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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...

Take a Bow My Friends

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Over the course of the last decade many people have been involved in campaigns calling on clothing manufacturers to stop using cotton farmed in Uzbekistan, for it was harvested using forced child labour. Churches, schools, trade unions and other community groups joined together, not only in Australia but around the world to demand change. In those early days it was tough going. With a few...

The Myth of the Dole Bludger

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We’ve all heard it. The confident declaration by a friend, relative or work colleague that the country is being ruined by all the dole bludgers out there; people living all too well off the money we earn and they don’t. The problem is, it’s just not true. You know the dole and other allowances paid to the unemployed are too low when the Business Council of Australia and one of...

Why the right to speak does not make it right to speak

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A few weeks ago Israel Folau made news with his twitter response to the question, “what was God’s plan for gay people?” “HELL…unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.” His tweet evoked strong comment and emotion. The activist CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, weighed in, expressing disappointment and threatening to pull Qantas’s sponsorship of rugby if...

Greed Isn’t So Good

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Is anybody else shocked by the revelations coming out of the Royal Commission into Banking and Financial Services?  Our banks and financial service industries are amongst the most profitable organisations in the  world and they handsomely remunerate their staff. Yet it seems that it’s not enough. I find it extraordinary, because it is economically so unnecessary. At the time of Jesus people...

Is it Time to Boycott Woolworths?

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I have spent more than a decade working in social justice advocacy. I don’t like boycotts.  They are a blunt instrument. I  wonder however if we have not reached the time that a boycott is the only thing that will speak loudly enough  to shame Woolworths into action on its despicable poker machine practices. Fact 1.   Woolworths is the majority owner (75%) of Australian Leisure and...

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