The Triune God

Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday so as a theologian I thought it would be appropriate for me to say something about the Christian understanding of God as triune.  The Christian understanding of God is that we know God through Jesus Christ and in the Spirit.  R. L. Wilkins says “Christian life is Trinitarian, oriented towards God the supreme good, formed by the life of Christ, and moved toward the good by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.”  So Trinitarian thinking is not esoteric, it is fundamental to Christian thought and life. (more…)

June 9, 2017 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment

Where is Home?

We live in a world in which many people do not feel at home.  Thousands of refugees have been displaced from their homes due to war and the threat of violence in places such as Syria and the Middle East.  Others have had to move from drought-stricken areas such as in Africa.  Others due to relationship or mental health issues do not have a place they can really call home.  In considering this issue of, ‘Where is Home?’ it is helpful to start by naming some of the qualities of ‘home.’   Home implies somewhere that is safe, that is familiar, that has people who care for us and we care for them, that has many of our own things, and that we can be ourselves in.  Let me expand on this.  (more…)

May 12, 2017 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Violence and more Violence

In recent days we have had more terrorist attacks.  On 9 April we heard about the Palm Sunday attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Egypt, the St George Coptic Church in Tanta and St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, which killed 47 and injured over 100.  Only a few months earlier on 11 December 2016 a suicide bomber killed 27 and injured 47 at St Peter and St Paul’s Coptic Church in Cairo.  On 7 April in Stockholm, Sweden a stolen truck was driven into a pedestrian shopping street callously killing 4 and injuring 15 more.  This was a copycat act to the truck driven into a Christmas market in Berlin on 19 December which killed 12 and injured 56.  These were the more publicized terrorist acts.  We hear less of the terrorist attacks that have been carried out in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh. (more…)

April 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment

Fortress Mentality or Open Gates

I have recently read Richard Fidler’s, Ghost Empire about the thousand year story of Constantinople.  Constantinople was the ‘new Rome’ as the emperor Constantine in 330 CE shifted the Roman Empire’s capital to the east.  It was at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.  The site was on a promontory surrounded by water on three sides.  Its location was very defensible and beautiful.  A wall was built across the land side to protect it from invaders.  In time the legendary land walls of Theodosius were built: a massive triple layered defensive network of thick stone and brick walls and towers that were a wonder of the medieval world.  In 1453 the city however did fall to the Ottoman Turks and was renamed Istanbul.  In contrast, the ‘new Jerusalem’ envisioned by John in Revelation has God dwelling with people.  The city has 12 gates with angels at them.  The gates are made of pearl and are never shut.  The perpetually open gates symbolize perfect safety. People bring into the city the glory and honour of the nations.  Let me suggest these two approaches have much to say to us today.   (more…)

March 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

Truth, Language and Integrity in the age of Trump

I have read a perceptive article by Bret Stephens on intellectual integrity in the age of Donald Trump which was a lecture he gave at the University of California.  He writes for the foreign affairs column of The Wall Street Journal for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.  He is himself fairly conservative politically which makes his lecture even more remarkable.  So I will draw on it in writing about truth, language and integrity. (more…)

February 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm 1 comment

Federer and Nadal – Champions

I was on leave during the time of the Australian Open tennis championships.  So I was able to follow it closely.  I watched a number of matches, especially the men’s semi -finals and final.  The final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was a classic.  Every point was contested.  A lapse meant losing a game or a set.  Both men played outstanding tennis.  Some of their shots were amazing.  In the end Federer finally prevailed.  As he said in his speech after the match, he would have been happy with a draw but tennis does not have draws.  Someone does finally win and someone loses.  Both Federer and Nadal are real champions in my view.  But what makes a champion? (more…)

February 1, 2017 at 11:46 am 1 comment

What will 2017 bring?

The New Year’s celebrations saw millions of people around the world seeing the New Year in with major fireworks displays in places as diverse as Sydney, Manila, Singapore, London and New York.  In Sydney 1 ½ million people found places around the foreshores of Sydney harbour to witness the fireworks displays.  We greet each other with a ‘Happy New Year’ hoping that indeed it will be a positive year.  It did not begin so in Turkey with a gunman randomly killing 39 people in a nightclub in Istanbul before escaping. (more…)

January 4, 2017 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

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