KAABA When Muhammad cleared out
over three hundred idols from the sacred shrine (kaaba)
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.
KARBALA see IRAQ,
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
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
meaning release from samsara) are offered as ways of salvation.
One is the practice of
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
KEMAL ATATURK A Turkish general
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,
(North Arica) and
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,
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
Comings of the Lord Among the Nations). And after his RESURRECTION
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).
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
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
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
KONYA See ICONIUM
KORAN see QUR'AN
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
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
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
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
((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
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
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