Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal



Monday, August 24, 2015

Offering the Gospel At Less Than Full-Strength Is Nothing More Than Snake-Oil



Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense ... In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said. 

.... Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as “Aren’t you supposed to be good at math?” and “I’m colorblind! I don’t see race.” But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was “triggered or hurt by the content of the microaggressions.”

.... During the 2014–15 school year, for instance, the deans and department chairs at the 10 University of California system schools were presented by administrators at faculty leader-training sessions with examples of microaggressions. The list of offensive statements included: “America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”

.... It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse. We have been studying this development for a while now, with rising alarm. 

.... We do not mean to imply simple causation, but rates of mental illness in young adults have been rising, both on campus and off, in recent decades. 

The article is here.

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Unfortunately,this mindset is not restricted to college campuses; it's also rapidly filtering out into the culture at large. Sadly, much of the church has a knee-jerk reaction by inappropriately "toning" down their message so as to avoid offending anyone, for example - minimizing sin and the need for repentance, or even affirming particular sin as normative and healthy. They do not preach a clear gospel calling for repentant faith. They forget that the gospel, by nature, is offensive. Read through the entire book of Acts and note that the early church never diluted the gospel ... never. The apostles didn't seem to be concerned about offending anyone. In fact, their clear proclamation of the gospel often elicited a violent response. But that clear proclamation also exploded the church across the Middle East, Asia Minor and Europe within a few short decades.

In an attempt to not offend the culture, much of the contemporary church offers a diluted gospel, which ultimately God finds offensive (Matt 7:22-23). If we fail to offer the full-strength gospel, recipients can be deceived into thinking they are really healed when they are actually getting worse. Prescribed medicine has to taken full dose or it may not achieve the desired results. Many, many people stop taking prescribed antibiotics early way before the prescribed term, leading to a much worse situation - the rise of super-resistant bacteria.

If we don’t offer the gospel full-strength, at best we may be offering nothing more than snake-oil. At worst, we deceive the recipients.

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