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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 their theology.


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 the morning.

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 denomination.

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 other.

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.