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

Friday, June 2, 2017

Principles of Just War

In Aug 2010, First Things published an exposition entitled "Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Just War Principles" wherein they summarize the principles for a Just War. These principles are generally divided into ad bellum (whether the war itself is just) and in bello (the just conduct of war) categories. They were developed over many centuries by a number of philosophers and theologians, including Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suarez, and Hugo Grotius. They are accepted by the major branches of Christianity, including Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Reformed.

A. Ad bellum principles:

1. The cause must be justified.

2. The intention must be right.

3. The war must be waged by a competent authority.

4. The war must have a reasonable probability of success.

5. It must be fought only as a last resort.

B. In bello principles:

1. Non-combatants, neutrals and third parties cannot be harmed.

2. Existing laws and treaties, e.g., the Geneva Conventions, must be honoured.

3. The means must be proportionate to the goals.

4. The enemy must know the terms on which peace can be achieved.

5. The goal must be the return of the aggressor to a rightful place among the nations, not its extermination or subjugation.

In just war theory, the primary agent responsible for determining the justice of a contemplated military action is the duly constituted political authority itself, in much the same way that a judge or jury are responsible to determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant on trial. The role played by individual citizens in either of these is necessarily secondary, in part because of the lack of sufficient information available to those not occupying such authoritative offices. In short, we citizens may come to a preliminary assessment, but of necessity such assessment lacks the certainty we might wish for, as well as an authoritative character.

It's important to recognize that some evil is beyond redemption and must be destroyed to prevent further carnage to the innocent. The Nazi government in WW2 was destroyed, but Germany rightfully retained her status as a nation, free of that evil. On the other hand, ISIS is not a recognized nation, but a movement (caliphate) that seeks to extend itself into nations worldwide. As such, "in bello" principle 5 does not apply and ISIS is an example of a pernicious evil that is beyond redemption and must be destroyed.

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