KAABA When Muhammad cleared out over three hundred idols from the sacred shrine (kaaba) in Mecca he retained the great black meteorite stone as a focus point for ISLAM. And all Muslims turn in that direction for their daily prayers, and they go there for the HAJJ pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime if possible. During the hajj every pilgrim engages in the traditional seven cicumambulations (walking around) the shrine, and also walks the 24 kilometres to Mount Arafat (the Mount of Mercy) east of Mecca. In the Jewish Old Testament Daniel prayed towards his home city of Jerusalem (Daniel 6:10). And in our day Christian tourists like to visit the sacred sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth, but prayer is never directed in that direction.

KA'BA (KAABA) One of the five pillars of ISLAM is the need to make a pilgrimage (HAJJ) to Mecca at least once in one's lifetime if possible. The focus of the Hajj is walking seven times around the 15 metre high Ka'ba (Arabic for cube), then kissing the black stone if possible. Set in the eastern wall is the black METEORITE which is said to have been received by ISHMAEL from the Archangel GABRIEL.

KABUL Afghanistan was taken by Alexander in 330 BC and overrun again and again by foreigners. Jerusalem was taken over by Muslims in 637 AD and Kabul converted to Islam in 750 AD. Early in 1973 Kabul was a prosperous freedom loving city with business contacts all over the world. There was excellent education for women and men and good medical facilities. A beautiful church building was built to serve the large foreign community. Then the Mullahs (religious teachers) became jealous and had it bulldozed and made into a park. The same year King Zahir Shah was overthrown in a palace coup by his cousin. Since then the city has suffered nearly thirty years of terrible fighting. Russian paratroopers seized Kabul airport in December 1979 and finally had to withdraw nine years later on February 15, 1989. Rival warlords then ravaged and destroyed the city for seven years. In September 1996 the TALIBAN took over and ran the country till Kabul fell to the Northern Alliance on November 13, 2001. The ex-king Zahir Shah arrived back in the capital on April 18, 2002.


KARMA An essential part of the main Hindu explanatory models is that every human action (karma) is caused by a previous action, and our own actions cause further effects in this life or in a future REINCARNATION. At its worst this means that those who are low caste, sick, or handicapped in this life, are reaping the fruits of their own behavior in a previous existence. There is no point in freeing them from what they deserve. All social progress in modern India has been by rejecting this model of inexorable karma. Hindus who hope for a better life in this world or another incarnation, all agree we should improve our behavior and act according to HinduDHARMA (law or religion). But however much we improve our status there is no hope of escaping from the miserable round of constant samsara (the revolutions of the wheel of existence bound by the law of karma). Having adopted that model, various ways of escape (moksha or mukti both meaning release from samsara) are offered as ways of salvation. One is the practice of YOGA to order the body so as to free the mind from any thought of karma and concentrate it on union with the absolute. Original BUDDHISM taught that this could be done by losing all desire till one attained nirvana. A more popular way was by BHAKTI(devotion to a personal god such as Krishna. Sexual ecstasy is also offered as a means of enlightenment by the practice of TANTRIC YOGA.

KEMAL ATATURK A Turkish general saved TURKEY from dismemberment after the 1914-18 war. So when the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) recognized Turkish independence Kemal Ataturk (c.1880-1938) became the first President (1923-38). He abolished the OTTOMAN Caliphate (1924), which meant that Islam continued as the main religion, but Turkey was no longer run by the religious leaders under SHARI'A law. As a benevolent dictator he was able to transform the country into a modern state.

KEYS When it finally dawned on Peter that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus gave him a set of keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:15-19). Keys are to open and shut doors, to let people in or shut them out. In spite of a bad failure when Peter denied he had ever known his Lord, the Apostle found himself using his keys to let in 3,000 by baptism on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). His next major task was to open the doors for foreigners to eat in the Messiah's church (Acts 10:1-2, 44-48). Jesus had said that opening and shutting doors would include binding and loosing (Matthew 18:18), which was a term used by the rabbis for declaring things to be kosher or freed from regulation (Acts 10:13-15, as Jesus had said in Mark 7:18-19). In a sense each Christian has a set of keys to the Kingdom. We can open the door for others or shut them out. As Paul said, "Welcome one another, therefore, just as the Messiah welcomed you" (Romans 15:7). But John complained that "Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first . . . refuses to welcome the friends, and even prevents those who want to do so and expels them from the church" (3 John 9-10). On the other hand he says that we must use our keys to lock out teachers who reject Jesus as Messiah (2 John 7, 10-11).

KHARTOUM In the Table of Nations Cush is listed among the HAMITES together with MIZRAIM(Egypt, Arabic Misr), PUT (North Arica) and CANAAN(Genesis 10:6). Cush seems to refer to Ethiopia which was an area that could stretch from the Nile to the Horn of Africa, In our day the capital of the Sudan is Khartoum 2000 miles (3200 km) south of ALEXANDRIA, near the junction of the Blue and White Nile. We have picked it as a likely location for the palace of Candace, Queen of Ethopia. Another possibility could be present day Addis Ababa, capital of Abyssinia. The eunuch in charge of all Queen Candace's treasury was baptized by Philip the Evangelist on his way back from a visit to Jerusalem (Acts 8:26-39). As an educated man, he could certainly read the SEPTUAGINTversion of the Old Testament in Greek. An Ethiopic version (Ge'ez) of the New Testament (translated from the Greek and early Coptic texts in Alexandria, see COPTIC CHURCH) was probably available by 300 AD.

KING Jesus came from the DAVIDIC Line (see Matthew 1:1, 16, 18, Luke 1:32, MESSIAH). John the Baptist prepared for the preaching of Jesus by announcing "The Kingdom of Heaven has come near," and Jesus used the same words about himself after his baptism and temptations (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). He sent the apostles out, again with the same words (Matthew 10:7, see KINGDOM, Keys). Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with the beatitudes that begin and end with "theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:3, 10). Jesus also told parables about his Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven (there are seven in Matthew 13, see 18:23, 19:24, 20:1, 22:1, 25:1). His casting out of demons was proof the "the Kingdom of God has come to you" (Matthew 12:28). When Pilate asked if he was king of the Jews, Jesus explained that he was King, but not of this world (Matthew 27:33-36). Not understanding the otherworldly nature of the Kingdom, Pilate wrote "Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews on Jesus' cross (John 18:36-37, 19:19). We should add that Jesus did not become King when he came into our world. The eternal Son of God was already reigning among the nations throughout the Old Testament period (e.g. Psalm 2:6, 5:2, 8:9, 9:7, 10:16, 47:2,6, 7, 8, 48:1, 74:12, see Advent Comings of the Lord Among the Nations). And after his RESURRECTION and ASCENSION we are told "He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25).

KING, Martin Luther (1929-68) As a Baptist minister Martin Luther King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He used non-violent resistance and peaceful mass demonstrations (see GANDHI, Mahatma) to gain civil rights for black people. A boycott of the local bus company in Montgomery, Alabama (1955) prepared the ground for the Supreme Court ruling that racial segregation in public transportation was unlawful (1957). As he led the march of 200,000 on Washington (1963), King began his famous speech with "I have a dream" which outlined the hopes of his people (see POLITICAL EQUALITY) . This resulted in the Civil Rights Acts (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1964). As he was preparing to lead a march by sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee (1968), he was assassinated by James Earl Ray, who wanted to maintain segregation. Martin Luther King would have been proud but astonished to see the Black General Colin Powell being made the American Commander in Chief in the Gulf War (1991) and then appointed Secretary of State at the time of the war in IRAQ (2003).

KINGDOM A kingdom can exist merely for the earthly glory of the king. That requires lording it over a hierarchy appointed to force the citizens to pay taxes and do what they are told. But Jesus said "It is not so among you" (Mark 10:43). The reason is simple. The Messiah (God's anointed King) is concerned that every citizen be freed to grow into the very best he or she longs to become. And for that he needs a body of retainers in every place who enjoy servant ministry. He calls them his church. The retainers are tempted to imagine there is no salvation outside their church. But we had better remember that we are appointed to be servants of all the King's citizens, the good and the bad, and often the very indifferent.

KINGDOM, Keys In every organization the CEO entrusts people with keys. Every office, computer, filing cabinet, and safe has its keys. Some have keys to storerooms and the company cars and trucks. These days many keys are computerized passwords. When it finally dawned on Peter that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus gave him keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:15-19). In spite of a bad failure, Peter found himself using his keys to let in 3,000 Jewish people by baptism on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). He made it possible for Greek-speaking Jews to have their own synagogue in Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-6). Then he opened the door for a church in Samaria (Acts 8:14-16). His next major task was to free the Messiah's world-wide church from the Old Testament food restrictions (Acts 10:1-2, 13-15). This allowed a Roman Army Captain and his family to be part of the church in Caesarea (10:44-48). But the Kingdom also has churches in each city, and in every congregation Christians have keys to the various parts of the building, the organ, the computer, filing cabinets, bank accounts, cupboards of the Sunday School. We also have metaphorical keys to the hearts of children, the handicapped, prisoners, immigrants, old persons, neighbors, the sick, and many others in our city. We can open doors or shut people out. As Paul said, "Welcome one another, therefore, just as the Messiah welcomed you" (Romans 15:7, see 3 John 9-10).

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN The expression Kingdom of God is used 14 times in Mark's Gospel and 22 times by Luke. But Matthew uses the term Kingdom of God only 4 times (Matthew 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43) and in 34 places he calls it the Kingdom of Heaven (as in the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, Matthew 13:24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52). In either case Jesus is the KING of his KINGDOM (see Matthew 13:41). As SON OF GOD he was already the sovereign ruler among the NATIONS in the Old Testament period (as in Psalms 2:6-11; 8:9; 9:7; 22:28; 24:8-10). His interventions to assign WRATHand effect the VINDICATION of oppressed people are described in Advent Comings of the Lord among the Nations. What is different in the New Testament is that the King of the Kingdom of Heaven came to live among us, and made clear the nature of his kingly reign. "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom (to free) many" (Mark 10:45). He also came to recruit men and women to serve in his Kingdom (see KINGDOM, Keys), and show them how they could be empowered to do this (see POWER, Holy Spirit). His reign will continue (as in Revelation 1:5-6; 12:5) "until he has put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25).

KISS A kiss on the lips was an expression of sexual love (Song of Solomon 1:2, 4:11, 7:9). But the kiss or hug of welcome was natural in a family, and as a sign of friendship. You might kiss the person's cheeks, but the essential was the warmth of the embrace, as when Joseph kissed his brothers (Genesis 45:15). In Jesus' parable of love the father "ran and put his arms around him and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). Kissing the feet was a sign of overwhelming gratitude. "You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet" (Luke7:45). But using a kiss to betray a friend was an enormity. "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him" (Matthew 26:48), and we can sense Jesus' anguish "Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?" (Luke 22:48). In recent years we have recovered the early church practice of the hug of peace at communion services (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26, 1 Peter 5:14). This had fallen into disuse. How could a mediaeval Lord hug a serf? Or a slave owner hug a black slave? And others held back from prudishness. If men and women hugged each other, wouldn't sex rear its ugly head? Actually all the evidence is that the warmth of a Christian community channels our need for love in the right directions.

KNOWING There is a big difference between knowing about something or someone and personal knowing. "Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me" (Jeremiah 9:23-24). If the world is merely the evolution of chance energies, all a scientist can do is describe how it happens. But if God is the Artist of our world, and even more if he loves us, then nothing could be more important than knowing God personally. That is the way Moses knew God. "The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend" (Exodus 33:11). There is already a level of knowing between a shepherd and his sheep. "I know my own and my own know me" (John 10:14), but this is parabolic of the much deeper knowing that God wants us to enjoy. "This is eternal life, that they may know you the eternal God" (John 17:3).

KNOX, John (c.1513-72) After preaching at St.Andrew's University (1547) John Knox was captured by the French, released, and came to England (1549) where he became chaplain to King Edward VI. When Mary Tudor became Queen (1553-1558) he fled to Geneva, where he met John Calvin (see CALVINISM). Back in Scotland he preached against Mary Queen of Scots (1542-87) till the Protestant Lairds (landed gentry or lords) rose against her, established Protestantism as the religion of Scotland, and forced her abdication (1567). His Treatise on Predestination (1560), and his work on the First Book of Discipline (1560) and the Book of Common Order (1556-64) established the Presbyterian Church of Scotland firmly on a Calvinistic model.



KOSHER The Jewish Old Testament had a whole chapter of mammals, birds, and fish which were not to be eaten (Leviticus 11). Meat should come from an animal that divided the hoof and chewed the cud, which excluded pigs, rabbits, rodents, horses and camels. And seafood must have fins and scales, which forbade eels, squids, shrimps, and many other Mediterranean delicacies. Even the kosher foods such as beef and mutton must have the blood properly drained out (Leviticus 7:26-27, 17:11-12), and all the fat and entrails were to be cut out and burned (Leviticus 3:9-11, 17). This was probably a good guide for healthy eating during the journey through the wilderness, and it could still be a wise guide for today. The problem is that keeping kosher has made it impossible for orthodox Jews to be comfortable having table fellowship with other people with different dietary habits. Jesus stressed defilement of the heart, and began to dismantle the clean and unclean food distinctions (Mark 7:14-18). Peter was given a vision of all sorts of unclean animals, and told to kill and eat, which he interpreted as breaking down the division between Jews and other peoples (Acts 10:11-15, 34-35). This made table fellowship possible between Jews and Greeks, and all other nations, in every church community (see the compromise made in Acts 15:19-20, see MESSIANIC JEWS).

KUHN, Thomas Model Theology owes much to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, 1962, 2nd. edition, 1970. Kuhn showed that "normal science" works by discovering facts within the existing paradigm. But the great advances in science are by revolutionary paradigm (model) changes. A result is that in each scientific revolution all the accepted facts are subtly changed. Copernicus saw that the sun is no longer the center of the universe. With Einstein space and time are now relative. Christian Theology is quite different. There are at least 24 basically different models of religion and ideology continuously in parallel throughout human history (see God of Many Names chapters 3 &4). Conversion is a change from one way of ordering our life to another. This means that theology within our Trinitarian Theistic model differs radically from the explanations given within the models of other religions. This is why the early church Fathers viewed Trinitarian Theism as a given. A heretic was someone who rejected the Trinitarian model. In our day Christian theology is not a vague search for truth but the clarification of how God loves us (see Creative Love). Having looked at the logic of other religions and ideologies, that is the model we are committed to, live by, and seek to explain.

KUHN & WITTGENSTEIN Ludwig WITTGENSTEIN ((1889-1951) showed that words are only given meaning by the way they are used in a particular form of life (Philosophical Investigations, 1967, sections 19, 23, 241). In what KUHN called "normal science" words have agreed meanings for the purpose of working within the existing scientific paradigm. When there is a scientific revolution, we need to grasp the paradigm change and then learn the correct LANGUAGE-GAME for the use of every word in the new form of science (e.g. energy, matter, space, time). As set out in this website, every religion and ideology is a distinct form of life. And these ways of thinking (which we try to explain by the construction of models) need to be distinguished. If we wish to understand other religions or ideologies we need to learn the language-game for the use of the key words in each of those FORMS OF LIFE.

KURDS The mountains of Kurdistan are divided by four tributaries of the river TIGRIS. The Kurds are approximately 13% of the population of IRAQ. Kurdish autonomy was recognized as part of Iraq (1970). Their capital is Mosul on the TIGRIS river just across from the ruins of NINEVEH. They speak their own INDO-EUROPEAN Kurdish language.