Christianity & Climate Change


Does religious belief impact on attitudes toward climate change? While there is research that suggests Australians who identify with Christianity are less likely to believe in anthropogenically induced climate change, this does not appear to be the case for church-attending Christians. NCLS and CSIRO surveys The National Church Life Survey, which is the largest survey of church attenders in...

Scomo, Politicians & Prophets


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...

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


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...

I don’t want to be a “real man”.


There was a great article about Tim Winton in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine recently.  Winton was just 5 years old when his  father was badly injured in a motor vehicle accident. After he came home from hospital Winton’s father required many weeks of intensive assistance  and emotional support. Tim’s mother, who suddenly became the family breadwinner, as well...

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...

Farewell Vienna


One of the things I’d been looking forward to this year was  taking up invitations to speak at conferences in Vienna and Jakarta.  A couple of weeks back I wrote to the organisers of those conferences to notify them I would need to withdraw,  for over the last couple of months I have experienced a substantial deterioration  in physical health that makes...

Hands Down The Best Investment We Can Ever Make


One of the most thrilling moments I have ever witnessed occurred during the Live8 concert in 2005. A giant screen displayed footage from the 1980s famine in Ethiopia. It was distressing. Mothers with eyes evacuated of hope cradling emaciated babies; children too weak to play sitting quietly on the dusty ground surrounded by death. The camera zoomed in on one baby girl, gaunt, listless and just...

Why you should ask your pastor to stop preaching sermons against same-sex marriage


I recently spent time with a friend who is a pastor. He was in the middle of a sermon series on contemporary issues and the topic for the following week was same-sex marriage. He held to a fairly stock-standard conservative evangelical approach and it was clear that his congregation expected him to articulate it. I suggested that when he preached the sermon his target shouldn’t be the 55 year old...

We Need a Reality Check on Energy Prices


Rising energy prices have become a cause of widespread complaint and are cited as a reason we need to cling coal-powered electricity.   As far as I can tell all the anxiety around rising electricity prices is way out of proportion to reality. First, our electricity costs are only a small proportion of our household budgets. A 2012 ABS survey found that the households with the lowest 10% of income...

A Christmas without nativity scenes. Embracing my faith in a secular society


I am holidaying with my family on The Gold Coast. We are staying in an apartment with spectacular views over the ocean. We have swum in the surf, laid on golden beaches, screamed with a mixture of fear and thrill on roller coasters at Movieworld, laughed ourselves hoarse as we share meals. We have dined and seen movies at Pacific Fair shopping centre, a massive complex that includes supermarkets...

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