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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The only change is the gradual strengthening of the holder's grasp of truth as it's our spiritual "maps" that need the updating

Ideas have consequences. Today there is no longer a worldview consensus in our culture. Instead competing worldviews are in collision - often with violent and devastating results.  The conflict, polarization, confusion, anger and political gridlock is the result of a plethora of emerging worldviews.

A worldview is a system of beliefs; it is what we really believe about the world (the cosmos) and ourselves and how we fit into the scheme of things, and it is these beliefs which influence our thought and action. A worldview is a philosophy of life.  An ideology. It is an attempt to explain life’s most basic questions.  A religion is likewise, a worldview.  Any distinct culture is the embodiment of a specific worldview. And as the underlying worldview changes, so goes the culture. History reveals that sometimes these worldview changes underlying the culture can be violent, especially when opposing worldviews collide.

One of the contending worldviews is the Biblical one. However, a fatal flaw that often afflicts those holding the Biblical worldview is that many (most?) of those who operate from within that worldview have no anchor and simply hold that perception of reality out of convenience. When another perspective that offers more convenience temptingly reared its head, it's often a no-brainer to jump ship (Matt 13:20-22.)

Currently, there is no strong worldview consensus amidst our culture with a plethora of worldviews all claiming to represent reality. The ease of global travel and instant communication facilitate the exposure to competing worldviews.

Everyone without exception has a worldview. There is no such thing as unbiased media or journalists; all of them have an innate worldview that guides their understanding of reality and impacts everything they say, do, think, or communicate.  Some people may not be adept at articulating or defending their worldview. But everyone has a worldview ... from an infant to an elderly man on his deathbed.

Everyone may be at different stages in the process of defining and consolidating their worldview.  In so doing, we are influenced by multiple factors:

  • Culture and tradition into which the person is born and raised
  • Feelings (emotional attraction) and mystical experiences
  • Empirical data.  Facts that you experience or witness. Worldviews are largely shaped by experience.
  • Reason or logic.  Unfortunately, this is becoming less of an influence in our culture.
  • Peer pressure. This is becoming a strong influence, replacing reason and logic. (A Muslim is not free to believe otherwise in their culture.)
  • Revelation.  Information from a transcendent source such as God or an authoritative source.    
A true worldview will be coherent, comprehensive, is consistent and will reflect reality as it really is. It is bedrock for building a life upon.

In contrast, a false worldview will often be incoherent, inconsistent, and leave many unanswered questions. A fantasy illusion, it ultimately offers false hope.

Many (most?) worldviews in western civilization tend to form based on interactions with reality. A child touches a pretty smoldering ember in a dying fire and a new piece is added to his worldview on the destructive consequences of fire. Worldviews that form this way tend to be pragmatic and have at least some basis in reality. But they cannot by definition "see over the horizon". There is no way to flesh out the worldview to address aspects of reality that are out of sight or out of reach (i.e., what happens after death.)

On the other other hand, some worldviews form based on theoretical abstracts. These worldviews tend to exist in eastern civilization. Worldviews that form this way tend to be idealistic and have little or no basis in reality. Hinduism and Buddhism would be examples.

The Biblical worldview stands alone in that it always conforms to observable reality as far as we are able to perceive, but yet confidently addresses "over-the-horizon" issues that we could not possible know otherwise. More importantly, it is the only worldview that is not created by man out of his experience or imagination, but received by divine revelation.

If worldviews are like those ubiquitous Global Positioning Systems (GPS), all worldviews (other than the Biblical) always have to recalculate and modify the chosen course of action. Sometimes, it's simply impossible to get to the desired destination as the worldview doesn't have "maps" for that part of reality. And the maps in these made-up GPS worldviews continually expire and require never-ending updates.

On the other hand, the Biblical worldview is the only one that guides the holder precisely and correctly every time. It's the only GPS that has "maps" loaded for all reality - maps that never need updating or go out of date. This worldview never changes; the only change is the gradual strengthening of the holder's grasp on truth  - because it's our spiritual "maps" that need the updating.

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