The CAA read The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak, as part of Apologetics 315’s weekly Read Along program. This took place August through October. Each week, an audio introduction from Paul Copan was provided for that week’s chapter, along with a brief synopsis and study questions. We were also able to connect with other readers in the comments on Apologetics 315, or on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page/group.
After having given it some time to blend flavors, I am now prepared to give my thoughts on the book. These were my initial thoughts before starting the Read Along. Note that this review does not go through the book by walking through it from beginning to end, due to its reuse of or expansion on the same material at different parts of the text, rather than keeping similar topics together. We will let the reader decide if that is a format they prefer to read. For me, it felt kind of scattered.
Copan and Litwak begin with a nice sketch of our current cultural landscape as being multicultural, relativistic, secularized, and post-Christian. They define a worldview as a philosophy of life that reflects a deeper heart commitment and answers questions like Why am I here? Why does anything exist at all? What am I to do or think? How can my life have any meaning? Later they define worldview as “an articulation of the basic beliefs embedded in a shared grand story that are rooted in a faith commitment and that give shape and direction to the whole of our individual and corporate lives.” They lay out the problem: Most people today, even those calling themselves Christians, only know a caricature of Christianity, so that if ever they come into conversation with a knowledgeable Christian, a lot of what the Christian communicates is filtered through a faulty worldview and so is lost in translation. The first hurdle to overcome is to make sure we know what their worldview is, including their view of Christianity, so that we speak their language and nothing is lost in translation. We are the ones with a message to deliver, and so we are the ones who need to learn how to speak their language—not the other way around. [Read more…]