The Athens Perspective

From Dave Black Online:

Do you have the “Athens Perspective”? Here’s what I mean. When I first visited Greece in 1981, I couldn’t wait to see the archeological treasures of its great capital. The Areopagus, the Acropolis, the Parthenon — I felt like I had gone to heaven so enraptured was I with all these wonderful sites. But when Paul and his adventurous missionary company visited the city on his second missionary journey, all he saw were spiritual needs. Paul would never have considered himself a “radical,” yet he was one of the most radical men who ever lived. “Radical,” of course, means going to the root, and Paul plunged through all the layers of history, philosophy, and architecture to the root of mankind’s need.

Yesterday Alvin Reid told the story of how he and his son once toured the great cities of Europe. He set as his personal goal to share the love of Jesus with at least one person every day on the trip. I can just see Alvin talking about Jesus in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, striking up a conversation and then moving beyond the distracting loyalties to the core of man’s emptiness.

There is a radical reformation taking place in our day. Many of us are a part of it. We are tired of debating the virtues of the NIV over the ESV (or vice versa). We are tired of You Tubes criticizing a certain pastor because of the way he pronounces “logos.” It’s time to get back to the essentials, to dare to put the Gospel first and to allow the Lordship of Christ to unsettle our morose self-centeredness.

What happened to Paul in Athens is happening in my own heart. God is beginning to remove any interest in my heart to see the “great sites” of this world. I want to look at the world as God sees it and evaluate everything in life from an eternal perspective. I’m thankful to be part of a missional revolution — a reordering of priorities in the Body of Christ, a rethinking of presuppositions, a recommitment to conserve the essence of life as Jesus taught us to live it.

The Athens Perspective: You either have it or you don’t. We are to be the essentialists of our day. In fact, if all we see when we visit Athens are great buildings, there’s something dreadfully wrong.

David Alan Black is author of The Jesus Paradigm from Energion Publications.  Quotes from his blog are used here with his permission.