I've collected here a seris of old essays from theological college, mostly because I refer to them in one of my books. The descriptions are from OCR scans but I think I've caught most of the typos.
|1992 Comparison of the theological methods of the South African Theologians, Desmond Tutu and Itumeleng Mosala
Archbishop Dr. Desmond Tutu and Reverend Dr. Itumeleng
Mosala are two South African black theologians. Both lived
through the apartheid policies of the
National Afrikaaner government, and the oppression and
violence which accompanied it.
This commonality is in no way reflected in their
theology. This essay contrasts their theological aims and
starting points, then compares their attitude to, and use of
several theological "tools." The essay concludes with a
tentative assessment and prediction of the effectiveness of
|1994 What must we do to be saved- a letter to Carly.
All theological essays have an audience in mind. Usually this is an academically equipped, biblically aware and theologically educated tutor. ln this case, however, it is a friend of mine studying the third year of a B.Sc. majoring in anatomy, who is almost totally
biblically illiterate and whose theological education (God help her) is almost entirely derived from talking with me in the early hours of
One night in the pub she asked of whether God would send her to hell, given that she was basically a good person, and what l thought the minimum necessary was to get into heaven. This essay is an attempt to answer her question.
|1994 Does Paul's view of salvation (soteriology) evolve over time (hint- yes)
There does seem to be a gradual shift in Paul's theology of salvation, from Galatians to Romans, as he attempts to balance the view of God's universal wrath, and Jesus' universal victory. Also, he balances present and future salvation.
|1994 review of "Our God has no favourites" and what it should have said.
Primevesi & Henderson argue that since Gods love- as reﬂected in
Jesus’ ministry and the witness of the Holy Spirit- is indiscriminate, the various
church denominations must cease discriminating against one another at the
Eucharist. That is, regardless ot theological differences. all denominations must
be wilting to preside at, and receive at, the Eucharist held in every other
This paper shows that their arguments lead to the further, unstated,
conclusion that just as all denominations should be welcome at the Lord's
table, so should all people. The authors themselves deny this conclusion, but
their reasons tor doing so rest on too narrow a consideration of the biblical
witnesses, the construction of an inaccurate parallel between Jesus’ culture and
ours, and a failure to consider the practical irnpossibility of their proposal.
|1994 Should we welcome non Christians to the Lord's Supper? (hint- yes)
Sharing in the Lord’s Supper should be open to all people, not just to all Christians.
Most traditional theologies ought to appreciate the value of the Supper as a means of
evangelisation, once the longstanding, but erroneous, interpretation of 1 Co 11 is rejected.
Recent trends in theological anthropology lead to the conclusion that non Christians
ought to be welcomed to the Meal not because of who they might become, but because of who
they already are. The meal then would not be a tool tor conversion, but a sacrament of recognition.
The response of the Uniting Church to the new anthropology and its implications depends
on the emphasis placed on various paragraphs in The Basis of Union.
|1995 Nominalism in the Uniting Church, a role for deacons
Most members of the Uniting Church rarely, it ever, attend Sunday
Worship. Most used to be frequent attenders, but either drifted away tor various
reasons, or were pushed out by the other members.
Deacons have a role in affirming the validity of nominal Christianity, whilst
working to overcome some ot its inherent dangers. They may also be involved in
overcoming the dangers inherent in the ghettoising tendency of those who
remain in the institution, and bringing recognition, or even reconciliation,
between the two groups.
|1995 Should Simon be in gaol (ethics)? (hint- no)
My cousin, Simon (not his real name), whom l hardly know,
was recently imprisoned in Yatala, a maximum security prison, for
a minimum of eight months. He plead guilty to stealing money from
his company to finance debts accrued through his addiction to
gambling. He is married to Jane, who to this point has stayed by
him. Financially, they are ruined.
Upon his arrest, Simon admitted his gambling problem, and
under his own initiative joined Gambler's anonymous, and saw a
psychologist regularly. He felt that both of these were a
significant benefit to him, convincing him of his problem, and
providing strategies and support to overcome it. He believes that
in order to totally overcome his addiction he needs to continue
with GA, and his psychologist, but is unable to do so now that he is
in prison, where there are no such services.
The question for discussion is,
Was lmprisoning Simon the most Ethically Appropriate Response to his Conviction?
1995? What is the church? (really)
"ln comparison with history or sociology, Which would attempt to
describe what the church actually is and does empirically, theology
is somewhat more idealistic" (Haught)
l wonder whether some traditionalist theologians ever attend church?
They define the church as what it should be, rather than what we experience it
to be. l believe that this causes a dysfunctional relationship between church
attenders on the one hand, and nominal Christians and non Christians on the
l suspect that the false self-perception is maintained because, although
traditionalist attenders comprise only a traction of the world's population, they
only listen to their own ecclesiologies, which implicitly equate the church with
attenders, especially through their use of words like "gathering" and "community".
They thus exclude trom the church the overwhelming majority of people who identity themselves as Christians, but do not attend Sundayworship.
The second problem revolves around the relationship between attenders and the rest ot society: nominals and non Christians... the traditionalists compare an ideal model of the church to their concrete experience of society. Inevitably, society fares badly.