Wessel's blog

The Beggar and the Caveman Christian

Beggar
Read time: 6 minutes

In his poem The Beggar, Tatamkhulu Afrika, a devout Muslim, writes of one day going into the city for his day's business. On his way he encounters a beggar who, naturally, asks him for money. The narrator has no time for this distraction and brushes off the annoyance. Read more …

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Apologists who are Unkind

Read time: 13 minutes

The Christian is (or, rather, should be) a completely strange and alien being in the world. They must banish the impulses in which the world indulges. Perhaps one of the starkest things which we can do is, as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded, to "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). This does not always happen, but nevertheless, this is the command which has been given us.

So what does this love look like? How does this dictate how we should treat other people? What place is there for anger and being snide, if any? Read more …

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A Year of Blood

The Eiffel Tower lit up in the colours of the French flag following the attacks of 13 November 2015.
Read time: 9 minutes

The year 2015 has been particularly bloody. In this article I reflect on what all this violence and turmoil should mean to us. I do this by considering two particular attacks. Read more …

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Christians' Copyrights

Copyleft
Read time: 8 minutes

The world grows increasingly complex. There are issues which the church did not have to may much attention up until a few decades ago, but is now part of our everyday lives. In this article I am going to discuss Christians and copyright.

This article is not about piracy; it is about how Christians handle the copyrights which they own on the works which they create to spread the gospel, whether sermons or booklets or videos. Read more …

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Not a Fear

United States of America flag at half mast
Read time: 4 minutes

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Earlier this month, another tragic collage campus shooting occurred in Oregon in the USA. At the time it was widely reported that the shooter singled out Christians to kill, although some have urged caution about interpreting the story.

After the shooting, there were cries of and questions over "Christianophobia" on social media.

This needs to stop. If anyone is murdered in a cold and calculated way, whether because they are Christian, Muslim or homosexual, is not the result of a phobia. Read more …

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The Root Sin

Peacock
Read time: 8 minutes

In a previous article I discussed what sin is. In this article I am going to explore where it comes from—that is, what Christians commonly understand to be the root sin: the one from which others spring. Conversely, we are going to look at which sin surfaces when all the others are deconstructed. Read more …

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When Fairy Tales Offend

The White House lit up in rainbow colours
Read time: 8 minutes

2015 has been a difficult year for the University of Cape Town (UCT). It has been at the centre of multiple controversies. First, there was a protest movement to have an iconic statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed. The campaign brought out bitter enmities between those in favour of and against the removal. The controversy deepened when it suspended the instigator of the movement over harassment charges on the staff. Then it saw a public fallout over a comment which its student representative council (SRC) vice-president, Zizipho Pae, made on her Facebook account wherein she responded to the US Supreme Court's decision to legalise homosexual marriage across the USA, saying "We are institutionalising and normalising sin". Read more …

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What is Sin?

Eve and the Serpent
Read time: 9 minutes

Sin is a word with which most people in the West are familiar, even if only intuitively so. In fact, I am confident that most cultures in the world has a similar concept. Informally, "sin" refers to things (usually actions) which are "bad" or are "misdeeds". It also usually has a connotation to religion. As such, in this article I shall explore what the word means in the Christian context. Having a correct and accurate understanding of what sin is, is important, as it plays a fundamental role in the Christian worldview. Additionally, when speaking to a Christian it is good to understand what they mean (or ought to mean) when they use the word. Read more …

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Dignity in Dying

Clinicians in Intensive Care Unit
Read time: 10 minutes

The South African High Court recently passed a landmark ruling that would legally allow a doctor to help a terminally ill man to end his life. A high level summary of the case can be found here. This ruling is not new legislation and euthanasia remains illegal in South Africa. However this ruling opens the door for future cases which will be decided individually (until, perhaps, legislation is proposed, which would undoubted reference this ruling). In this article I would like to share my thoughts on this case. Read more …

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Reflections on Christian Loneliness

Read time: 11 minutes

I previously wrote an article on Christian singleness. It highlighted a metaphorical elephant in the room—that while there is an expectation to be in a relationship and settle down, this does not happen for all Christians. Indeed, the expectation is not a biblical one, but rather societal. I was encouraged by how well the article was received. Today I want to touch on a related topic: that of Christian loneliness. Read more …

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Being Ineffective with the Xenophobic Attacks

Africa without South Africa
Read time: 12 minutes

Like a man suffering from post traumatic stress disorder startled by a loud noise, South Africa was jolted last week. A combination of controlled power cuts and xenophobic attacks reminded the country of 2008—a dark time in our post 1994 history. Again people fell on their keyboards, denouncing the violence of the xenophobic attacks, shaming the perpetrators and pleading for a more humanistic attitude and solution. Again I add my voice to theirs, because I worry about how the bourgeoisie perceive the problem. Read more …

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