is God’s justice retribution or restoration? The apparently benign question that changes everything


Over the last 25 years there have been dramatic shifts in the way I understand and frame my faith. Throughout my journey the one constant has been Jesus Christ and my devotion to following him. But I’ve realised that the classic evangelicalism I inherited has at its core two ways of framing the Jesus story:   a retributive understanding of justice and duty-based understanding of ethics...

Some Things, Like Greed and Self Interest, Never Change.


The Commission of Audit report released yesterday proves one thing: you can always trust the rich and powerful to defend their own interests at the expense of the disadvantaged and vulnerable. If the report’s recommendations are followed, which thankfully most of them won’t be, the minimum wage would be reduced from $622.20  to $488.87 and a single pensioner getting by on $421 per...

Pursing the Common Good. Where Christians are Getting It Wrong and How They Can Get it Right


In the last few years I’ve noticed a shift in the language of politically engaged Christians. Increasingly rare is talk of Australia as a “Christian” nation whose heritage must be preserved and increasingly common is talk of “the common good”, with Christians asking how they can contribute to it This is a welcome change. I don’t think it’s possible for a...

Justice That Heals


There have been a number of ah-ha moments in my life, times at which I have seen myself and my world in a new light. One of those was to discover the place of justice in the Christian life. Echoing the prophet Micah, Jesus identified justice, mercy and faithfulness as the three central dimensions of godliness. Mercy and faithfulness had been ideological staples of my childhood faith, however...

I Hate Tee’s with a Message


I hate wearing T-shirts with messaging all over them, even more so when the messaging is nothing more than branding. But I write this post wearing a T that features an image of Martin Luther King and his comment that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” To purchase the T I traveled from the relatively developed centre of Phnom Penh to slum ridden periphery. Here a...

When Mandela was a Terrorist and Justice Had Nothing to Do with Jesus. How I Came to See Jesus as a Champion of Justice. Jesus and Justice #1


When I was growing up Nelson Mandela was seen by many in my faith community as a terrorist who belonged in prison, the election of the Hawke government was declared by a key figure in my church to be God’s judgement on the nation, and justice had very little to do with Jesus. The Jesus I knew was the Son of God incarnated as a human being who came to earth to pay the penalty for my sins so...

A Wonderful Prayer


May God bless you with discomfort At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, So that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. May God bless you with tears To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, So that you may reach out your...

The $22 Billion Fundraiser. How We Did It.


How would you like to raise $22 billion for anti-poverty programs around the world? That’s not $22 million but $22 billion. Sounds impossible right? Well maybe not. Back in September 2000 world leaders, including Australia’s Prime Minister, gathered in Geneva and declared that the new millennium would be one in which we would forge a new world. We will spare no effort to free our...

I don’t plan on being in ‘heaven’ for long


Along with most Christians, I grew up believing that when I die my soul will leave my body and ascend to an immaterial realm called heaven, where I will spend an eternity with God. The only problem is, neither Jesus nor the Bible teach In recent years biblical scholars have argued that the bible does not see eternal life as us ascending to heaven, but heaven ‘descending’ to earth and...


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