I recently visited Athens, Greece. Walking around its ancient Agora—the marketplace where philosophers taught and Athenians worshiped—I found altars to Apollo and Zeus, all in the shadow of the Acropolis, where a statue of the goddess Athena once stood.
We may not bow to Apollo or Zeus today, but society is no less religious. “Everybody worships,” novelist David Foster Wallace said, adding this warning: “If you worship money and things . . . then you will never have enough. . . . Worship your body and beauty. . . and you will always feel ugly. . . . Worship your intellect . . . [and] you will end up feeling stupid.” Our secular age has its own gods, and they’re not benign.
“People of Athens!” Paul said while visiting the Agora, “I see that in every way you are very religious” (Acts 17:22). The apostle then described the one true God as the Creator of all (vv. 24–26) who wants to be known (v. 27) and who has revealed Himself through the resurrection of Jesus (v. 31). Unlike Apollo and Zeus, this God isn’t made by human hands. Unlike money, looks, or intelligence, worshiping Him won’t ruin us.
Our “god” is whatever we rely on to give us purpose and security. Thankfully, when every earthly god fails us, the one true God is ready to be found (v. 27).