Common Ground


Acts 17:16

Some joined him and became believers (v.34).

The Good Book: A Humanist Biblewas recently published by atheist author A. C. Grayling. The philosopher put together a literary work that—from his perspective—presents the best wisdom of people like Confucius, Seneca, Cicero, and others. Grayling imitated the Bible, but chose alternative authors and texts. The book has 12 sections, including Genesis, Parables, Proverbs, and Acts—but features no biblical references. One reviewer states, “[Grayling] admits, perhaps inadvertently, that the power of traditional religious language goes beyond anything you can find anywhere else.”

While Grayling selected like-minded sages to present his humanist philosophy, the apostle Paul used Greek art (Acts 17:23) and poetry (v.28) to present the one true God. He carefully crafted a message that contained bits and pieces of Athenian culture so that He could point his listeners to “the God who made the world and everything in it” (v.24). His speech concluded with a call for all people “to repent of their sins and turn to [God]” (v.30). Finally, Paul presented the resurrected Christ as the ultimate proof of God’s truth and saving grace (v.31).

Start with what’s familiar and move to what’s eternal. That’s the model for us to follow as we reach out to those who don’t yet believe in Jesus. What are the interests of your unsaved co-workers, neighbors, and friends? How can you use those common-ground topics as a bridge to discuss spiritual ones?

Not everyone received salvation as they listened to Paul preach on Mars Hill. “But some joined him and became believers” (v.34). Share your faith by starting with the stuff of earth. As you gradually move on to the stuff of heaven, you can have confidence that the good news—found in the real Good Book—will direct your friends and acquaintances to the common ground at the foot of the cross.

—Tom Felten


Read Colossians 1:28 to see who Paul lifts up as the group we need to reach with God’s salvation message.


How does it simplify and magnify the sharing of our faith when we start with what’s familiar and move to the eternal? What common ground can you use today?


sunday morning - from ignitermedia on godtube.