Aeropagus Image by CinghiusIn my own personal apostolate and friendships, the thirst for wisdom is very much the key to my encounters with others. Regardless of political and "denominational" differences, when two or more people meet who are both committed to the pursuit of wisdom, friendship and fruitful conversation are possible and fruitful.
This same appeal to a common thirst for wisdom is what Paul used at the Aeropagus (Mars Hill) to begin a dialogue with the Athenians in the agora or marketplace (Acts 17:16-34). Today, we are doing the very same thing that Paul did. This model of engagement is very different from two dead-end approaches: those who view evangelization and communion as a matter of shouting at people on street corners (a method used by some fundamentalist Protestants) or as a matter of condemning and condemning without befriending (a method used in print by some Catholic extremists). Paul did neither. Rather, Paul became all things to all men (1 Cor. 9:22b).