Untidy Faith

Acts 17-18 | Aaron Duvall & Elaina Barron

February 07, 2022 Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach Season 5 Episode 9
Acts 17-18 | Aaron Duvall & Elaina Barron
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Untidy Faith
Acts 17-18 | Aaron Duvall & Elaina Barron
Feb 07, 2022 Season 5 Episode 9
Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach

Aaron is the Lead Pastor at Crosspoint Community Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he resides with his wife Chera, and daughter Harper.

 

Aaron graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, where he majored in Philosophy. He went on to earn an MA in Entrepreneurial Ministry Leadership from Tabor College, and is presently earning his D.Min. from Portland Seminary.

 

Aaron enjoys biking with his family, reading, running, and watching college sports. He is passionate about candy corn and chocolate chip cookies. He hates meatloaf, plastic fruit, and meetings. Aaron thinks nothing is more exciting than living as a disciple of Jesus.


Twitter @revduv 


Elaina holds a MDiv and DMin in Christian Leadership. For over 25 years she’s been equipping Christian leaders through the church and para-church organizations.

She is passionate about teaching people to know and apply their Bibles, bringing a deeper relationship with Christ and helping women envision new ways to use their gifts and talents to serve Christ and lead in their church and communities. She also has a crazy obsession with plants and books that is taking over her house!

She and her incredible husband Pastor Jon live In Richmond, Kentucky where they are adventuring through life as empty nesters and church planters.


elainabarron.com

Instagram: barronelaina

Podcast: What You Love

Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.


Kate Boyd - Book | Bible Studies | Coaching | Newsletter | Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Aaron is the Lead Pastor at Crosspoint Community Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he resides with his wife Chera, and daughter Harper.

 

Aaron graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, where he majored in Philosophy. He went on to earn an MA in Entrepreneurial Ministry Leadership from Tabor College, and is presently earning his D.Min. from Portland Seminary.

 

Aaron enjoys biking with his family, reading, running, and watching college sports. He is passionate about candy corn and chocolate chip cookies. He hates meatloaf, plastic fruit, and meetings. Aaron thinks nothing is more exciting than living as a disciple of Jesus.


Twitter @revduv 


Elaina holds a MDiv and DMin in Christian Leadership. For over 25 years she’s been equipping Christian leaders through the church and para-church organizations.

She is passionate about teaching people to know and apply their Bibles, bringing a deeper relationship with Christ and helping women envision new ways to use their gifts and talents to serve Christ and lead in their church and communities. She also has a crazy obsession with plants and books that is taking over her house!

She and her incredible husband Pastor Jon live In Richmond, Kentucky where they are adventuring through life as empty nesters and church planters.


elainabarron.com

Instagram: barronelaina

Podcast: What You Love

Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.


Kate Boyd - Book | Bible Studies | Coaching | Newsletter | Instagram

Kate Boyd:

You're listening to happy and holy the podcast where scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season, we're walking through the birth of the church in the book of Acts. And you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another, as we engage scripture and community. I'm your host, Kate Boyd. I'm a disciple maker, writer and speaker, who is making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle between conservative and progressive, between loving the church and leaving her. We love Jesus, love people and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show. Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey from the Bible. You've probably noticed that here on the show, we love the Bible. And we take it very seriously. But we don't always take it literally. And that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But all of its complexity doesn't have to overwhelm you. And that's why I put together the big picture Bible toolkit. It will help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story will also let you learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed. And you'll see new connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament with a special Bible reading plan. If you're ready to get back to the basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start. And the big picture Bible toolkit will help you do that. Grab yours today for free at Kate boyd.co/bible. Now, let's get back to X. Welcome back everyone. Today we are talking through Acts 17 and 18. And as always, I want to introduce to you my friends who will be chatting with me. First up Elena, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Elaina Barron:

Hi, I'm Elena Barron and I live in Richmond, Kentucky, south of Lexington, and I have been involved in ministry for over 25 years. I have a Master's divinity and a doctorate in ministry and Christian leadership. I've been working through the church and through parachurch organizations to equip people better on how to study their Bibles how to lead in their communities, how to apply the Bible to life. Before COVID I traveled a lot as a speaker and now I do a lot of this online. And we live in Richmond because my husband and I are church planters. He is the pastor of the church that we're involved in. And we love Kentucky. So that's me.

Kate Boyd:

Nice. Aaron, how about you?

Aaron Duvall:

Yeah, I am Erica ball. Newly pastor at CrossPoint Community Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I moved out west. Well, at time of recording about a month, month and a half now, before that I was in the Finger Lakes area of New York as a teaching pastor. So yeah, pretty excited to start a new journey here. And I have a philosophy I was a philosophy major and undergrad, which means I'm absolutely useless to society. There's just not a whole lot for philosophy. Yeah. teach other people philosophy. It's like a self perpetuating degree. Right. And yeah, I have a My master's is in entrepreneurial ministry leadership. And I'm presently working on the doctor ministry from Portland seminary. underlain sweet, so that's been crazy in the midst of the last four years trying to do that. So that's been a slow journey, but still going so yeah. And I was a was a chaplain at a Bible college for a while before I was a teaching pastor. And this first step is kind of an a solo kind of church. Lead Pastor. So that's where we're at.

Kate Boyd:

Now, nice. Well, thank you guys. for joining today. I'm really excited about these chapters. And of all Paul speeches, this is maybe the most famous one that we get to talk about today. So I'm excited about that. Um, so Elena, why don't you recap after 17th so we can get into it.

Elaina Barron:

Okay, well, Paul and Silas are on their journey and they go to Thessalonica. And as normal Paul begins preaching in the synagogues, and some of the people believe there and several of the leading women, and once again, the Jews get really jealous, and they decide to run them out by they try to round up a mob of wicked men, the Bible says and those wicked men go searching for Paul and Silas can't find them. But find Jason. I think it's so funny. It's like Bob being thrown into the New Testament, but they find Jason and and they think that might be Paul's cousin, we don't know. But that's the house they were staying at. And they take Jason before the city authorities, and they blame him and say that these men are turning our world upside down. And they're against Caesar, because they're saying that Jesus is this new King. So during that Jason is released, and Paul and Silas kind of sneak out of the city and the brothers there from the city from the church, send Paul and Silas down to Berea. And once again, they started the synagogues. And this time though, that user what the Bible refers to is more noble or some of the translations translation, say open minded. And they listen to what Paul is saying. And then they will come back and search their scriptures daily and nightly to see if it's actually true. And so several of them and leading women once again, the Bible says, Our convert and believe, but here comes as jealous Jesus from vesel Annika, they hear what's going on, they can't have it their worlds upside down, they come and once again cause a lot of trouble. And Paul decides to leave in the night. And he leaves Timothy and Silas there to meet up with him later. And so Paul goes down to Athens to wait for Timothy and Silas. And as he's walking around, he sees that they are a very religious crowd, they have idols to every god they can imagine. And he begins to once again argue in the synagogues and in the marketplace. And he gets in with this curious philosophy crowd which I know Aaron would love to be a part of the Epicureans and the Stoics. And this is where I just kind of flew off on a trail and said forever because I'm like, What does food have to do with you know, with philosophy because that's we hear the word epicurean, we think of food. And so where did this come from, but no Epicureans at that time were the disciples of a philosopher named Epicurus. And he believed in pursuing our rights, unalienable rights as humans to Purdue, pursue happiness, but he believed in the simple happiness of life. And he believed that we should be able to live modestly simply limiting our desires. And it wasn't a hedonistic kind of pursuit of happiness. It was a very simple kind of rights to kindness and friendship. And the interesting part about this is our famous statesmen from France, John Locke was a disciple of Epicurus. And so when they wrote the French Declaration of Independence, a lot of Epicurious thoughts came into the French Declaration of Independence, we'll guess who are cohorts of John Locke? Well, that would be our own Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They enjoyed what he was saying. And so in our second paragraph, our famous paragraph of the Declaration of Rights we have where it says We hold these truths to be self self evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So all of these thoughts actually came from Epicurus at the same time that Paul was there. So in light is we as Americans are kind of a disciple of Epicurus because we are very big into this unalienable right to pursue happiness. So I know Aaron's shaking his head, so I can't wait to hear his conversation on that. So the Stoics and the Epicureans decided to bring him in to discuss their at the era PEGASE, which also can be referred to as Mars Hill. And that is a large area where people get together, and they discuss all sorts of philosophies and debates and things like that. So Paul gets up in this as he gives his famous speech, where he addresses all the gods that he has seen in the town, and one god that is the unknown God, and he presents to them that Jesus is actually the unknown God, and that He created everything and that we are all been created by him. And that's where the end of 17 ends.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, it's, it's funny because it doesn't feel like oh, I guess it does feel like a lot happens, but we don't get a ton of detail until we get to this sort of speech. But ya know that The curious thing is fascinating. I'll be excited to dig into that when we get there. Okay, so let's start in Thessalonica. Um, Aaron, what stood out to you in this little bit here?

Aaron Duvall:

Um, I and she kind of mentioned it, but this is sort of the the pattern for Paul, right, we see the pattern of coming in immediately going into the synagogue sort of discussing things. I like I like Paul, because he he, he right. He's a rabble rouser, right. He just shows up and has no problem causing mass chaos, which I enjoy. So I, you know, as a hyperactive kid, I look at Paul and go, yeah. So he just goes through, you know, and does this thing. And then it's the same pattern over again, where he goes to synagogue, he does this thing, they get angry. And he kind of turns like, well, Fine, then I'll go and teach somebody else. And he leaves it does it again, and we this, this pattern, when we get to my part, we'll see it again, just this pattern over and over again of I like his persistence. I'm very impressed with the fact that he keeps going back, he gets rejected, but he keeps going back to the synagogue, with this just sort of passion to let them know, hey, you know, you're almost there. And I do I appreciate this sort of Chumbawamba effect for kids of the 90s. Right, he gets not gets back up again. And, and we see that pattern throughout his ministry where he just goes in, gets beat up leaves, but just keeps doing this thing.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I keep wondering, like, what sort of, because this is this pattern, and he does it faithfully, pretty much everywhere he goes, and and to continually be cast out or to continually like, be actually beat up or thrown out or, you know, spoken against and plotted against. Like, I feel like he seems to hold up pretty well, considering all of that, but I would be like really tender and like, I don't know, not as resilient or determined, as it seems Paul is and so that always gets me when I read through Acts and everything. I'm like, gosh, how in the world? Did he just sort of like, keep going? Because I don't know that I could have done that.

Elaina Barron:

He can't have taken things like personally. Yeah, it was, uh, you know, he states always that it's there. He recognizes that they're fighting Christ. They're not fighting him. And because yeah, I would be knocked down once or twice. And I'd be like, Okay, this isn't the position I need to be in. I'm searching for a different job, you know?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And I think he's actually, one thing I, I feel confident in saying about Paul is that he had mission clarity, you know what I mean? Like, he knew what he was there to do is like, we go to the Jews, we go to the Gentiles, this is this is our thing. And, and that even their response to that would not keep him from doing that. And so, I mean, he's done it before this, these chapters, he'll do it after these chapters, like he is very clear on what he's to do. And that sort of orients his whole life. And I find that, I don't know, maybe I'm a little envious of that, because I never feel like I have that sort of specific mission clarity like Paul does. And though I do have the general mission clarity, that he also has that we also have, but yeah, I find that really fascinating. And even how he sort of brings it up, there are different points or even where God will reassure him like, like later, he's like, you're gonna go to Rome. So he's like, okay, cool. Whatever happens, I'm going to Rome. So he's just able to those little nuggets of things like carry him through so far.

Aaron Duvall:

Yeah, for sure. And what it's, it's also fascinating, I think outside right it, and I guess he's not technically outside yet, because he's still very much within Judaism. But he is we know from his personality, right. Not only does he have zero issues, standing up against those who are rejecting the message, but even those within his own tribe that are you know, him and Peter obviously have their, you know, come to Jesus talks throughout his posts got to be a difficult guy to work with. Like, if you've been around someone who is is that singular mission focus, they absolutely get things done. But they do tend to run over people and sometimes not in intentional ways. They just, they don't see it. And so, you know, he's splitting with his mission partners later and you take him and I'll take you know, this is I, I don't want to, I think what I like about The Bible is it doesn't pretty up our heroes. And yeah, Paul absolutely has a characteristic that if not sanctified, can cause a lot of damage. But on the same token, it's what pushes him through, you know, as he's talking about, in later letters, right, look, he kind of takes off his shirt metaphorically and shows you the scars, you know, I've been whipped. I've been stoned, my hands are broken, you know, I've got all this stuff, look at everything that's happened. And so that that strength is this the same thing that causes him to fight with Peter. And, you know, his mission partners is the same thing that pushes him through the synagogues and says, Look, if you don't like it, sorry, then I'll just go find the Gentiles.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And, you know, as per usual here in Thessalonica, people don't like what he says. And so there's yet another plot to get rid of Paul. Um, and they end up, you know, sneaking out of the city, and going to Berea. Um, so Elena, what stood out to you in Berea?

Elaina Barron:

I think it's so incredible that these people were like, the Bible says noble, open minded, that they heard a new idea. And instead of immediately shutting it down, they're like, You know what, let's check this out. These were people who were awaiting to hear from God, I feel like they were searching scriptures and being like, God, tell us what's the next thing that we're supposed to be doing? They weren't people that were comfortable in their route, have the same ol same ol every day, this is how it's got to be tradition. And to me, that's very inspiring.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I, it's funny, because I feel like people use the Bereans a lot, right? Like, test everything by Scripture. And that's totally fair, like, we should be doing that. But a lot of times they do that, like what I feel is the culture of the Bereans is that they were in this posture of like openness. And like you said, they were waiting to hear from God, they thought they could hear from God, they knew that, you know, things might be new or reposition, like they were able to do that and discern. But I feel like the way the Marines are used in, at least in my experience has been in a way that's been closed off, right, like search the Scriptures, because obviously, what you're saying isn't right, you know? And, and so it's so interesting to think about like, or I think about a lot, how does one foster a culture that then is, has sort of like this openness of the brains to then take stuff in, instead of sort of, like the closeness with which I feel like in my life Bereans have been used as, like an example of

Aaron Duvall:

honestly, it's great. Like, as she was saying that, I had that, like that lightbulb moment. It's funny, you know, you look through Scripture 100 times you don't say stuff. You know, you always hear like the discernment bloggers and stuff, like be a Berean. You know, and yeah, that's exactly that's exactly my experience. And then to hear someone phrase it in this way that says, They were open. Like, it really turns that whole idea on its head, and I think in a really positive way. Yeah, I hadn't thought of that until she said it. And then it just made me go, Oh, wow. Yeah, like, this is not the way we describe this today. Certainly not online.

Elaina Barron:

Well, you know, and that, that gives me a sadness that you guys have had that experience, because I've had the opposite experience I've had what I voice comes from my experience that I've always been encouraged in that way to hear from God and search scripture, and you know, that we each hear from God. And so I don't know, that's interesting that our past experiences influence how we read the Bible, is what we're all saying.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, for sure. And it's funny, too, because so in the Thessalonica episode, one thing you mentioned in your recap, Elena, but it's actually here in the Scripture, too, is that like, they are accused of being people who are turning the world upside down. And so, which is very, it's obviously very disorienting, right to have your world turned upside down, but to see the Bereans, then who are essentially experiencing the same thing, they sort of like allow themselves to be turned upside down, or at least to adjust to that orientation to see if that's, if that's something that makes sense. Um, yeah, I just, let's Yeah, it's very interesting to see how it's different. I look

Elaina Barron:

at it. In an example of today's view about how so many churches are stuck in their past and their tradition and they're dying off because they're not open to the way culture is changing around them. And this isn't the exact experience that they're, that that's kind of how I view it today is I see my parents church, a small country church who was dying, and the director of missions came in and told them you will be dead within three years. If you do not begin to change the way your church operates in the way that culture, not the message, but the operation of your church. And now they are 10 years later growing like crazy with tons of new families. And it's because they listened, and said, We're not going to die. We have a wonderful message, how can we reach the community with it? And so that's how I see it is their world was completely changed upside down from an Oregon to a full band on stage to people with tattoos up there on stage to you know, it was a different world for them. But they were more concerned about the gospel than they were about the way their church looked.

Kate Boyd:

Anything else for you in Berea? Aaron?

Aaron Duvall:

I don't think so. I think you guys hit it really? Well. I'm still reading through that piece. And just going out. I never seen this before.

Kate Boyd:

Well, it is funny because we never really like i It's because to your point, I don't think we've ever I've never really we sort of like when we talk about Berea, we talked about them separately, and not like in context of all these other so that you're comparing them to all the other responses and going Hmm, what's different about them? And so seeing it like this together, rather than in their little chunk in one sermon, you know what I mean? Separate from all the others. It? Yeah, it makes such a big difference. Because you're like, oh, this was different than how everyone else did it. What's different? How can we be like that?

Aaron Duvall:

Yeah, my mentor calls that getting verse situs, right. When you just look at one, one little piece, and you grab it out of context, you know, out of context, it very much says, Hey, study the Scripture and make sure that whatever anyone's telling you is true, and send out everything. It's not. But in context, it is. It's a beautiful picture of this. The differing opinions once you know kicking everybody out, and then accepting it, so yeah, no, it's it is it's very, I'm probably going to read through that a couple times later, and read through that. That may be you guys, you may I'll even footnote you in my sermon. Cubs.

Elaina Barron:

Thank you. No, that's a totally from commentary. So you can, commentary not me. I am also convicted in this by how the festival and lichens responded that they were jealous. And then when they saw something going on in another city, another synagogue, they came to destroy it. And that just breaks my heart. And, you know, being convicted that we are not doing that to people, other churches around us.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, that's, that's good. I mean, because it happens to Paul a lot. There's actually a lot of times when he moves on to a different place, and people from other places are like, No, we are still mad about what you did. And they chase him down. And that just is like, to the point later, later, in the book, where a group of people take an oath, that they have to be the ones to kill him, or they won't eat or drink until that happens. And then, funnily enough, they're not the ones that get to kill him. So who knows what happens to those I know, but like, that's how angry Paul makes people, you know, always wonder how long

Elaina Barron:

did they wait, you know, I know, finally eight, you know?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. I'll be curious to hear how that story ends someday. That's one of my questions. Okay, so then Paul moves on to Athens. And, and he rubs some elbows with some philosophers. And he gets called a babbler. So before we get to the sermon, yeah, so let's talk philosophy. Aaron. Yes. Guy, it's your turn.

Aaron Duvall:

So, you know, a couple things, just, you know, immediately jump out is you have your Epicureans and your Stoics, who are sort of two ends of the spectrum, you have your Epicureans, who are sort of hedonistic, which when we say that we now mean it much stronger than they did they serve, they want to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, but it doesn't mean like go out and do whatever you want. Like because you know, at some point, you eat too much and then you're experiencing pain, right? So they're, they do try to balance it, but yet the connection and I will say I hadn't thought about the connection to America, but I would say as a whole Americans live very much in an epicurean right, maximize pleasure, minimize pain, when they I forget who it was, but somebody boiled down his philosophy to don't fear God. Don't fear death. Everything good is to be enjoyed and anything bad can be tolerated. Like that's sort of his, the way he thinks. And that I mean, if that's not an American, yeah. And he includes all kinds of people from John Locke to Jefferson to really Karl Marx talks about being influenced. So, you know, he is just a heavyweight, obviously, that thought process. And then he had the Stoics, who are much more in the moment, but trying, you do what's right for you, and if everyone does what's right for themselves, that will sort of help everyone else and, but much more. Whereas for the Epicureans, you're, and you're embracing life as a stoic, you're sort of, hey, let's avoid these, you know, avoid all pleasure in pain sort of live in moderation. So it really is the two ends of the spectrum when they mentioned it. You've got the people that are going out eating, drinking and be merry, for tomorrow, we may die. And we have the people are like, Yeah, but if you don't eat and drink almost at all, you could live forever. So that's kind of what's going on there.

Elaina Barron:

Nice. I think, to that, in the when he's arguing in the marketplace, that they refer to him as a babbler. Like, we have all this, these famous, you know, sermons that Paul is given, and we like, examine them, and he's our top theologian. And yet they're referring to him as a babbler. And I started thinking what it was, to me that would be like, I'm respected in my field where I speak, and in the churches I go to, but if I went to Oxford and presented something, they'd probably be like, Well, is this Kentucky battler that isn't us, you know? And so that's kind of how I visioned them approaching Paul there.

Kate Boyd:

Well, it's funny too, because I was I was about to talk about that too. Because literally, it's seeds speaker, like, that's what babbler was. And so essentially, it's almost like an information scavenger is sort of how they saw it, someone who just sort of like picked up random bits of information, and just like, you know, likes spread them out in the marketplace. So so they really had no idea. They're like, What in the world is this guy say? It's so different from anything, and it doesn't fit in any of our boxes. Which isn't that surprising? Considering? Yeah, so I thought that was really interesting. Sounds like, oh, wow, I have never heard that expression. But it's, yeah, they actually had like, a very specific connotation for them in the time, too. So then we get to the sermon, that area, I guess, um, which we've probably all heard, and countless churches are named after Mars Hill in the area, I guess, and this particular spot, and Aaron, what stands out for you in, in the speech,

Aaron Duvall:

um, I love that he uses their own holy texts that they would know. And says, Hey, this, you didn't realize this, but it's about God. This one that I'm discussing, you know, it almost has like a CS Lewis feel to it. Right, who you know, use it, you know, all truth, God's truth. And all of these myths and all these stories, were really just man trying to figure it out. And God like, kind of leading them along the way. So you got, you know, Paul saying, We're all his offspring, which is about Zeus. Right. And it's, it is, it's funny to me how scripturally we would consider that contextualization. But if someone doesn't like that today, sometimes they're accused of compromise, right. And it's very clear, you know, he, he uses what he has and what they know, to move them where he believes God wants them. And that's a really beautiful. It's a beautiful picture of evangelism, I think. Yeah, so I just love I love that he uses their texts and their scripture to show Hey, God's been drawing you to towards them this whole time. You just didn't know. And Elena, how about you?

Elaina Barron:

I'm right there with Aaron because I feel that so often, I work a lot with internationals, and you're really trying to find what seed is it that I have in common with them that we can discuss and, you know, you're pulling out things from their religion. And that's what Paul's doing. And I very much relate to him because I have always been pretty much obsessed with Greek mythology. I've read read all of that growing up as a child, I was just really into those stories. And so I can see that I could see this whole picture of Zeus and how they created the war. And the amazing thing is that you know all other religions when they created it created out of some kind of violation of sex or violence, but our God creates out of love. And that's what he's trying to express to them. It's a totally different thought and philosophy than what you've ever examined before.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I, I'm with you guys, I am always impressed with Paul's ability to slide into any city and any culture and make the gospel make sense to these people, right? Like, in that sort of contextual way, and him being able to use their words in their poetry and the things that are literally in front of him, you know, and even compliment them and say, Hey, you're actually really close, because you're already a religious person, you know, the way he's, which is interesting, because you see him, you know, really rubbing some people the wrong way. But that he's also like really trying to connect with people. So I don't think he's like intentionally going out there to like, be divisive, I think the message is, is divisive, but that he's trying to present it in ways that they'll understand and they'll be able to latch on to or will pique their curiosity. And I think that's, I'm always impressed with his giftedness at that, because I think that's something that we sort of, we can lose, because like you were saying, Aaron, sometimes it feels like we're compromising the message if we package it a certain like without certain elements. But that it doesn't have to be like that. And that in the end, people were actually like, open to hearing about resurrection from the dead, which is like not a thing that really existed for these people. That's not something that was in their brains. And that people came along and believed and so for him to take something that would be so foreign, and then climax it in a way that people are actually interested. Gosh, that's just such a, it's such a good lesson for all of us to actually like, be aware and be listening to people too, so that we have that sort of context with which to talk about the gospel and when the opportunities are present.

Aaron Duvall:

So you know, when you talk about the whole Mars Hill thing, right, so there's the two famous Marcel churches, you got Rob Bell, and you got Mark, Mark Driscoll both of which have their own sort of thing and evangelicalism, right on, again, different spectrums. And what's but what is fascinating, at least early on in the start, both of them do have this idea of, for Rob, it's much more I want to dialogue with the culture, and present ideas and listen to ideas for Mark, it's more, I want to embody sort of the punk rock culture. But there is this sense of an eye now is not the most popular time to say this, I recognize. But there is this sense of I'm going to, I'm going to embody what's around me to proclaim the message in an effective way. And of course, I think both of those kind of go off the spectrum in different directions. But there is something to be said for for the mission behind that I'm, I'm going to embody what, what's going on here, and I'm going to use it to point towards the gospel. And of course, I think if your idea of the gospel is problematic, then no matter what you embody, it's going to be a problem. But the beauty, the beauty of the Gospel that Paul is proclaiming here, he does sort of embody who they are, and there's something to be said for that. Yeah.

Elaina Barron:

You know, and that, that that line goes right along with what I was mentioned about my parents country church, where my parents live in Texas, what's very popular there is called cowboy culture churches. And they're literally called cowboy churches. And so they have met the culture of what they're interested in, which is rodeos. They literally meet in rodeo arenas, they do all sorts of rodeo activities, and then there's a sermon afterwards. So people bring their horses to the church, and, you know, the every Sunday, they bring their horses and all these trailers, and I think that is a way of reaching out and finding that element that you have in common with someone, how can I present the gospel to you in a way that you're going to want to hear it?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, which is really interesting to me. Okay, anything else from chapter 17? Before we move on, okay, chapter 18. Aaron wants to recap for us.

Aaron Duvall:

Alright, so Paul leaves Athens goes to Corinth. We have a ton of Bible famous people in this passage. Priscilla and Aquilla. Silas and Timothy show up, polishes up later. So Priscilla quill are coming because they've been kicked out of Rome. This happened Different times Jews were expelled from cities. And so they're kicked out of Rome. They come, he goes to the synagogue, once again, tries to convince them. And they don't. They know they don't approve. It doesn't go out. So he shakes his clothes, shakes the dust off his feet, basically says, You're not my problem anymore. And he goes to the house of a Greek Roman Roman guy, who is a worshipper of God, right? So he's, he's, he's a Jewish proselyte. And it's right next door to the synagogue. So he leaves but he's still kind of, you know, poking the bear from from the room beside. And Christmas, who is the one of the rulers of the synagogue who runs the services, comes to faith in Jesus. Which just a side note, it's it, I think it's amazing that like, he's in the synagogue, doing his thing, it's not working, so he goes someplace else, and then someone from the synagogue gets saved, which is, you know, just kind of guess how God works. There, some people in Corinth are baptized. Though, Paul makes it clear, there were only so many that he baptized there. Later on. God gives them a vision and says, Look, don't be afraid, keep going. No one's gonna harm you, which is interesting, because they kind of do. But I have many of the city or my people, I want to call them to me, so he stays there for a year and a half teaching the God. We have this really interesting passage that when we come back to it, I'll hit on it. But glio is the pro counsel, a Kaia and these Jews now make us attack against him, bring him to the tribunal. But he's basically like, look, he's not doing anything. I don't have time to deal with you people. I got other stuff going on. So he sends them out. And they beat him. Not long after God has said, no one's gonna harm you. They beat him and counseling just doesn't care. He pays no attention to it. Paul goes back to Antioch. And they come to Ephesus, where Priscilla and Aquila leave him, they have some business going there. He says, Hey, I can't stay. But I'll return if God wants wants me to. Goes down to nei greets the church there. And then enters a palace, who is this brilliant speaker eloquent man knows the scriptures, has found faith in Jesus and speaks boldly. And in some ways he's like, almost like an anti hero to Paul right? Where Paul says, Oh, I don't know these things. I just sort of show up and I'm not good looking at it. I'm not articulate. And, you know, a policy is the, I don't know, evangelical megachurch pastor, right, like he's this good looking guy who just shows up and everyone listens to him. And Priscilla and Kula, hear him and take him aside. And it says, explain the way of God more accurately, which I think is, is the lesson that I learned. And we'll talk about that later as well. And then he crosses and just continues to preach the gospel and powerfully refutes the Jews and public showing that Jesus really is this Messiah they've been waiting for.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, nice. Okay, so Rewinding back to Corinth, um, Elena, what jumped out at you in the, in the few little episodes there in Corinth.

Elaina Barron:

Well, I love the pattern, just like Aaron covered is it's the same pattern and the fact that he go when he left the Jewish synagogue, I love that about Christmas. And Aaron brought that up that God brings Christmas to it. So Paul, that brings Christmas to God, God, Christmas is convicted on his own and comes to Paul and that is a lesson in itself to me that it's not all up to me. Obviously have to remind myself of that every day. God's gonna bring who he wants to bring. Believe that.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Which I mean, it's something like Paul talks about. I don't I can't remember exactly where it is. Y'all can help me. Um, but where he talks about, you know, I, I planted a policy watered and God gave the growth right. So we sort of see all these threads coming together in that bit too. Because, you know, Paul's very aware that he's like a mouthpiece. He's like, I'm here to tell you things. I'm not doing it. It's God who's doing it and we see that happen over and over and hang out for a year and six months. That's a really long time for Paul to be anywhere. And I think he was someplace else for two yours a little while, like earlier in the book. But these are maybe the longest time that at least that seems to be recorded that he's voluntarily stayed in a place. He's been imprisoned for long periods of time, where he is sort of stuck in one place. And so I do think it's interesting that we see him hanging out in Corinth, which is, seems to be a good sign about Corinth and their receptivity to what's happening.

Elaina Barron:

It also kind of explains to us why he has such a love for Corinth, when he writes First and Second Corinthians in them, he spent so much time with them, you know, some so much better than some of the other churches that he was involved in planning.

Aaron Duvall:

You can almost sense some of his disappointment with them too, right? When he writes back, which is so much like, you know, when there's people you love, and you've been with them, and you've bled into them, and then you're like, What are you do? This is very much not what we talked about, like that. I think seeing these passages, makes the others make more sense, like the letters when you go, Oh, that's, you know, of course, that's why he's angry with them. He does love these people very much. I mean, really, you don't think about now but for it, yeah. For him a year and a half is forever. Right? A really long time. He's he's a he's a pioneer, not a settler. Right. Like he goes in, he creates some systems, he cuts down some trees, and he goes to the next place. Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

And then, yeah, Galileo, you know, they're like, but he's doing these things. And he's like, Whatever, man, that's your problem. Like, which happens a lot to like, all the Roman officials are like, we there's nothing we can do this is you stop trying to bring him here. Because these are your quarrels. And, you know, and because we see it a lot in the coming chapters. This happens a lot people bring in and like, they're really trying to get rid of Paul once and for all, because, you know, the Jewish councils can't do it. So they keep like making up stuff. Right? Um, but it always boils down to, like the sort of, like, inter inter religious dispute, and they don't, they can't do anything about that. Which is just like, but they keep trying. They're very persistent.

Aaron Duvall:

Yeah, and what's sort of bridge off of that? That was this was sort of my deep dig or the rabbit trail, because I just thought was interesting. They named this guy, right, like, it's Yeah. And it was one of the things it does is it gives us the exact time period that Paul's in court, it's 5152. Um, so he was a Proconsul him and his brother and father are extremely famous in Roman culture. Either his dad or his brother had an affair with calendulas. Wife, and wow, oh, he's like, they're, they're kicked out. Like they're there. They're sent to an island you guys are, you know, you're exiled. They're brought back because they're such good teachers. And his brother is actually Nero's tutor. Oh, wow. Um, and so we have this other weird connection with right Christianity you've got at the beginning, you've got these two are sort of doing their thing, and they're leaving Paul alone. And then you have the one that tutor Nero who of course, you know, one of the most famous persecutors of Christians. And eventually, Nero, sentences his brother Seneca to commit suicide, death by suicide and then go, Leo as well does his own suicide when his brother dies. There's this tragic story of these two brothers who were just caught up in the politics of Rome. Which is a very interesting contrast to Paul who sort of caught up in the politics of the church, right? In some ways. And I think it I don't know that this was, you know, Luke's main emphasis, but I do think there's this sense of, hey, you know, this guy that was all caught up, and he kept going for him, and he kept doing his thing. And he's, you know, he dies with really no purpose. And you got Paul, who's has that same sort of movement, same sort of thing, but he's doing it for the kingdom of God. And one of those kingdoms lasted and the other one didn't. So but it does give us a historical setting, which I think is helpful, at least from my own faith to know like, No, this this was real time. Like, this isn't just a story. These are things that are happening. Paul is doing this with real people in real spaces. And the danger is real these Roman people kill each other. So anyway, I found that kind of interesting.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, that's a definitely very interesting rabbit hole because I never would have thought to look up Galio like his so it's always fun to see Like what people find intriguing, but that is really interesting. Because I do think Luke does a lot of like drawing parallels and contrasts like that's one thing you see a lot we see, or he does a lot with Paul, especially like we see him being in a lot of situations like Peter and a lot of situations like Jesus. And so you really sort of start to see the comparisons. So the idea that there may be some of that that exists within the more Greek Roman culture than the stuff that we're familiar with. Doesn't seem totally out of pocket, you know,

Elaina Barron:

I can completely see as you're describing that I can completely see that as a movie or book series. So if there's any writers out there, screenwriters, I think that's a go.

Kate Boyd:

I know, maybe the next Hamilton is Galya. Women while we're on the phone? Yes, I know, he'd be fascinated. Um, so after Corinth, Paul goes to Antioch. And then and then Ephesus, where we meet apologists. And we meet Priscilla and Aquilla, who become, you know, good friends with Paul and Aaron.

Aaron Duvall:

Um, so No, first was kind of cool for me. So I got to with our master's program, I got to visit Turkey. And the two cities that we historically I mean, we were in Istanbul. But we were in Ephesus, and we were in Antioch. So when I was reading through this, there was this piece of kind of seeing the places that I was, and one of the places we went to was one of the earliest cave churches. And there's this like little baptism font there. So anyway, it just, it was cool to me to read through it and see seeing Ephesus, and kind of going back and knowing like, Man, I walked the place Paul walked, which, you know, it was cool. Um, so that's, that was one piece. I was kind of having these like little flashbacks. I love the persona and Aquila come in here. There's been a theme throughout Luke's writing, where the women show up. Elena had talked about this earlier. And I think it's so important to remember that this has been a consistent ethic of the Christian church for a very long time. This is not a new thing, where women are specifically mentioned as being notable and CO equal and doing ministry and doing things that the Roman culture did not expect of them. Right. It's it's a very countercultural thing. It's funny now sometimes. So I'm not Baptist, I don't come from a Baptist context. But when when I have a lot of Baptist friends on Twitter, and they're kind of this discussion of women, right? And when I hear them go, oh, this is this new, this new thing of feminism that's ruining our church. And I always write I always chuckle in Wesleyan, right? Because this has been going on in my, my tribes for 100 years. Like this isn't new. And it's certainly, but what's interesting is now when we talk about all the times I people, at least people that are against, I talk a lot about like women, like we're giving into sort of these cultural moorings. But originally, it's a very countercultural thing to do. And so, you know, he, these notable women show up, almost in each city, that there were, there were women that were coming to learn, and then we know we're teaching. And I just, I think that's, you can't read through this without seeing that. And you've got to do a lot of hermeneutical gymnastics to try to get around that. And if you're gonna if you're gonna let Scripture speak for itself, which I think is the best way to let scripture Scripture speak, right? It's just so beautiful that that, hey, these women showed up, you know, and these women showed up, and now he's like, you know, not only women show up, but I'm gonna name her and I'm gonna say she was a teacher. That's just huge. I mean, it's, it's huge in all contexts. back then. And today.

Elaina Barron:

I totally agree with Aaron. You're preaching my dissertation there. Aaron, what you just said, so

Aaron Duvall:

then I'd love to read it.

Elaina Barron:

Yeah. So yes, because I am Baptists. And this is my, this is my fight within the church, not fight. But this is my, my sermon within the church over and over and over again. And the fact that they continually state when they state the leading women are coming, they stay leading women before they even state men. And they are continually reminding you and why are they doing that? It's because that was counterculture. The fact that they even wrote down that leading women were coming was huge. I mean, no other culture is writing down whether or not women were even there or spoken to that they're making sure we know that those women are there. Always In the many times they're referred to, like I said before the men, so that stands out to me over and over again, every time a woman is mentioned, or the fact that they even just say women specifically. But in this passage, what really stood out to me and also in 18 is when, you know, Antioch wanting to stay, and he's like, no, no, I'm not going to what is it in him that makes him stay a year and a half at the place before that? And then he's like, No, I can't stay. But if God wills it, I'll come back. They don't ever. They're not saying that the spirit specifically told him not to stay. But yet some places he stayed in a day or two, some places he stayed a year and a half. You know, I think that's fascinating. And then when we get to the next section, where a policy comes in, I know that Aaron said he really had some insight. He wanted to speak into that. But a Paulus comes in, he's not as educated as Priscilla and Aquila. But they take him under their wing, because they see, they see a prospect they see, you know, somebody that can be useful to the church in a great many ways, and they admire him, but he's rough around the edges, and he needs more training. And they bring him in, and then boom, oh, my goodness, they just send him off and how amazing that is to see the support, instead of shutting him down. As a threat.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Yeah, I know that. So. Okay, I'm going to sort of rewind and touch because we've talked about a lot of things. Yeah, no, I think first on the women thing, like I've, I've been sort of, in on all the sides at some point in my life, and varied the him like very angrily and aggressively. So I think a lot of times we see people hold up the women as exceptions. And like, well, they're an exception, because there weren't any good men, or they're an exception because of whatever. But we often see them contracted to them in as the good version, you know what I mean? Like, it's not an exception, necessarily, but they're showing the women as doing the right thing, when men don't do the right thing, or aren't in the right place, or, and it happens a lot. It's not always whenever you see women show up, but it does happen a lot. I mean, in our last season, we did mark, right, and we see that all the women stuck around and all the disciples ran away. And so you see all these, like little glimpses. And so it's really interesting how people continue, although it's never stated that women that these women were so good that they're an exception, or they were in this place, and they were the only women there so they could, you know, they were the only ones available. Um, so I think that's, that's an I had to sort of like reckon with is like, Paul may say these things in a couple of books. But then you look at how Paul actually treated and used women in ministry, and it's kind of hard to get around, in my opinion. And I think also the Antioch thing, I wonder if he didn't stay, because that's also sort of like Peters home base, that's where a lot of people are, potentially. So maybe he doesn't feel like he needs to say and, or he and Peter, butt heads. Maybe it's not the most peaceful place for him to say anyway. So I wonder about that. And yeah, apologists, is always an interesting character, because I feel like we only see him a little bit, but then we hear of him, like I mentioned before from Paul, and we hear of him later. So he obviously does some, like really incredible things. Um, Aaron, what did you What do you know about a policy?

Aaron Duvall:

Well, for me, it's more of a personal thing. Awesome. I I'm, a policy reminds me of the humility that an effective communicator of the gospel needs. He's very talented. He's obviously bright. He's the guy who if you're on the church search committee, you want coming to your church, right? Like he has all sorts of the things, he checks the list. And he submits himself to a woman to learn. Very countercultural, very counter to ego. And obviously, you know, her husband's there as well. But I think there's a very strong sense that Priscilla is the teacher in the group. And and he, he said sits down and it's not like he hasn't experienced Jesus. He has he's a Jew who has found the Messiah who and they're like, oh, wait, but there's more. And he accepts that. And that is that's something I wish I could go back and preach to young preacher Aaron. Yeah, 15 years ago, um, you know, 2025 year old kid who's a senior pastor, who's a chaplain at a Bible college who thinks he has arrived. And God did a lot of stuff in my life early in my ministry to help rid me of that. And some of it was painful. And there's pieces of me that wishes I could have learned it earlier. So I did have to go through the pain of learning that lesson and you see this guy who people love him, they're flocking them. He has everything you think he needs. And he sits down and listens to these two people and says, Okay, teach me. I just that, you know, you when we talk about the mirror, we stuff later, that's, that's to me, when I read through this passage, that's, it hit me differently. I don't know why this time around. But just the reminder to people in ministry of how important humility is, no matter how good you are, no matter how old you are, you've got to learn from the people around you.

Kate Boyd:

Which is funny, because I almost like need the opposite of that in the sense of like, not that I don't need humility. I think we all need that. But I'm the sense that apologists though not having clearly studied Jesus, and all of Paul's teachings, and all of these things, like, forever, was still out there and was still teaching and sharing things. And yes, he learned, but he didn't wait until he learned everything right in order to do it, which is almost like what I need, because I'm like, I don't know enough to talk about anything. And then we talk about something like, maybe I know something, I don't know. But what if I get it wrong, you know, and that he approached it and still did the stuff and did it boldly and well. But he didn't let sort of like his many, many, like, all like the mountain of things that he didn't know stop him from seeing the things that he did. You know, that's beautiful. All right. Anything else before we wrap up and go into takeaways? Cool, okay. Elena, what is your meat thought and your we thought,

Elaina Barron:

we thought we've we've touched on this and covered it. But in Thessalonica, when the people are so angry because their world is being turned upside down. And Dallas Willard, theologian refers to this as flying upside down. And that is what Jesus has asked us to do. He's asked us to do things that don't seem right, logically, or culturally. And I have to remind myself of that so often is, and not VFS. One I can and be like, No, I'm comfortable where I am, don't ask me to do that, you know, you're asking me to do something that is totally new to me. And so that for me, that's my me thought is reminding myself that I'm not supposed to fight fly ride side app, I'm supposed to fly upside down, and it's supposed to be uncomfortable all the time. And then my we thought would be to be more like the brands to try to be more open minded, when people present me with ideas that don't fall quite in line with me. And instead take it to the scriptures and study it and come back and discuss it more with them, instead of just immediately shutting them down, which sometimes I have the tendency to do. Yeah, so it's good, just as all of us as a culture to remember that, especially today with our canceled culture. That's what I thought of with the brands. The brands were not canceled culture. They were people that took it home and thought about it and came back and discussed it, and then we need to be more open minded in that manner.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, and sort of, like be I think today, I find that like, we just need more dialogue, right. Like, there's just a lot of people doing monologues at each other. And that to make it look like there's dialogue, but there's not actual dialogue happening. You know, people are just sort of like saying their thing and running away. And I think it's really important that we actually, like, have real conversation instead of like, you know, digging our heels in. Like that openness. I love them. All right, Aaron, how about you?

Aaron Duvall:

So my MI was a Paulus. Right? Like it's, and I'm not, I don't want to, like act like I'm comparing myself to him in the sense of like, oh, I have all this great stuff because I don't it's even more of a reminder that if somebody like him needs it, right, like, how much more does somebody like me need that? And so I'm a words of affirmation person, which means, you know, if you clap for me and tell me you love me, then we're best friends. But what that also means is that when people come in even people who love Me with with With a constructive moment, it can be difficult. Because I take that very I take words very much to heart. Twitter's a really bad place. Because I do. It's all words, and I'm taking them all to heart. Yeah. And so, for me, it was just again, this reminder of allow, allow the Spirit to move in your life through people to teach you. For the week, I'm getting I went back to this moment of Paul leaving the synagogue. I'm in this season of life in this transition. What I've realized is that sometimes I try to lead God and ask Him to bless what I'm doing. Instead of finding where he's blessing and going there and letting Him lead me to that spot, Paul wants to see the Jewish people save. So he goes to the synagogue, and it doesn't work. So what does he do, he leaves the synagogue and the first thing that happens is a, the leader of the synagogue gets comes to faith. Um, I think it's a reminder to us that to allow the Spirit to move us, which is very scary sometimes and very, it's dangerous, right? Let's be honest, it's it's not the safest place, the spirit doesn't always lead us to the safest place, but it's always the best place. And so Paul leaves and goes away from kind of his mission, what he thinks is his mission, and finds where God really wants him which is a missionary to the Gentiles, and in that the people that he wanted to see come to faith do. And I think it's a reminder to all of us to allow those movings to happen to allow ourselves to be led to the places that God wants us to find our blessing as opposed to asking him to come with us and bless where we're leading him.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I think that's really good. That's something we sort of had to consider. I was I was sharing before and I think if people have listened or follow me anywhere, they know that we left our church in the last year. And part of that was because we looked around and was like, Where is God blessing things in our lives? And where, you know, and how do we more faithfully steward that? You know, and that's sort of how we ended up that's one of the main questions that led us to seek elsewhere for a variety of reasons. But I think that's really important to ask yourself, like, Where is God already moving? And how can I join him versus like, I'm here. Now, do your thing, because I'm ready. And that's good, too, right? But instead of like, this is what I want, we sort of like come in step with the Spirit, instead of like, trying to pull him here, you know,

Elaina Barron:

y'all are summing up Henry Blackaby, that's his, one of his famous statements is, we don't need to reinvent the wheel, we need to look and find where God is working and join him and his spirit there. And God will bless what we're doing. So

Aaron Duvall:

that's beautiful.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, nice. Okay, my me thought it sort of were brought up with a policy, I think, I'm Enneagram five. So I never know enough, which keeps me from saying anything, because I never know enough. And so I think I'm just trying to sort of like, overcome that imposter thing, and just trying to like, continue to at least help with the things that I do know, which is not an insignificant thing. And then my we thought, um, yeah, sort of going back to what you guys have even already brought up in yours. And going back to Berea, and to Athens and just sort of like having this posture of openness, both in receiving information and testing it, but also an openness to see the things around me in order to, you know, use those as jumping off points, or I don't know, places where I can find commonality and connection with people and with the gospel message and all these things. And so just sort of like having this not throwing out, you know, things that people say without or things in a culture without, you know, really examining them, and seeing what might be useful and what does need to be thrown out, I think there will be things thrown out. But having that sort of like posture of openness, and then also trying to cultivate that in other people, right to go back to that dialogue thing, to create spaces where dialogue can happen instead of just sort of like indoctrination and like pushing specific ideas on everyone, and giving people a chance to actually explore, because I think that's important for all of us. I think we find our convictions through exploration like that. And if we don't ever do that, they were never fully sure are competent in our convictions because they were sort of handed to us rather than us owning them. And I know that's been a really important process in my life. So I'd like to facilitate that for other people. Thank you so much for joining us today. If you enjoyed this discussion, I would love it if you would rate and review the show on your favorite podcast player. You know the drill. This helps more people find the show and learn with us as we talk through Scripture. And then I would love if you came over on social media to talk about what your big takeaways were, what your main thought and we thought were our discussion, or for when you dove into these chapters. You can find me on Instagram at Kate boyd.co and on Twitter at v Kate Boyd. And don't forget to check the show notes to find and follow today's contributors as well. Thank you for joining us, and I'll see you next