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



Saturday, February 13, 2016

Our Reversible Moral Coma



Mike Adams brilliantly defends the concept of absolute truth here in his opinion piece (recounting a debate on the issue of abortion at a college campus) entitled "Our Reversible Moral Coma". It is must-reading.

The problem with America is that our universities teach worldview and our churches don’t. As a consequence, students usually enter college with a limited capacity to answer simple moral questions. By the time they graduate, that capacity is further impaired if not lost altogether. Such substantial moral impairment was on full display in a recent Q&A following a debate on the topic of abortion at Oregon State University (OSU). I participated in that debate and one of the questions I was asked by a student has been reproduced below:

“Dr. Adams, you mentioned that dead things do not grow. But then how can you explain how vegetarians will eat plants, which grow, but will refuse to eat animals. And doesn’t self-awareness matter to define what human life is in terms of personhood?”

In case you did not understand what the student was saying, please allow me to explain. According to the postmodern worldview, to which this student clearly subscribes, there really is no objective truth. Things don’t have essential value because of the kinds of things they are. They have value only if people assign value to them according to some accidental characteristic.

For the postmodernist, the abortion debate should not be focused on truth claims. Choosing abortion is simply a matter of preference. It is like deciding whether to assign value to animals and become a vegetarian or simply decline to do so and head to Texas Roadhouse and eat a 12-ounce steak.

Their basic thesis is that if you personally value human life, then, by all means, have a baby. If you don’t, just have an abortion. You’ve seen this worldview reflected in bumper stickers that say “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!” Imagine a similar sticker on a buggy in the 1800s, which read “Don’t like slavery? Don’t own one!”

How does one respond to such a broad worldview problem in a short Q&A with a time limit and a long line of people standing behind the microphone? I responded to the student at OSU by narrowing the question and clarifying her position with a hypothetical. That hypothetical, which follows in its entirety, is a variation of one I first read in Defending Life, written by Baylor philosopher Francis Beckwith: ......

..... Fellow pro-lifers can take away two general lessons from my exchange with the student:

1.We sometimes deal with people whose hearts are so hard that they cannot be persuaded by logic or by the glaring deficiencies in their own reasoning.
2.When we respond to such people with respect and focus on their inherent worth as human beings, we bolster our credibility with people who are sitting on the fence while listening to the exchange.


In other words, we can’t convert everyone. But we can convert many people by arguing respectfully in public exchanges with the unconvertible few. This is why churches need to do more than just actively engage the culture on the issue of abortion. The church needs to train every member of the congregation to defend the unborn with a proper balance of grace and moral clarity.


Quoting Bible verses will not get us anywhere in the debate over abortion. We must first ground our arguments in scientific evidence showing that the unborn are human. Once we do so, our job is not finished. At the end of the day, we must also be able to address the issue of what makes us valuable as humans.

In order to cultivate a basic reverence for human life, Christians need worldview training. Every Christian needs to know how our worldview differs from other worldviews. As disciples, each needs to understand that the truth claims of Christianity are superior and that they are worth defending. In the abortion debate, it is literally a matter of life and death.
In short, there is still a chance that we can stop this country’s moral free fall. But the church must come out of its own moral coma first.

*******

He is absolutely correct. The inability of most Christians to articulate and navigate life from the perspective of a Christian worldview is appalling. Churches need to spend less time on feel-good sermons and more time teaching a Christian worldview from the pulpit using the Scriptures.

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