I take a long time to decide what to write because I usually feel I haven’t done enough research to share my views on something. This is why most of my writing are book reviews or notes or comments on what others have written. Those serve twin purposes.

Firstly, it forces me to truly engage with whatever material I’m reading. Following the Feynman Technique, I don’t doubt that teaching others is the best way one learns. Reviewing a book, writing a note or comment on something the author wrote - these help me think and learn.

Secondly, I hope the perspectives I bring and the questions I ask resonate with whoever stumbles on this website.

I’ve been meaning to explore a range of topics on this website, but time and (perhaps mostly) indecision have stayed my hand. So I’m starting a new “series” which I hope will solve this perceived problem. Following in the footsteps of newsletters, I’ll be sharing my weekly ruminations - things I’ve encountered and/or considered over the week. There might be no method to the madness, but I’ll just give it a try. Below is the first Weekly Ruminations.

1. Russell Moore and the SBC.

On 7 June, various news outlets published the story of Russell Moore’s sudden departure from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), an organisation he has served for a long time. The author says there are two big reasons for his departure: 1. sexual abuse in the SBC, 2. racism in the SBC. It sounds ugly, but I’m not surprised. I read a long story about the sexual abuse cases, but I can’t remember which publication. It’s a time of reckoning for American Christianity.

Read more: The Atlantic.

2. How the ultra rich avoid paying taxes in the US.

On 8 June, ProPublica published a big story alleging that IRS documents they obtained showed how the ultra rich in the US don’t pay that much taxes. There are a few illustrative features in the story that are helpful, otherwise, it’s a simple and straightforward story. The ultra rich avoid paying taxes because they don’t have that much income.

Many of the ultra rich don’t really on their income to build their wealth. Their gains and investments and various sources contribute to the wealth gains of the ultra rich. Because many of these aren’t considered income, they aren’t taxed.

I wonder if this story will have a big impact. If new laws are introduced or mainstream media covers it, I’m glad I got the story from the original source - before all the mainstream media hype. Kudos to ProPublica for their investigative journalism work.

Read more: ProPublica.

3. Moberly and Genesis 3.

Today after church service, my GG discussed whether Adam and Eve would be immortal if they hadn’t eaten the fruit (the original discussion was about the tree of knowledge of good and evil). I recommended Moberly’s “Did the serpent get it right?” essay and re-read it in the afternoon.

It was refreshing to consider his sensitive literary approach while being open to historical-critical insights and traditional Judeo-Christian interpretations. Of course, he didn’t read the chapter in an etiological manner, suggesting rather that the story is focused more on the reader’s choice to trust God and “choose life” or to doubt God and “choose death.”

Highly recommended for a creative reading of Genesis 3.

Moberly, R.W.L. 1988. “DID THE SERPENT GET IT RIGHT?”_The Journal of Theological Studies_39 (1): 1–27.