So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. "It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously.
When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I'm here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you're dealing with.
"The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines
or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him.
Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living
so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near.
We live and move in him, can't get away from him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.'
Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn't make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
"God overlooks it as long as you don't know any better - but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he's calling for a radical life-change.
He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)