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August 24, 2009


Robert Parkinson

I thought you'd have something to say about this and you said what I hoped you would. I heard Brian Haymes make some similar remarks in an excellent sermon yesterday. Thank you for a very helpful and though-provoking reflection.


Thank you Jim, a very helpful post


Good to have solid reflection from Scotland on this, much appreciated ... it has caused much soul searching with me this week. Of course not all the OT hermeneutic was eye for eye stuff ... this all happened in the week that I was preparing the next in a series on the Minor Prophets, step up Mr Jonah and the compassionate God. I've blogged on it this morning, inc part of the sermon given yesterday, but then I went on to think about U2!

Jim Gordon

Thanks for comments. Craig, I referred specifically to the 'eye for eye' lex talionis stance because that is the strand of OT law being cited as argument against the decision to allow a compassionate release. Much of the rhetoric about showing no mercy to those who showed no mercy is implacably retributive, and demands a way of treating Megrahi that while satisfying political pressures,does so by denying him the humane consideration available within the judicial system under which he was tried and convicted. This of course is discretionary, and is the decision of the Justice Minister - who chose to demonstrate a humane response to one who didn't deserve it. But the complexity of such a decision raises all kinds of questions about cultural, moral, religious, political and national interests and values. The debate in Parliament on Monday afternoon (today) will be an interesting next stage in the discussion.

Graeme Clark

Jesus' words question the right of any of us to erect boundaries, theological or otherwise, around compassionate care for others. Maybe there's a conversion of heart needed so we can hear more clearly Jesus' reply, - generously inclusive, ministry affirming, and welcoming compassion wherever it rears its beautiful head …”whoever is not against us is for us.” These words represent Jesus' permission to celebrate compassion, to defend and support those who take on the powers and social forces that diminish human lives - wherever, whenever.

Jim Gordon January 24, 2009

Graeme Clark

the churches must become Christian . . . . They must discover the meaning of suffering and sorrow, and spread abroad the spirit of compassion, sympathy, and love, They must confront successful and despairing man with the truth of the cross in his situation, so that man may become a compassionate, joyous, and thereby free being.

Jurgen Moltmann, The Crucified God, Theology Today, Vol. 31. No. 1 (April 1974)

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