Paul’s Culturally Contextualized Apologetic
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In this dissertation, I argue that Paul carried out culturally contextualized apologetics, presenting a model for culturally effective apologetics. I argue that Paul’s cultural contextualization in his apologetics takes place through the establishment of cultural connections with his audience and through the defense of the Christian faith against cultural objections using the Christian life as an appeal. I further argue that the first generation of apologists immediately following Paul also reprised his cultural contextualized apologetics and thus this apologetics model has merit for apologetics ministry for today. This is substantiated by assessing Paul’s use of non-canonical quotes, traces of Greco-Roman rhetoric in Paul’s speeches, and his role-playing as a sage figure. Analysis of Paul’s Acts speeches reveal that there is a structural scheme: all apologetics speeches feature cultural connection and cultural solidarity, as well as an appeal that arises from the Christian life. The second-century Greek apologists demonstrate the same elements in their apologetics, evidencing Paul’s apologetics functioning as a model. I conclude by suggesting ways modern apologetics preaching can benefit from this model.