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, November 16, 2015

Worldview Analysis

Nancy Pearcy in her book (here) "Total Truth" provides helpful guidance on worldview analysis. The thesis of Pearcey’s book is that a legitimate worldview must offer a whole and integral truth that addresses total reality, not just part of it. Pearcey defends biblical Christianity as indeed addressing all of reality, contrary to Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of "Non-Overlapping Magisteria", and the contentions of many others that religion in general and Christianity in particular only speaks to issues of meaning, or values and not to matters of fact and scientific reality. The irony is that thinkers long for a "GUT", a grand unified theory, whether in the field of physics or philosophy. Something within us longs for a principle that ties all truth together in a unified whole. Biblically speaking, that principle is a person, the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ. For that message to reach our neighbors, though, we must clear away the false impression that “Christianity isn’t about facts.”

Here is Pearcy's method for comprehensive identification and analysis of a worldview. Worldviews can be analyzed with their answer to three basic questions (note that these are the 3 great themes of Scripture):
  1. Origin – Where did we come from?  How did we get here?
  2. Fall – What is wrong with the world?  Why do we see the things that virtually all humans instinctively know are wrong (i.e., murder, rape, theft, dishonesty, etc.)?
  3. Redemption – What can be done to fix it?  What are the solutions in a practical sense?
Accurate answers to these three questions provide the foundation for the worldview undergirding a particular culture. It inevitably guides the culture’s outlook on life and controls the culture’s value systems. It will influence on a practical level, virtually every part of the culture and how it operates.

For example:  If a worldview dictates that mankind is inherently good (2nd question), then the inevitable answer to how to fix it (3rd question) becomes an external one. Potential solutions offered are things such better education, better healthcare, better jobs, better salary, etc.

There are some considerations in answering these three fundamental questions that are key to identifying a culture’s worldview. It is not always easy to answer each question, as there may be multiple and conflicting answers between different segments of the culture. Accurate analysis may require significant time – even years. It is key is to identify the answer that practically shapes the culture’s value system(s). What some segments of the culture may vociferously proclaim, may be dramatically at odds with what is reflected in practical terms, in the culture’s value system. For example, a significant number of Christians in America believe our origin is special creation by God .... but is this belief, in fact, born out in the American value system?

Once the worldview is understood, the culture’s strongholds can be accurately identified. It may be quite difficult to accurately answer these questions without strong familiarity with the culture (i.e., its history, its educational system, its healthcare system, its political system, its social values, its economy, its entertainment, its art, its literature, its music, its view of morality, etc.) The required degree of familiarity often comes only with time - meaning long-term exposure to the culture while living amidst it. This explains why the most effective agent of mass evangelism for a particular culture, is the individual evangelism of key individual(s) native to the culture who are subsequently trained and tasked for evangelism of that culture.

More information contrasting Christianity to other worldviews is available here.

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