Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

They say the first rule of writing is to know your audience.

I really don’t know who the audience of this blog is. I think the half-a-dozen regular readers that I have are my family and friends, particularly from Cession. However the other 55-odd hits this site gets each day seem to be via search engines, predominantly from people doing searches on Scooby-Doo, feral children and asking the question ”What does the phrase bad wolf mean on Doctor Who?”.

I guess the fact that I have just repeated these phrases in this post ought to push more traffic through here. If you’ve come through to this page looking for info on any of those subjects, then I’m sorry, it’s not here. I can only suggest that you click on the hyperlinks above. Unless you want to know what bad wolf means, in which case I’ll tell you now – it means that when retconning your earlier scripts, some objectivity is essential. :)

Speaking of reframing earlier material, this page is actually a brief review of a later book of the Bible.

In case you didn’t know, most of the Bible is underpinned by the laws that God gave Moses close to the start, however towards the end these are done away with, and replaced with freedom. Replaced? Well, more like that retconned word.

In the book of Galatians, Paul went to alot of trouble to re-interpret Jewish law as not actually being something that anyone needed to keep after all.

Assuming that it was written later, he continues this argument in this letter to the Ephesians.

He argues that the law is not there to be followed, but rather to prove to mankind how incapable they are of following basic instructions.

If you can’t obey God - which no-one can, because no-one can keep all those fairly easy laws - then you need to ask to be forgiven. Not for failing to follow the law, which the Bible repeatedly says God’s not actually that fussed about, but for the underlying goof of reckoning that we can do better without any help from the being who designed us.

(That’s how I see it anyway.)

Paul knew the audience who he was writing for - Ephesians was a letter written for Christians who lived in Ephesus.

As such he crams a lot into his six chapters, tearing through encouraging words about Christians’ freedom from Jewish law, and how that filters through the church, into marriages, then families and out into the workplace and the rest of the world.

It all sounds a bit utopian, until the sudden left-field warning in the final chapter...

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

- Ephesians 6:12-17 (NIV)

Of course, he wrote all this whilst under arrest for having said so many things that had offended people.

I guess there’s a massive difference between knowing your audience and pandering to them.


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