Baptist to My Bootstraps

I became part of the Baptist church when I was seven. Mum and dad had experienced a revitalisation in their faith and were looking for a church that would nurture their newfound spiritual interest....

Quoting the Bible in Public. What our engagement with slavery should have taught us.

For much of the history of the church the practise of slavery went unchallenged. It’s not difficult to see why. Slavery was a longstanding feature of human society that was rarely questioned by...

Is there a way through the poisoned politics of climate?

Last week the Federal Government released the latest quarterly update on Australia's greenhouse emissions. It is not pretty reading, for rather than breaking south and following a downward trend,...

Is there any hope for progressive causes under a Scomo Coalition government?

Over the course of the next three years (and perhaps beyond) Australia will be governed by the Liberal-National Coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. I suspect it will prove to be the most...

When you’ve nothing left to do but watch binge TV

In a recent post I shared the unexpected and stunning turnaround in my health that I experienced in February. The last 6 months of 2018 had seen a severe decline in my mobility to the point that on...

Why I Won’t Vote my Values

A repost of an article published in June 2016. The day of the 2010 Federal Election I cast my vote then took my eight year old son to his soccer match. Lachlan’s team was made up of kids from the...

Israel Folau, Religious Freedom & Standing for “the Truth”. Some Thoughts

Last week rugby star Israel Folau posted an image on social media that said “Warning: Drunks. Homosexuals. Adulterers. Liars. Fornicators. Thieves. Atheists. Idolaters. Hell awaits you.”  Folau...

Spin v Promise. Are the Liberals Better Economic Managers?

It's the first day of campaigning for the Federal election and the Coalition has signalled the tone of its campaign. Given the internal division that has made it near impossible for the PM to set...

An Unexpected & Stunning Turnaround. A Health Update

Last November I posted a health update that reflected a rather bleak outlook for 2019. I had watched my physical health deteriorate under the influence of Parkinsons to the point that most days were...

The dividing line between good and evil…A response to the conviction of George Pell

When I heard the news that Cardinal George Pell had been convicted of the sexual abuse of children I felt sick in the stomach. I felt disgust at what he had done; sad for the boys he abused; grieved...

Why empathy matters. Reading the Bible to hear the word of God #1

I was revisiting Richard Hays's The Moral Vision of the New Testament recently and was reminded of his very helpful description of how we can discern God's word to us...

Truth, Lies & the Stories We Tell

Our lives are defined by the stories we tell. Stories give meaning to our experiences, our relationships and our places. Many of these stories are personal. They're my story, not yours. But we all...

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the Biggest Taxer of Them All?

As we gear up for a federal election I'm already hearing people characterise the Labor Party as big taxers and big spenders and the Coalition as the party of lower spending and lower taxes. Really?...

My kids reckon I will be an ugly bald man. A health update

Many of those who follow my blog are aware I have Parkinsons. Less well known is that the same year (2012) I was diagnosed with Parkinsons I was also diagnosed as having Chronic Lymphomatic Leukemia...

Say No to the Australian Christian Lobby’s Latest Campaign of Fear

Popping up regularly in my facebook feed is a campaign by the Australian Christian Lobby titled “You won’t Believe Labor’s Latest Attack on Parent’s Rights”. This is what the ACL campaign page says:...

Unanswered Questions about Kids Off Nauru

I have been celebrating the news that the Federal Government is bringing all refugee children on Nauru to  Australia for medical treatment. Yet there remain disturbing, unanswered questions. Why not...

What the church needs more than freedom of religion

Freedom of religion, conscience and speech are at the heart of a free society. They protect us from an ideological totalitarianism which demands everyone believe, speak and act in the same way. The...

Kids Off Nauru. Why Isn’t This A No-Brainer?

Like many others, my heart skipped a beat this week when I heard that three Coalition MPs had broken ranks on offshore detention and were calling for children and their families detained on Nauru to...

That lump of coal stunt looks even more lame now

Last year Scott Morrison, then the Treasurer, carried a lump of coal into Parliament during Question Time, where he brandished it about, saying "This is coal. Don't be scared. It won't hurt...

The day the world’s leaders mocked the emperor with no clothes

I don't usually pay a lot of attention to speeches made at the United Nations General Assembly, but there were two speeches this week that were important for all of us, one by US President Donald...

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...

The Violent Elephant in the Room

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...

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...

A Story of Salvation

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...

Your gospel ain’t good news to me…

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...

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What happens when we die? In this four part series we explore the biblical vision of heaven, judgement and the afterlife and discover it is both far removed from popular thinking and profoundly relevant for life.
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Review: The Message and the Kingdom

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In The Message and the Kingdom, historians Richard Horsley and Neil Silberman "attempt to reconstruct the social history of early Christianity from a wide variety of newly available evidence drawn from recent studies of ancient Roman culture and from archaeological discoveries throughout the Mediterranean world" (chapter 1). Their argument, in summary is:1. The Roman Empire was an oppressive presence for the majority of the population in the first century Mediterranean world, maintaining an elite in a state of luxury and power by imposing heavy financial burdens on an impoverished peasantry. Rome was creating a new political and economic order in which the emperor was depicted as Saviour of the world, local subsistence economies were transformed to extract surpluses for local political elites and Rome, and dissent was crushed with ruthless violence;
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ON LIVING WITH PARKINSONS

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