The good, the bad, the ugly. The ALP’s Refugee Platform

Refugee policy was the source of much contention that the recent national conference of the Australian Labor Party. Here is my scorecard: Increase the humanitarian intake to 27,000 by 2025. Rating: 6/10 90% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries, many of whom are being overwhelmed with the number Jordan for example, has… Continue Reading




My day at IKEA, a symbol of hope or a sign of doom?

I am surrounded by a wall of sound. The low rumble of trolleys laden with meals, like whispered thunder. The chinking of cutlery on crockery. A cacophony of voices. Crying babies. Excited five-year-olds. Wearied parents. Lovestruck couples. Welcome to IKEA, where consumerism has become a form of recreation. It seems that for many going to… Continue Reading




Labor to continue turnbacks. Why this is a disappointing result

Over the weekend the Australian Labor Party made some welcome changes to its refugee policy. Numbers are to be increased under a Labor government to 27,000 and millions more invested in the UNHCR. There was however one unwelcome determination, and that was to not exclude turnbacks of boats of asylum seekers trying to reach our… Continue Reading




The Greek means… No it does not!

When I was at theological college I was at a gathering of young adults from my church when the discussion focused on the consumption of alcohol. This was a big taboo for Christians in my church tradition. One of the young adults had recently started attending a different church and confidently declared that when the… Continue Reading




What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Five critical questions

In the past couple of months I have found myself involved in many discussions around a biblical approach to same-sex relationships. Not only is our Parliament to debate same-sex marriage, but some prominent Christian leaders, including Steve Chalke, Tony Campolo, and ethicist David Gushee have called for the church to change its mind on homosexuality.… Continue Reading




She’s Moving Out Today

On the weekend we helped our daughter Jess move into her own apartment. What a bittersweet experience! I am thrilled for her. She’s an amazing young woman, full of life and ready to take on the world. As we bought furniture, moved things old from our home and things old and new into her new… Continue Reading




A taste of resurrection

Parkinsons brings a lot of unwelcome firsts.Recently it was the first time I had to ask someone to cut up my meal. There were three of us out for lunch. A beautiful cut of meat lingered on my plate. The steak knife was sharp. But my tremor meant all I could manage was a constant… Continue Reading




I don’t want to live in a tolerant society

Fear of the other has always marked human society. In response to this I frequently hear calls for us to be “tolerant” of those who are different. I don’t think tolerance is capable of overcoming fear. To tolerate something suggests that it is distasteful, that I’ll keep myself as far removed from it is possible… Continue Reading




The nutters at the NRA have got it wrong on Australia

The nutters that run the National Rifle Association in the USA have published an article criticising Australia’s gun laws.In a breathtaking example of the triumph of fictive ideology over brute fact they declare the gun law reform implemented by Prime Minister John Howard has infringed on our liberties without making Australia any safer. The headline,… Continue Reading




Why Love is the Greatest Threat to Marriage

In recent days there has been much discussion about the meaning of marriage and threats to it. It is with some interest then that I am reading Marriage. A History. From Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz. Coontz shows that for most of human history marriage had very little to… Continue Reading