The gospel approach
Acts 17:22 “Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.”
Paul begins his gospel presentation to the non-Jews and the leading intellectual Greeks by praising them for their spirituality. It gives us 3 good lessons.
1. Do not let what is wrong with a person be our focus but start with what is right. In order to connect it needs to be based on the good. Connections fail when we are too keen to highlight the sin.
Of course being religious is not necessarily good. In fact with these people it was anything but good. They had many gods. They were full of duty and no relationship with the one true God. Therefore …
2. Even if what appears to be good in a person is actually defective and they are deceived then this does not stop you from praising them.
3. Paul chose not to begin with Scripture (as he had done with the Jews) and it shows us that we should not commence with what the person does not know but what they do know.