We need to find common ground. I’m sure if we understood the media culture and this new church, we would be able to discover our commonalities that can provide the basis for establishing a relationship.
Paul gave us a model that follows this strategy in Acts 17:22-23. Paul traveled to Athens and recognized the legitimacy of the counsel of philosophers. He started a dialogue by saying, “Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown, I am going to proclaim to you.” NIV Paul started a discussion which resulted in interaction with the counsel. He did not condemn but sought common ground.
The scripture goes on to say, “for in him we live and move and exist, as one of your own poets says ‘we are his offspring’. NIV And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.” Paul was brilliant because he found common ground by acknowledging this legitimate truth. He was then able to use that to point out where the counsel of philosophers was mistaken and was then able to share with them about the one true God.
Christians today can use the same strategy that Paul has given us to engage the media culture and the media church. Romans 1:14 says, “For I have a great sense of obligation for people in our culture and to people in other cultures to the educated and uneducated alike. So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach God’s Good News.” NLT Paul went to the centers of power during his time, which included Rome and Athens. He felt an obligation to bring the Gospel to other cultures, other points of view, people with different philosophies and with a different understanding of what they consider the truth to be.