Counsel of Chalcedon
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The Context of Evangelism: Acts 17

When Jesus began His public ministry he said, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," Mark 1:15. Peter preached at Pentecost, "This Jesus...God hath made both Lord and Christ - this Jesus whom you crucified: Acts 2:32, 36. The Gospel was proclaimed in the context of the O.T. Scriptures and promises of God. There was a context for hearing and understanding the message. What is the context in which we must proclaim the Gospel today! Do people believe in the authority of Scriptures! Are many people like the man who responded to the proclamation, "Jesus is the answer" with "What's the question!" Jim Peterson, the author of Living Proof, said "I finally realized that there were many people in my community...for whom the church and its message no longer held any interest," and "The idea that the Christian faith could serve as a basis for living never even crosses the mind of most people," (Jim Peterson, Living Proof, pp. 13-14, 21-22). Alan Bloom in his opening sentence to The Closing of the American Mind, said, there is one thing a (university) professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes...that truth is relative." These statements reflect something of the cultural context in which we live and in which we must proclaim the Gospel.