A paper presented to the Evangelical Theological Society, 2010 Southwestern Regional Meeting, titled:
Christology in Contextualization:
Another Look at Paul’s Motivation, Methods, and Message
at Mars Hill (Acts 17) in light of the Missiological Debate
surrounding Muslim - Christian Dialogue
Introduction and Abstract:
Acts 17 is often referenced as a key text in the Christian Scriptures for emphasizing the common ground in Muslim-Christian dialogue. While this text certainly tills the ground for fruitful discourse, the context emphasizes Paul’s telos - Jesus as the Person of Completion for issues in the Athenians’ world-views. Paul’s motivation, methods, and message also entails points of contention between ideologies. Without being unduly contentious, Paul’s ultimate objective is clarity in communicating his concept of Jesus. His goal of clarity drives his interactions, especially in regard to making the ‘Unknown’ known.
While stressing the distinctions, this appears to be a hindrance in Christian-Muslim Dialogue. But, if properly engaged, distinctions will provide a more robust dialogue and deeper understanding, especially for those from the respective communities listening in on the conversation.
Read the whole thing (14 pages).