We live in a world where we can't imagine the Christian faith being unknown to people.  Even if people don't regularly attend worship, or aren't involved in a church, so much of our culture has Christianity as part of its foundation--if not in the way people live their lives then at least in the "sayings" and language of our culture.  I would suspect that the vast majority of people know what it meant by saying "good Samaritan", for example.  Two thousand years of influence, sometimes predominant influence, gives us this world where we understand the things of Christianity, particularly in this nation.

So it's an interesting experience to have a Vacation Bible School that looks back to when this wasn't the case.  First-century Athens didn't have the phrase "good Samaritan" in its lexicon.  The influence of Christianity didn't undergird everything that happened. In fact, Athens was steeped in a culture of education, and the arts, and with Greek mythology with a variety of gods.  We have heard some of the names:  Zeus, Athena (for whom the city was named), Heres.  Each of these gods had a job, and the idea of ONE God wasn't even on their radar (and in the first century there WASN'T radar)--much less a God whose connection with humans is to love them.  Greek gods did their thing, occasionally interacted with people--at least in the myths--but weren't really about caring about people.  

This was the world the Apostle Paul entered, with the message not only of ONE God, but of that God being enfleshed in Jesus so express that God's love. In the market square in Athens, seeing a shrine labeled "To An Unknown God", he tells them about this unknown God that in Jesus has changed his--Paul's--life.

Despite the "Christianity" underpinnings of our society today--despite most people knowing the phrase "good Samaritan"--there are still a lot of gods that are worshipped, and we still need to help people understand this unknown God who loves them and gave them their lives, and their new lives.   Christianity may be the underpinnings, but it's not the priority, and we are those who know how much difference it makes in our lives.  We need to tell them like Paul told them in first-century Athens.