We have watched as Afghanistan has been taken over by the Taliban. First, the Taliban progressively took charge of regional cities and areas. They were not expected to be able to take control of the capital Kabul. However, catching everyone by surprise, they came into Kabul and took over with very little resistance. The President fled overseas, the national troops gave up, many left the country, and people hurried to the airport hoping to get onto planes to escape. Australia has been flying some people out with difficulty due to the chaos at the airport. Apart from the obvious tragedy of it all, what can we learn from it? (more…)

August 25, 2021 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

Christians and Politics

Religion and politics are necessarily related. In Jesus’ time religion and politics were not separate but bound together. Like the prophets of ancient Israel, Jesus was critical of the leaders of Israel for their failings. The early church communities were not in a position to influence the policies of the Roman Empire and often suffered persecution. This changed when the Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity. Christianity became the favoured religion and then the official religion of the Roman Empire. The long period of Christendom ensued with the church having a significant influence on political decisions. (more…)

July 22, 2021 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

Jesus’s Expectations

I have been reading Klyne Snodgrass’s excellent book Stories with Intent, A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus. He examines Jesus’s parables noting the various attempts to explain them. Often these say more about the writer than the parable. They impose their values rather than let the stories function as stories. He also points out that the concluding comment is usually appropriate and helps to explain the point of the parable. I found his judgments to be sound. Importantly, we need to read the parables in the light of Jesus’ context, expectations and intentions. I will outline these in my own way. (more…)

June 25, 2021 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

Accent the Positive

It is easy to be negative, to be critical, to find fault. It seems to me preferable and a more Christian approach to give attention to the positive, to affirm people, to be considerate.  In saying this I am not suggesting that we ignore the negative or falsely always to be positive. I will explain this further.


May 24, 2021 at 9:33 am Leave a comment

What did Jesus achieve?

I have finished reading a book by Fleming Rutledge titled The Crucifixion, Understanding the death of Jesus Christ. It is a comprehensive and up to date exploration of the subject. I was impressed with the balanced and considered presentation she gave as she examined the various atonement theories, which she preferred to call motifs. While acknowledging the value of the various motifs, she finally gave preference to two atonement theories, namely Christ as Victor over the powers of sin and death, and the substitution motif in which Jesus Christ is regarded as suffering in our place. She was especially strong on emphasizing the apocalyptic worldview of the New Testament and the reality of the powers of evil in their threefold form of sin, the Law and death. I will examine this subject in my own way. (more…)

April 23, 2021 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

Australians and Sexual Abuse

Recently we have heard of sexual abuse, harassment, lewd videos and rape in Parliament House in Canberra itself. It seems that the culture at our national government is not one that respects all people equally and treats everyone appropriately. Thousands of women and men marched across Australia calling for justice and better treatment of women.  Previously we had a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The extent of abuse by priests and others was exposed and rightly condemned. Child sexual abuse has no place in Australian or any society. I will explore this issue of sexual abuse further.


March 23, 2021 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

God’s Mission and Human Mission

I was impressed by this quote from German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg. He says of God’s mission, “The sending of the Son into the world and the fulfilment of his mission by his death is God’s way of actualising his rule in the world without oppression and with respect for the independence of creatures, even on the part of God himself” (Systematic Theology Vol 2, p394). God’s mission as revealed in Jesus Christ is very different to how humans, especially political and military rulers carry out their human mission. I will explore this difference. (more…)

February 23, 2021 at 9:52 am Leave a comment

Australia Day 2021

Australia Day has become a contentious one in our nation. While it is appropriate to celebrate Australia, doing so on the day that represents invasion to our indigenous population is not appropriate.  We can rightly celebrate Australia as our nation and recognize those who have made contributions to our collective life, such as the people chosen to be Australians of the year whether local, young, senior, or the main award. Do my Christian convictions have an influence on how I view Australia Day? (more…)

January 26, 2021 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Exclusion and Embrace

I have just finished reading Miroslav Volf’s notable book, Exclusion and Embrace.  I have known about it for some time but did not get around to reading it until now. As we emerge from the COVID – 19 restrictions which emphasized social distancing and avoiding touching and embracing, it seemed an appropriate book to read. We continue to quarantine overseas arrivals, excluding them until we are sure they are safe, and while we now embrace those we love, we are still hesitant to get too close to others. What can we learn from Volf about exclusion and embrace? (more…)

December 17, 2020 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

Australians and War Crimes

We have recently heard the disturbing outcome of the four-year inquiry into war crimes committed by Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan. The report was presented by Major General Paul Brereton. The report has rightly damaged Australia’s reputation. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepared people for the distressing report and has apologised to the President of Afghanistan. I will say more about this report and Australia’s involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


November 23, 2020 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

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