Let them stay is only half the ask

Many Australians have been disturbed by the apparent intention of the Government to return refugees, including babies born in Australia, to detention on Nauru. They are, quite rightly I believe, asking for the Government to let them stay. But this is only half the ask we need to make. Offshore detention without the possibility of… Continue Reading

The offer of sanctuary that should shock and shame us

Yesterday the Anglican Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane announced that he would offer sanctuary in the cathedral to any asylum seekers and refugees in danger of being shipped to Nauru or Manus Island. Other cathedrals and churches around the country have made the same offer. Sanctuary is serious business. It has a long… Continue Reading

What Vikings Teach Me About God’s Love

I am currently watching the TV series “Vikings” and it gives me insight int o how it is that God loves human beings. The series tells the story of Ragnar Lodbrok, a Viking who initiates the first raids on England. The Vikings are mindnumbingly violent. People are slaughtered without mercy and others enslaved all in… Continue Reading

Australia.A Work in Progress. Australia Day 2016.

It’s Australia Day 2016 and I am sitting in the Fly cafe at Melbourne airport waiting for my flight home to Newcastle. It has been a quick, overnight trip, but in the last 18 hours I have experienced everything that makes Australia a great country. Mum, my son and my brother are in Melbourne to… Continue Reading

So it turns out that pause in global warming was really no pause at all

One of the most repeated claims of climate  change sceptics is that over the past decade or so warming has either paused or  the rate of warming slowed dramatically.  It’s often their killer argument in their case against climate change “alarmism”. Take this from Andrew Bolt The facts: i have pointed out that satellite measurements show no statistically… Continue Reading

On Leaving Lord Howe

Today we fly home from Lord Howe Island. It has been a wonderful experience. The views are spectacular, the snorkelling a glorious kaleidoscope of colourful corals and fish, the people friendly and the food delicious. Yet the thing that I will carry strongest in my heart is the way this community preserves its sense of… Continue Reading

New Year’s Eve 2016. A Year to Love

I am spending New Year’s Eve on Lord Howe Island with Sandy and some friends. Yesterday I wandered through the Lord Howe Island museum and came across an exhibit that quite moved me. On June 16, 1951 two young men, Tom Payten and Bryant Smythe, set out on a fishing trip. Later that day Tom’s… Continue Reading

Christmas déjà vu. Has the whole Jesus thing been a failure?

Reading the Christmas story in Matthew one has a sense of déjà vu. A violent regime that shows no hesitation in slaughtering innocent people for political purposes forces a family to flee for their lives. We could be describing Syria under Assad, but instead we’re describing first century Judea under King Herod. 2000 years have… Continue Reading

On Turning Fifty

I turned 50 today. It’s one of the birthdays with a zero in it, which is supposed to invest it with greater significance than any other. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s a good opportunity to reflect. If you had asked the 20-year-old Scott Higgins to describe where I would be, who I… Continue Reading

Is Islam inherently violent?

In Tuesday’s mail I received a nine page typed critique of a sermon I preached recently on refugees and asylum seekers. It was clear that my critic was very unhappy with a number of things, including my assertion that we had nothing to fear from Muslim immigrants. Islam, he strongly implied, was inherently violent, a… Continue Reading