About me

My name is Mike Southon. I am a lecturer at Youthworks College, a theological college focussing on training men and women for ministry to youth, children and families in Sydney, Australia. I lecture primarily in theology, New Testament and ethics. I am also the online education co-ordinator, and so oversee the Timothy Partnership, which teaches a Diploma of Theology online.

I studied my Bachelor of Divinity at Moore Theological College, Sydney, with an honours thesis on just war and pacifism. I am currently working on post graduate study (Masters or PHD to be determined) in theology, education, ethics and youth ministry. The working title is ‘A theological analysis of the educational theory of connectivism and its implications on Christian pedagogy, in particular youth ministry practice.’

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2 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Mike,

    My name’s John, we met at lunch yesterday. Having read some of your blog and thought a bit more about it, I wanted to respond to your thesis on war, not to attack or offend you, but hopefully to push you a bit more in your thinking.

    Firstly, I still think that your ethic is not teleological but deontological. You have essentially defined war as evil in and of itself because of what it is, not why it’s done. I assume you do this because you cannot conceive of war being the loving action, but I think that if you’re defending the oppressed, it’s actually the most loving option. Laying down your life for them is only effective if it saves them, standing in the way of a bullet may be laying down your life, but not necessarily for them.

    I’m still fairly shocked by what you said about allowing the evil of WWII because God is sovereign. It sounds like you’d rather let multitudes of defenceless people die because its more passive than fighting for them. Again, deontological ethics always chooses passivity when faced with evil options whereas teleological ethics chooses the lesser of two evils (Exodus 1:17-20).

    Finally I don’t think that you can sweep the problem under your perceived tension of God’s sovereignty and our responsibility, especially because I don’t think they should be perceived of as being in tension. You mentioned where Isaiah recounts how God sent the Assyrians to war with Israel and then condemned them for it, but not that he sends them to judge Israel and then he condemns them because of their attitude in doing it. Again, a deontological ethic (right/wrong based on the what) sees the two in tension but a teleological ethic (right/wrong based on the why) explains the two perfectly.

    Please feel free to push me back, I’m more than happy to keep the conversation going.

    In Christ
    John

  2. Great site – I’m doing an analysis of war for the WW1 centenary in 2014-2018 and you’ve done the first half of the research for me!! I’ve put in one link to your site already (but not yet gone online)

    Derek J. Smith

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