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



Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Worldview's Fruit Can Be Quite Revealing


The fruit of any respective worldview can be quite revealing with respect to its' true nature. To illustrate, here are five different worldviews and the long-term fruit each tends to generate ...

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Progressive Liberalism: Earlier I reflected here that progressive liberalism is ultimately intolerant and ironically encourages violence to achieve its ends. A worldview that vociferously proclaims itself to be tolerant and peaceful, in fact tends to breed the opposite.

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Islam: No other worldview encourages suicide bombers and mass execution to the extent that Islam does. 81% of suicide attacks since 1968 have occurred after 2001, with 31 out of the 35 organizations responsible being jihadist. Even the London and Bali bombers who acted independently of terror organizations were Muslim. It would be difficult to deny that Islamic inspiration is at work in the motivation and mobilization of rising terror. In fact, terrorists justify their violence with the language of Islam.

A Swedish police officer and senior investigator in the serious-crimes division is under internal investigation after taking to Facebook to describe his work week and the nationalities of those he has to deal with. Officer Peter Springare serves with the Örebro Police Department and has 47 years of law-enforcement experience.

“Here we go; this is what I’ve handled from Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment,” Officer Peter Springare posted.

“Suspected perpetrators: Ali Mohamad, Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed, Ali, again, again, again, Christoffer … what, is it true? Yes, a Swedish name sneaked its way in on the fringes of a drug-related crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again."

“Countries which represent all of the week’s crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown country, unknown country, Sweden. Half of the suspects, we can’t be sure because they don’t have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they’re lying about [their] nationality and identity,” he added.

“What I will write here below is not politically correct. But I don’t care,” he said.

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Socialism: Venezuela is blessed with abundant natural resources. The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the largest in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels as of 1 January 2014. With the election of Hugo Chavez in 1998, the country moved dramatically and swiftly into socialism. In June 2016, Erik Bremin wrote in USA Today,

I was a teenager when Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela’s 1998 presidential election. Then, my countrymen were disenchanted with our trajectory and demanded a radical change, not unlike millions of Americans today. As a young and idealistic student myself, I was captivated by socialism’s promise of a more equal, fair and just society. Reality has opened my eyes to just how wrong I was. Venezuela’s 17-year experience with socialism has taught me a number of lessons about its inherent problems and inevitable failure 

... Socialism espouses further redistribution of wealth, which may appear to bear fruit in the short-term. However, the effects of undermining private property rights and placing restrictions on economic liberty erode the creation and spread of wealth in the long-term. As this happens, the confiscatory policies initially targeted at the rich and the business community become increasingly destructive and ineffective, leading to their expansion to an ever-larger share of the population.

This necessarily provokes a public backlash as people begin to realize their condition is deteriorating. Naturally, what follows is that those in power seek to hold onto it by curtailing civil liberties. Freedom of speech, press, assembly and others begin to wither away.

Look here at the food lines in Venezuela, the country with the greatest oil reserves on the planet. Socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

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Atheism: Atheism ultimately breeds hopelessness and despair. Kyle Butt with a M.Div. observed here in his essay entitled "The Bitter Fruits of Atheism" that,

On February 12, 1998, William Provine, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the distinguished Cornell University, took to the podium on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was invited to deliver the keynote address at the second annual Darwin Day, a day dedicated to commemorating the life and teachings of Charles Darwin. In an abstract of that speech, on the Darwin Day Web site, Dr. Provine’s introductory comments are recorded in the following words: “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent” (Provine, 1998). Provine’s ensuing message centered on his fifth statement regarding human free will. Prior to delving into the “meat” of his message, however, he noted: “The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them” (1998).

It is clear then, from Provine’s comments, that he believes naturalistic evolution has no way to produce an “ultimate foundation for ethics.” And it is equally clear that this sentiment was so apparent to “modern naturalistic evolutionists” that Dr. Provine did not feel it even needed to be defended. Oxford professor Richard Dawkins concurred with Provine by saying: “Absolutist moral discrimination is devastatingly undermined by the fact of evolution” (2006, p. 301).

Comments from such high-profile evolutionists provide an excellent springboard from which to examine the logical consequences of belief in naturalistic evolution. If it is true that humans evolved from non-living, primordial slime, then any sense of moral obligation must simply be a subjective outworking of the physical neurons firing in the brain. Theoretically, atheistic scientists and philosophers admit this truth. Charles Darwin understood it perfectly. He wrote: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones” (1958, p. 94, emp. added). On a pragmatic level, however, when a person or group of people actually allow the theoretical idea to influence their actions, the brutality of evolution’s immorality is brought to light, and its absurdity is manifested.

He goes on to make the case that atheism (which ironically worships the creation instead of the Creator) ultimately devalues human life.

On March 8, 2013, Damon Linker wrote in The Week: “If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we're alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.

Abortion and euthanasia are only necessarily logical, but viewed as noble acts of service, under this worldview.


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Christianity: Consider how Christianity changed the Roman perspective on gladiators. This is how an atheist, one of the most influential moral philosophers of our time, Peter Singer, who is no friend of Christianity, treats the subject in his book Animal Liberation (Amazon UK) (Amazon USA) (pages 190-192, The New York Review of Books, second edition):.

First he quotes from W. E. H. Lecky's History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne:

The simple combat became at last insipid, and every variety of atrocity was devised to stimulate the flagging interest... Nor was any form of human suffering wanting.... Ten thousand men fought during the games of Trajan. Nero illumined his gardens during the night by Christians burning in their pitchy shirts. Under Domitian, an army of feeble dwarfs was compelled to fight.

Then Singer remarks:

It is against this background that the impact of Christianity must be assessed...

In its application to human beings, the new doctrine was in many ways progressive, and led to an enormous expansion of the limited moral sphere of the Romans...

On this basis the outcome of the interaction of Christian and Roman attitudes is not difficult to guess. It can be seen most clearly by looking at what happened to the Roman games after the conversion of the empire to Christianity. 

Christian teaching was implacably opposed to gladiatorial combats. The gladiator who survived by killing his opponent was regarded as a murderer. Mere attendance at these combats made the Christian liable to excommunication, and by the end of the fourth century combats between human beings had been suppressed altogether.

The Romans were the most advanced civilization at the time, with a sophisticated system of law and highly developed morals.

In his book "Medieval Wisdom For Christians", Chris Armstrong traces the historical evidence that Christianity produced the hospital. More hospitals worldwide are produced by Christians than any other organization or entity. The Church has always been a major source of schooling and medical care, and nobody in his sane mind can deny its prominent role in either. The evidence for that is too overwhelming even for the most lunatic atheist.

The website of London's Science Museum has no doubt that Christian beliefs were the cause of the development of hospitals and not a coincidental occurrence:

Christian hospices first developed in the East in the late 300s. Some, like those founded by the Order of St John, appeared along routes of pilgrimage and offered shelter to religious travellers throughout Europe and the Middle East. The idea of religious charity lay at the heart of the medieval and early modern hospital. Medicine and morality were closely tied. This was evident in the location of beds, which was often determined by the location of an altar. Medical care was usually delivered by monks and nuns.

...The Christian practice of charity in Europe was based on the relationship between Christ and the pauper. The emphasis in hospital was therefore on care rather than cure, and the common denominator of patients was poverty, not illness. The original religious nature of early hospitals is still alive, most often in their names. Notable examples include the Hôtel Dieu in Paris, originally established in the 800s, and St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, which was founded in the 1100s and still exists today.

As recorded here, medicine itself was developed by Christianity in the Middle Ages: Guided by the principles of Christian charity and compassion, as well as by the biblical examples of helping the troubled and healing the sick, the clergy, besides the studying of medical sciences, soon turned to practical work and proceeded to treat the sick, establishing first hospitals within monasteries, initially accepting and treating monks and monastery servants, but subsequently admitting many ill laymen.

The earliest schools were produced by Christians. All the Ivy-League colleges in the U.S. were originally Christian seminaries. During the chaos that followed the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Church remained the only institution capable of supporting intellectual culture. Virtually nobody in Western Europe could read or write outside of monasteries, which became the center for developing literacy. Even left-leaning Wikipedia recognizes this:

The cultural influence of the Church has been vast. Church scholars preserved literacy in Western Europe following the Fall of Rome. During the Middle Ages, the Church rose to replace the Roman Empire as the unifying force in Europe. The cathedrals of that age remain among the most iconic feats of architecture produced by Western civilization. Many of Europe's universities were also founded by the church at that time.

The Church continued to be a driving force in education during the Middle Ages, in schools associated with its monasteries, churches and cathedrals. Cathedral schools were centers of advanced education, and often developed into the Medieval universities which were the source of many European later achievements.  Recognizing its unique role in learning, practically all men of intellect joined the Church in the Middle Ages, which is why Latin, the church's language, was for many centuries, as late as into the 18th and 19th centuries, the language of scholarship and erudition, science included. Significant works of all subjects were written in Latin: Vesalius, Galileo, Descartes, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Torricelli, Kepler, Havers - and these are only a tiny number - wrote in Latin.  Newton wrote his scientific masterpiece Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in Latin. For Newton, the Christian God was part of his mechanics.

Repeated studies over time have shown, for example, that the US more Christian states give a greater percentage of their income to charities than the more secular ones.

Christians are also better neighbours , and a Forbes study found that Christian charities are more reliable than others, ranking highest in terms of using donor money towards charitable projects and services, rather than putting it in their pockets. Four out of the five charities that received a perfect rating in both fundraising efficiency and charitable commitment are Christian organizations.

Tim Mettey, of Matthew 25: Ministries, one of the top-rated charitable organizations, said: "We have to be less than 2 percent on overhead. We thrive on being so efficient.” The association’s mission statement is based on Matthew 25:34-40, which calls for the hungry to be fed, the homeless to be sheltered and medicine for the ill. Mettey explained that the group’s success depends on support from the Christian community, adding: "[W]e have 22,000 volunteers because of our message. Without volunteers none of this would be possible," Mettey said.

The report on the Forbes study in Christianity Today concluded: Faith-based organizations have the added benefit of turning to the Bible to remind themselves of motivation and direction.

The Christian worldview tends to produce charity, generosity and selfless behavior in the aid of other people.

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