“Old News”

The above title sounds like an oxymoron in the same vein as Jumbo Shrimp.  However, it is an expression people use every day to mean that something is not the latest and has been replaced by more current information.  Our society is much like the Athenians of the Apostle Paul’s day who, “…spent their time doing nothing but talking and listening to the latest ideas.”  (Acts 17:21)  Many of them were the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers who were the intellectual giants of Athens.

They labeled Paul a babbler because he was “…preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” (v18) Paul very wisely called them, “very religious” (v 22) and mentioned the altar to an unknown god that they worshipped.  He then began to teach them the new old news (beyond oxymoron?) about the Creator God, The Lord of heaven and earth who made the world and everything in it. (v 24)

Strictly speaking, this was beyond old because God loved Jesus Christ before the creation of the world and of time. (Jo 17:24) As Paul expounded to the Romans, the Athenians should have known the true God because His eternal power could be clearly seen and understood by what He created. (Rom 1:20) But like those mentioned in Romans, “…they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him…” (v 21) “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (v 22) “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…” (v 25)

Most of those ancient people’s beliefs and actions are still prevalent in our world today.  In spite of all the electronic gadgets and social media, far too many are, “…always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” (2 Tim 3:7) Nevertheless, our task is to continue planting the new old news like Paul did. (1 Cor 3:6)  Since Paul was called a babbler, we can expect the same label or worse.  Old or new, this is the Good News, the gospel.

                                                                         –Jim Bailey