So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, To the unknown god. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,Acts 17: 22-27
The technical word for defending our faith is apologetics, which is simply presenting the truth of the Gospel in a way that helps overcome the objections of the person who is reluctant or hostile to the message of Christ while depending on the work of the Holy Spirit in their life.
In the passage above, Paul finds common ground with the intellectuals and philosophers of his day by making the “unknown” God known to them. He began with a nod to the revelation of God through the world around them. The created world is a great place to start. When we take a look at the complexities of life – the moon and stars, the earth and created things including mankind – most will tend to acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
The intellectuals of Athens were seeking something to explain the meaning of their lives. Paul pointed them to God and ultimately Christ.
Paul was aware of his surroundings and he made the most of them as he attempted to present Christ to others. Read Acts 17 and think of the opportunities in your past. Think of someone you might be able to engage today.