The Black Swan

The late 1st Century Roman Poet Juvenal is generally credited with the earliest written reference to the Black Swan and like so much of his work it was satirical. He characterised something as being  ”a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan” by which he pretty much meant  what we might mean when we say…

Pelagianism

Pelagius was a British monk/theologian C 360-418 AD, who did not subscribe to the views of his contemporary, Augustine regarding Original sin, but rather maintained that human nature was still capable of choosing good or evil without divine aid. It fails the test of Christian orthodoxy as it suggests that salvation happens as a result…

Pentecost

The Name Pentecost comes from the Greek, and simply means 50 days. It falls as the 50th day after Easter. Sometimes described at the birthday of the Church, and whilst I understand the point I also feel at times that reduces it to a party rather than embracing some of the depth that is here. The…

Gnosticism

Gnosticism is a Heresy, and yet as a term it covers a branch of heresy which has many manifestations. The term comes for the Greek word gnosis meaning ‘knowledge’ and the fundamental root of the heresy is that possession of particular or special knowledge will act as the passkey to salvation. This fails the test of…

Advent & Apocalyptic Literature

I am writing this on Advent Sunday. The Gospel reading for this morning Mark 13:24-37. It comes from the eschatological discourse in Mark, foreshadowing the destruction of the Temple. In terms of writing in Mark’s Gospel it stands a little apart and the style in this passage is Apocalyptic and not found in Mark beyond…

Filioque (u3a)

Filioque Presentation The PDF here are the notes used for the presentation of a 3 week tutorial on the Filioque Clause, history, politics, and some theology. As the course progressed it seemed clear that there was some need to look at some of the theology more clearly, including a consideration of how authority operates within the…