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, April 17, 2017

Stardust To Stardust

Matthew Walther recounts here his tragic visit to a liberal Presbyterian church.

There is something unsettling about liberal Christianity, and at moments like this you feel it: the crepuscular gloom, the all-pervading feeling of desperate but resigned optimism, the hope against hope for something ineffable. You find it in Bultmann, in John Robinson’s absurd—and in their way moving—books, on the lips of Iris Murdoch’s faithless priests. It’s not just sadness; it’s also fear. When Tillich says that “Our ultimate concern is that which determines our being or not-being,” he wants us to choose being. The alternative, I guess, is to let yourself be devoured by whatever might be lurking in the gray and black rectangles of half-gloom spreading over the empty pews behind me.

It is to the familiar strains of “Woodstock” that my fellow congregants rise to receive their glitter-plus-ashes, which in this light look silvery purple, like beet purée mixed with lead filings. I remain seated and have to peer over the edge of my pew to hear what Stehlik is saying. To the first man he whispers something very somber and, I think, personal. Then I catch it:

“Remember that you are stardust and to stardust you will return.”

Finally it is time for the “Bless”:

“A stellar pathway to new life.”

“We follow stardust cross.”

“A journey of the end and new hope.”

“We follow stardust cross.”

“Travel through death to resurrection.”

“We follow stardust cross.”

“The life of blessing, the way of truth, in the love that renews, rebirths, recreates.”

“We follow stardust cross.”

This is the closest we come to hearing the name of Christ.


When the church abandons revealed truth, as his experience demonstrates, anything goes. It truly and tragically is the blind leading the blind.

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? (Luke 6:39)

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