The Acropolis is part of the area in Athens where Paul explained the Christian faith to the philosophers. Yes, the technical location was the Aeropogus, but that’s way too confusing to spell.
I think Paul’s endeavor in Athens is often mis-categorized as solely an apologetic undertaking but I believe he was doing more than just defending the faith. He was talking to philosophers on their terms, demonstrating a knowledge of their culture, their rhetoric, and using those things as entreé points to discuss the Christian faith.
Yes, this shows that he was an “in-the-world” kind of guy, a sort of pre-Renaissance Renaissance Man who could talk philosophy with the Philosophers, or tent-making with the Tent Makers. But here’s what I think often goes unlooked: he had to know his own faith well enough to confidently insert it into this conversation in a way that made sense, that would be understood and maybe even respected by his audience.
Do we know our faith that well? I started The Acropolis Project because I think no, we don’t.
I grew up in the church, in Christian schools K-College. I knew all the “right” answers, but had a harder time handling the questions that inevitably arose.
It’s been a long - and ongoing - journey, but a steady frustration has been two-fold:
- What I perceive as the lack of robust yet accessible theological resources for those asking their own questions.
- What I perceive as the “dumbing down” of lay theological education so that church members are not only ill-equipped to understand their own faith, but they aren’t encouraged to do so.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge the great people and resources I’ve encountered as I’ve gone further down this path. All is not lost! There are good people doing good work, those who I endeavor to come alongside in a quest to raise the bar of theological education.
The Acropolis Project exists to provide a resource for people like me (and those who serve them or support them in community) who may be frustrated by what they also perceive as a lack of resources for those wrestling with their faith. And I want to provide a resource for churches, non-profits, and other groups or organizations to raise the bar of theological education in their spheres of influence.
I believe that solid theological learning should not be relegated to the Academy. And I also believe that robust spiritual education doesn’t have to feel dry or dusty.
I hope you’ll join me in the Acropolis.