking view of the city and the Acropolis, it functioned as a council of elders, a Court of Appeal for criminal and civil cases, and a murder tribunal. Whatever its official function was, it also seemed to be a place of ideas.
In the 1st Century A.D. the Apostle Paul came to Athens. The Book of Acts tells us he spent time in the Synagogue reasoning with the Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace with all who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers took notice of him speaking about Jesus and the resurrection:
Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.’
I have always found this passage interesting because the wording seems to suggest the possibility that they took him by force. Regardless, Paul was glad for the opportunity and proceeded to lay out his case for Christ. It is a masterful example of subversive apologetics. Paul takes up the words and ideas of their own poets and uses them to tell the story of God and His Son Jesus. I could never hope to do it justice, so I suggest reading Paul’s own words in Acts 17.
I tell this story to explain why I chose Areopagus Forum for the name of my site. Although I am not formally trained in philosophy, theology or apologetics I do take seriously the Biblical mandate to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” To that end I hope this forum can be a place for me to give you a piece of my mind about any number of ideas pertaining to life and the Christian worldview, and in turn I offer you the chance to give me a piece of yours. I hope this can be a place of civil and fruitful dialogue between us.