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, April 25, 2018

The Theology of Foreign Policy

Michael Doran has an excellent essay this month online here entitled "The Theology of Foreign Policy". With profound and penetrating insight, he clarifies the distinction between two opposing camps of American foreign policy as "Not Republicans versus Democrats, nor liberals versus conservatives, nor rival schools of foreign policy you read about in college courses. The divide is primarily religious in nature—or perhaps “theological” is the better word, for what matters in foreign policy, as in so many other aspects of American politics, are the religious divisions among Protestants."

It's worth reading in entirety.

In 1930, Rockefeller established a commission to study the foreign mission work of seven Protestant denominations. The commission’s report, officially titled Re-Thinking Missions: A Laymen’s Inquiry After One Hundred Years, is commonly known as the Hocking report, after the leader of the commission, William Ernest Hocking, a Harvard professor of philosophy. The Hocking report calls on Christian missionaries to cease proselytizing. Jesus, it argues, is not the sole path to knowledge of God. Christianity is the fullest expression of truth, yes, but the other great religions also express elements of it. The job of Christian missionaries, therefore, is to identify the “Christian-like” elements in other religions, and to cultivate them with an eye to forging alliances across religious divides. The key to this coalition-building is “deeds not creeds.” The missionary goal should be to promote activities—education, health care, assistance to the poor—that non-Christians can join while remaining faithful to their own traditions. In short, the primary duty of the Christian missionary should be to apply the social gospel internationally.

...... Allow me to stand, like a tourist on the lip of the Grand Canyon, and marvel at the wondrous chasm that separates the Jacksonian and Progressive persuasions. They differ in their understandings of: human nature (as broken or perfectible, static or malleable); morality (as absolute or relative); the relationship between the individual and society (as requiring personal responsibility, or as requiring collective and systemic solutions); the proper role of government (to safeguard personal liberty, or to safeguard equality); the mission of the United States in the world (to be a beacon of freedom, or to lead the way toward a new era of peace and brotherhood); and the meaning of history (as maintaining a holding pattern until the end of days, or as leading inevitably to human betterment).

...... They have relentlessly presented the preferences of the Progressive persuasion as if they flowed directly from science, logic, and secular expertise. Our latter-day Menckens have painted the religious face of Jacksonianism as mumbo jumbo, while depicting secular Jacksonians as bigots, ignoramuses, or worse. But the Progressive persuasion is every bit as religious and irrational as the Jacksonian persuasion. Its vision of history and of America’s place in it is no more scientifically verifiable than dispensational premillennialism’s belief in the Rapture. Indeed, the Progressive persuasion’s belief in the perfectibility of man defies all experience—at least all of my experience. It is a conviction that can only be described as theological, yet our schools teach it as if it were science. 

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