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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

All Is Not As It May Seem

Genuine truth is always grounded in reality and ultimate truth is grounded in ultimate reality - i.e., in God who is the Architect, Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all reality. Our grasp of genuine truth is directly proportional to our grasp of genuine reality. It's important to understand however that our perception of reality is not always true in this fallen world as demonstrated in the figure above. In other words, what we may believe to be true, may in fact not be true. In this fallen world, the false perception of reality is a real problem. For example:
  • On a clear day in the desert, a mountain on the horizon may appear to be a few miles distant when it fact, it's more than 30 miles away.
  • Remove all reference to time measurement (i.e., watches, the sun, etc.) and it becomes impossible to accurately discern how much time has actually passed. (This is a common problem for blind people.)
  • A color blind person will falsely perceive certain colors.
  • A hearing-impaired person will not be able to accurately discern sounds.
  • etc.
In this fallen world, we are prone to deception sometimes mistaking false reality for the genuine thing. This is why Scripture exhorts us to "test everything" (1 Thess 5:21). But misunderstanding distance, time, color or sound is one thing. Far more devastating is an incorrect grasp of morality - right vs wrong.

Naturalism is the worldview that rejects any kind of reality that it is not discernable with the 5 senses. The logical consequence of this worldivew is atheism since God is immaterial. A fatal flaw is this worldview becomes the inability to objectively justify right and wrong as effectively argued in the following video .....

Naturalism is fatally handicappped because it arbitrarily rejects the foundation of all reality.

Christians can also be deceived in this fallen world as to the nature of what is real. A false understanding of reality necessarily results in the loss of truth and the corresponding acceptance of a lie.

There are many potential scources of truth in the world (i.e., science, recorded history, education, Hollywood, parents, church, Madison Avenue, emotions, feelings, etc.) But given that we live in a fallen world, all of these sources that reside in the world are potentially flawed in their depiction of reality. They may present accurate reality part of the time (or even most of the time), but none can present accurate reality all of the time. Why? Because everything in the world is contaminated with corruption. Until the creation is released from its bondage to corruption, all potential sources of truth within creation can be flawed (Rom 8:20-21).

[Even science can get it wrong sometimes. Historical examples:

  • Miasmatic theory of disease: This theory postulated that diseases such as cholera, chlamydia or the Black Death were caused by a miasma (ancient Greek: “pollution”), a noxious form of “bad air”. This concept was not disposed of until the late 1800s, with the rise of the germ theory of disease. Miasma was considered to be a poisonous vapor or mist filled with particles from decomposed matter that caused illnesses. It was identifiable by its foul smell.
  • Luminiferous aether: Assumed to exist for much of the 19th century, the theory held that a “medium” of aether pervaded the universe through which light could propagate. The celebrated Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887 was the first to provide hard evidence that aether did not exist, and the theory lost all popularity among scientists by the 1920s.
  • Stress theory of ulcers: As peptic ulcers became more common in the 20th century, doctors increasingly linked them to the stress of modern life. Medical advice during the latter half of the 20th century was, essentially, for patients to take antacids and modify their lifestyle. In the 1980s Australian clinical researcher Barry Marshal discovered that the bacterium H. pylori caused peptic ulcer disease, leading him to win a Nobel Prize in 2005.
  • Static universe: Prior to the observations made by astronomer Edwin Hubble during 1920s, scientists believed the universe was static, neither expanding nor contracting. Hubble found that distant objects in the universe were moving more quickly away than nearby ones. Very recently, in 1999, scientists unexpectedly found that not only was the universe expanding, but its expansion was accelerating.]

Thus the mandate for all Christians in the world to exercise vigilance and test every potential source of truth within creation.

But we have been given a Silver Bullet: uncontaminated, objective, absolute and transcendent Truth from outside creation. Both the incarnate Truth (Jesus Christ) and the written truth (Scripture) give us invaluable access to genuine objective reality and truth. They become the yardstick to help ascertain what is real and what is not, what is true and what is false. Without them, we are sitting ducks for an enemy that is spectacularly deceptive. And we are expecially vunerable in the area of morality; without a transcendent anchor, anything goes with right becoming wrong and vice-versa.

In this world ....... all is not as it may seem.

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