Latest stories

Scomo, Politicians & Prophets

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There has been a lot of commentary over the past 2 weeks on the faith of our new PM, Scott Morrison. Here is my two bobs worth: Politicians and prophets have very different callings. Prophets, or in their secular version, social activists, point us to what we can and should be. They are not satisfied with simple improvements in the human condition, but long for a world in which every person finds...

The Violent Elephant in the Room

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By global standards, Australia is not a particularly violent society. We don’t fear bombs dropping from the sky, nor do we have a government that employs violence to suppress the population. We do of course, have pockets of illegitimate state sanctioned violence (eg offshore detention centres), but overall, the State in Australia is relatively benign. We sit at the lower end of rates of...

Men & Domestic Violence. We’ve a long way to go.

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Family and domestic violence is  a horrific reality, frequently hidden behind the four walls of our homes.  The Australian Institute for Health & Welfare, recently released the latest data on family & domestic violence (FDV). Three things stood out to me. 1. FDV  is stubbornly resistant to change The public education campaigns that have run over the last few years have successfully...

A Story of Salvation

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In my last blog post I shared some of my difficulties with the doctrine of penal substitution. In this post I sketch how I articulate the biblical story of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. In this I am heavily indebted to Tom Wright, The Day the Revolution Began and Darrin Belousek Atonement, Justice and Peace. The story begins with the creation of the world…. Genesis 1 sees the cosmos as...

Your gospel ain’t good news to me…

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The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are central to the Christian faith. Christians have long understood that God was “reconciling the world to himself in Christ.” The earliest preaching, as it comes to us from the book of Acts, had a relatively straightforward take on this. Jesus came with the good news that God was gathering Israelites together to be the community they were always meant to...

Jesus, Sacrifice & Forgiveness. Why We Need to Take Another Look.

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This is a longer than usual piece. So grab a cuppa and take some time… For most of my life I’ve thought that the Old Testament sacrificial system was a way for people to be forgiven for their sins. The death of an animal was a powerful reminder to Israelites that they deserved to die for their sin, but that God accepted the animal as a substitute for them. This then affected the way I read...

Everywhere and always God’s graceful presence. Letting go of a God of fear and fury for the God of Jesus

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  Grab a cuppa and give yourself some time. This is a longer than usual piece When I was a teenager I remember being both excited and fearful when one of my non-Christian school friends came to church. I was excited because they were expressing an interest in faith. I was fearful lest they take communion, for it had been drummed into me that “anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup...

Reconciliation Can Change Us All for the Better

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I am 52 years old. In the half century of my life there have been dramatic shifts in the relationship between non-indigenous and indigenous Australians: the 1967 referendum to include indigenous peoples in the census and grant to government power to make decisions that positively discriminated towards indigenous people; recognition of land rights; Keating’s Redfern speech; the Mabo...

Why even Republicans like me got sucked into the royal wedding

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Try as I did to resist, this last week I found myself pulled into the vortex of joy that was the royal wedding. In the leadup I disdainfully dismissed it as the pompous ceremony (and yes I mean pompous ceremony not pomp and ceremony) of an elitist and sexist institution that regarded the church as chaplain to its power… except that what I found was a celebration of love and marriage that captured...

Moving the Immovable Force. The Unchanged Sexism in the Christian Churches.

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I entered theological college in 1987. It was a time of ferment and upheaval among Evangelicals in the industrialised world as a growing number of scholars and leaders challenged the biblical basis for the traditional gender roles that operated within the church. Just months before I sat in my first class, IVP, one of Evangelicalism’s leading publishing houses, released Women, Authority And...