This is not God

This is not God

Too many Christian leaders speak of God with great certainty, and it’s worrying. Their stance borders on arrogance. In an age of identity politics, where leaders shout slogans with ever-increasing volume, this approach might be deemed strategic, but it causes long-term damage. Recently, I attended a meeting where we debated, yet again...

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Looking for clues

Looking for clues

I like detective shows. I like trying to figure out who did it. I usually get it wrong, but I enjoy not knowing and putting the clues together. Recently, I have been watching ‘Line of Duty.’ Last week, trying to figure out who was the culprit, I took a step back and realised that the

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Pain without anaesthetic

Pain without anaesthetic

Let me be clear – this blog is not about physical pain. (Physical pain is debilitating, and using pain relief is highly advisable.) The title of this blog refers to the need to find ways of living with emotional/spiritual pain. Occasionally, anaesthetising such pain is helpful. However, when it results in enduring numbness...

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Hearts broken… For what?

Hearts broken… For what?

This Sunday is Remembrance Day, marking 100 years since the Armistice that ended World War 1. Now, no-one living remembers it, let alone the soldiers who fought in it, yet its effects linger. It has political cachet; Australia’s has marked the Centenary by outspending every other nation that fought in WW1, including Great Britain which...

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Rally to the cause

Rally to the cause

At particular points in history, it appears self-evident that certain causes should be supported. Last Sunday was Remembrance Sunday, marking the end of WW1. At the beginning of WW1, it was clear to many in Australia that the nation should be involved in Britain’s fight with Germany. Australians greeted the outbreak of war with...

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Violence

Violence

I have a book to recommend, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World’ by James Carroll The title suggests a particular focus. However, the opening section of the book, at least, is jam-packed with unusual and provocative insights into the troubling relationship between religion and violence. Carroll opines that...

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Prepare to be a gangster?

Prepare to be a gangster?

Recently, on Richard Feidler’s Conversations, I heard the story of John ‘Chow’ Hayes, a notorious Sydney gangster. Chow was born in 1911, the illegitimate son of a prostitute. His upbringing was erratic; he did not attend school after his 8th birthday. He grew up in poverty and a world traumatised by the effects of WW1.

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Does Christianity foster violence?

Does Christianity foster violence?

Again, I find myself captivated by ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World,’ a book which surveys history and theology over several thousand years, focussing on humanity’s alarming predisposition to embrace and bless violence, primarily through religion. The book focusses on Jerusalem. In this ancient city...

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Where do you come from?

Where do you come from?

My father was a minister, as was my grandfather, on my mother’s side. (What chance did I have? I did resist ministry for some time, only saying ‘Yes’ after experimenting with other pathways for some years.) Now, with more of my life behind me than ahead, I look back to these two men and wonder,

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Would you believe it?

Would you believe it?

Happy New Year to all! I hope 2019 offers you many opportunities to wonder and gain new insights. Recently, I returned from a few days’ break in Canberra. While there, a book came to my attention, which quickly captivated me. It is the story of the forged Adolf Hitler diaries, which surfaced in the early

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