What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?: How Should Christians Relate to Ideas and Practices Which Originate Outside of Christianity?

In this episode of the Theology for the People Podcast, Michael and I discuss the topic about which I wrote my BA dissertation: How should Christians relate to ideas and practices in our culture and society which have their origin outside of Christianity?

Some good examples would be:

  • Can Christians practice yoga? (Origins in Hinduism)
  • How about martial arts?
  • What about Christmas? (December 25 was originally a pagan solstice festival which Christians “took over,” detached it from its pagan origins, and infused it with new meaning and made it all about Jesus)
  • What about psychology?
  • How about certain instruments, like drums?
  • What about rock music and electric guitars?

This discussion of how Christians should relate to ideas and practices which originate outside of Christianity can be traced all the way back to a historical argument between Tertullian and Justin Martyr, early Christian apologists and theologians, and can be summarized by Tertullian’s classic question: “What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?”

In this episode, Michael and I discuss the relevant principles from the Bible we should follow as guides in navigating these matters.

How does the redemptive narrative arc of Scripture affect how we relate to these practices? How about what Paul says about meat sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 8-10 and Romans 14?

Check out our discussion in the embedded player below, or by clicking here: What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?: How Should Christians Relate to Ideas and Practices Which Originate Outside of Christianity?

What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?: How Should Christians Relate to Ideas and Practices Which Originate Outside of Christianity? Theology for the People

In this episode Nick Cady and Michael Payne speak about how Christians should relate to things which originate outside of Christianity, such as yoga, psychology, Christmas, drums, or rock music.  This discussion can be traced all the way back to a historical argument between Tertullian and Justin Martyr which can be summarized by Tertullian's classic question: "What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?" Visit the Theology for the People blog site at nickcady.org – where you can ask questions or submit suggestions for future episodes.

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