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What about the Rohingya?


The flight of refugees from Burma highlights just how inhumane our refugee policy has become. More than 647,000 Rohingya have fled Burma since the end of August last year,  making it the largest refugee crisis of our region and one of the largest in the world. The UNHCR web  page on the Rohingya crisis says The situation remains precarious as refugees continue to arrive every day. Many refugees...

Why Pray?


For some Christians prayer is simple. They ask God for that which their heart desires, trust God to answer with a “yes”, “no” or “not yet”, and then celebrate the yes’s. They pray for parking spots, for jobs, for good weather for church events, for the leadership of our nation, and for the success of God’s mission. I admire the  trust that God is good and...

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest man in the world


We are sitting side by side on a flight to Brisbane. Ours was the first flight out this morning, which meant we were up at 4am. Sandy dozes beside me and I once more find myself incredibly thankful that this woman has shared her life with me. We’ve been married for 30+ years and yes, we each have annoying little quirks. When Sandy pulls out one of her many lists that demand certain chores...

Why You Should Not Obey Everything Commanded in the Bible


As a follower of Jesus it is my ambition to live in a Jesus-shaped way. In seeking to do this the Bible is one my key resources. Yet understanding how it applies to me can be difficult, for while I have grown up believing that what the Bible says, God says, it is clear that there are things the Bible commands or permits that are not what God says to me today – eg the permission to take a...

Farewell Billy Graham.


I just heard the news that Billy Graham died. Perhaps the greatest evangelist of history, I was one of millions who were profoundly influenced by his ministry. My mother was on the organising committee for the 1979 “Billy Graham Crusade”, held at Randwick racecourse. This meant that our household was swept up in the fervour of those crusades. I was 14 years old. I can’t remember...

Genesis & Gender roles. Are we all asking too much of the texts?


The Bible’s creation stories are key texts in shaping Christian views of gender and sexuality. To some they represent a manifesto for the equality of men and women across all areas of life, while for others they speak of a creation order in which men and women share equal worth but leadership belongs to men. It is typically assumed that because the Genesis texts describe the world prior to the...

This statistic, more than any other, shocked me


“Acts of violence to women aged between 15 and 44 across the globe produce more deaths, disability and mutilation than cancer, malaria and traffic accidents combined.” This  statistic, quoted  in Elaine Storkey’s Scars Across Humanity,  shocked me more than any other I have heard as  our community has discussed domestic and family violence over the last few years. It’s not...

No, Penal Substitutionary Atonement is Not the Heart of the Gospel.


I wrote a blog piece earlier this week in which I suggested that the good news of the gospel cannot and should not be reduced to the declaration that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins. In the process I questioned whether the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA), which is a fairly detailed elaboration of how it is Christ’s death saves us from the consequences of sin, is...

Why don’t we simply change the date?


Australia Day is, for the vast majority of Australians, a day to celebrate the nation we have become. Yet the date on which it is celebrated, January 26, is odd, and to some, odious. Most of our national holiday/celebration days are celebrated on a day that has historical significance that is relevant to the celebration. Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas are related to significant events...

Now This is Really Good News! Reframing the Gospel


When Jesus burst into the Galilee the Gospels tell us that he came with the news that “the reign of God was near” and called people to “repent and believe the good news”. The Old Testament prophets had spoken of a time when God would deliver humankind from those things that robbed them of life. The poor would be delivered from poverty; the hungry would have full bellies; the...


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