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

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Hammer Of Reality

In 1984, Apple Computer premiered the legendary commercial (above) that introduced the Macintosh computer during the Super Bowl . Directed by Ridley Scott, the commercial aired only one time nationally. It was the dawn of personal computing and at the time, IBM was the be-all/see-all/end-all for the emerging technology. In 60 seconds Apple forcefully smashed through the preconceptions of IBM, showing the world there was a different reality to be embraced. The world would never be the same.

True reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined.

To a lost/dark/blinded/dying world, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ unveiled absolute truth. For those that embrace it, magnificent and unimaginable eternal life awaits. Just as the hammer thrown in the commercial above shatters the illusion captivating everyone, the truth claims of Christianity alone have the power to break the deadly, universal death-lock blinding everyone. If we abrogate the truth claims of the faith - no matter how noble our intentions and efforts - we substitute an immovable foundation with quicksand.

When we surrender the truth claims of Christianity as all too many Christians have unfortunately done, we give up the only hammer that effectively and powerfully smashes through the pipe-dream worldviews now prevalent throughout our culture. We capitulate the only thing capable of revealing the true reality that otherwise remains hidden behind the plethora of all other (false) worldviews.

Absolute Truth is what cornerstones Christianity; everything else that defines the faith is peripheral. Note in John 14:6, Jesus' extraordinary claim to be the incarnation of "truth" itself - a claim which necessarily dispatches to the junkyard of false ideas any notion that Christ was only a moral example or a good teacher.

In his Pièce De Résistance "Christian Apologetics", Douglas Groothius writes the following:

“Our worldview shapes who we are and what we do. We are driven by our deepest beliefs and interpret the world according to them, often almost automatically. While worldviews necessarily involve truth claims about reality, these beliefs are often held in a pre-reflective and unexamined manner, often for emotional as well as intellectual reasons. Given the diversions, distractions and amusements of postmodernity, many people fail to bring their worldviews into critical focus. While it is a uniquely human capacity to call one’s beliefs into question, a torrent of social forces encourages us to be unconsciously swept along with the surging culture that we might obediently consume its products, endorse its ideology and generally do its bidding. Like every other worldview, a Christian worldview, at its deepest level, is a system of truth claims or assertions about reality. This must be underscored because some have wanted to erase Christianity’s claim on truth  while retaining some other form of “Christianity.

... The best antidote to any form of Christian nonrealism is some sustained reading of the Bible itself, as well as a healthy dose of the great thinkers and activists who have sworn allegiance to it. Martyrs have not gone to the death for a “way of life” divorced from truth claims. Apologists such as Augustine, Aquinas and Pascal have not defended the meaningfulness of living within the Christian narrative apart from its objective and eternal truth. No, the truth of the Christian narrative is precisely what makes the Christian life meaningful and worthwhile. Nonrealists to the contrary, statements of theological value that have meaning are also assertions about reality.

...  What really lies behind nonrealistic forms of religion is a capitulation to non-Christian worldviews. The reasoning is that if Christianity cannot succeed in the world of ideas—if it cannot compete, say, with the materialistic worldview—then its only recourse is to abandon all truth claims and emphasize tradition, ritual, symbolism, experience and community. There are two compelling reasons to reject such a move. First, as this book will argue, Christianity has not lost out in the world of ideas. Therefore, there is no reason to exempt it from the demands of reality. Second, if Christianity cannot intellectually compete with other worldviews, the only sane and logical alternative is to abandon it completely. Christianity claims to be true. If it is not, it has lied and must be left behind. As Paul said, if Christ has not been raised from the dead, Christians are the most deceived and miserable urchins on the planet (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).”
Excerpt From: Groothuis, Douglas. “Christian Apologetics.” InterVarsity Press, 2012-06-18. iBooks

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Similarly, as the culture succumbs to a fatal redefinition that destroys the very concept, "truth" has morphed into mere perception becoming malleable to the whims and dictates of a rudderless culture.

Francis Schaeffer said, “Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis and not absolutes. When this happens, truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died.”

On November 5, 2009, a mass shooting took place at Fort Hood, Texas. Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others. The shooting produced more casualties than any other on an American military base. Days after the shooting, reports in the media revealed that a Joint Terrorism Task Force had been aware of a series of e-mails between Hasan and the Yemen-based imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been monitored by the NSA as a security threat, and that Hasan's colleagues had been aware of his increasing radicalization for several years. The failure to prevent the shootings led the Defense Department and the FBI to commission investigations, and Congress to hold hearings.

The laughable designation by the Obama administration of the Ft Hood shootings as "workplace violence" instead of what it clearly was (Islamic terrorism) is a tragic example of the delusional worldview of many politicians and military leaders. Despite the administration repeatedly arguing this farce with a straight face, anyone with common sense recognized the truth. True reality has a rude way of conclusively smashing to pieces the delusional weltanschauungs of a lost and dying world ... meaning that ultimately truth will prevail.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8, ESV)

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:16-18, ESV)

While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Tim 3:13, ESV)

And with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false (2 Thess 2:10-11, ESV)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1, ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6, ESV)

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