It is the concern of this article that some definitions of public theology allow apartheid and Nazism to be counted as public theology. According to these, Osama Bin Laden could be our greatest, most influential contemporary public theologian. There are lines that must be drawn outside of which we should not go in defining and promoting public theology. To discuss this, I employ the language of 'necessary and sufficient conditions'. It is necessary to define 'public' and 'theology'. What more needs to be said for sufficient conditions to be met? In considering this, hermeneutical guides are sought'stars and compasses'so that the thinking and practice of public theology meets the sufficient conditions of peace-making, justice-seeking, opting for the afflicted and honouring all.