Thursday, 30 April 2015


When we looked at the WestWing Question we observed that theologians have traditionally divided the Law of Moses into different categories.  

 That these 613 regulations cannot simply be taken as a monolithic whole is something that churchmen as far back as Augustine at least have noted.  

However, it is the esteemed mediaeval theologian Thomas Aquinas who is generally credited with the division of the Law of Moses into three distinct categories, that of moral, ceremonial and civil.

Sunday, 26 April 2015


 During his long ministry in Jerusalem, Jesus stirred ever-increasing opposition to his teachings from the Jewish establishment.

Eventually, driven out of Jerusalem by persecution, he emigrated north & consolidated his political & military power in Nazareth. After several years of conflict he eventually returned to the Jewish capital in 33AD at the head of an army. By this time fear of the coming conqueror had caused all opposition to his rule to melt away. Jesus reigned as Messiah from Jerusalem throughout a long & prosperous life.

After his death, it was assumed that the leadership of the Church would automatically fall upon the apostle Peter, indeed he & his followers believed that only one of the Twelve Companions who had been with the Messiah all of his life could succeed him.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


This article by Tom Ehrich over at Religion News Service is a classic of its kind.

Every conservative believer needs to learn how to spot the emotional manipulation that is on display here.Tragically most of us are helpless in the face of this kind of writing.

Tactic: issue a few vague prognostications of (conservative) Church decline but wholly lacking in actual detail, just enough to leave us feeling vaguely alarmed & unsettled.

Then sprinkle in a few warm fuzzy words about joy, depth and “fresh energy” to prepare the unthinking masses for whatever “new idea” you next want them to blindly accept.

What will this “healthy new phase” look like? Which “institutional ideas” do we need to leave behind? “Transformation of life” from what and to what?

We never learn. Not in this article anyway.

Instead we are left to guess at just what “new ideas” the brave new thinkers have in mind for us (though I reckon I know).

Well done, Tom.

A classic example of how to use 500+ words to say precisely nothing & yet get across everything you intended to.