Where is hope in 2020?

2020 has not started well.  It seemed inappropriate to wish people a Happy New Year with bush fires burning across Australia.  We have had so many fires, people’s lives lost, homes destroyed, farm and native animals unable to escape the flames, land decimated by the fires, poor air quality even in Sydney as a result.  Overseas the situation for refugees continues.  The war in Syria is still not over.  Tension between the USA and Iran has resulted in a drone strike taking out an Iranian general and the mistaken downing of a passenger plane killing all 176 on board.  I will say more about these matters and look for hope for 2020. (more…)

January 13, 2020 at 1:26 pm Leave a comment

Advent

Advent is the season leading up to Christmas.  It focuses on the hope and expectation of the coming of Jesus Christ, past, present and future.  I will focus on hope and also its opposite despair. Christian hope is not just about the coming birth of the Christ child but has to do with hope for the whole world. (more…)

December 3, 2019 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Shaped by Jesus

I have been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship and Keith Johnson’s The Essential Karl Barth.  Barth and Bonhoeffer are two of the most important theologians of the 20th century who still are having an impact on Christian thinking.  One of the things that struck me in regard to both is that they did not just speak ‘about’ Jesus and the Christian message.  They saw the need to be shaped ‘by’ Jesus.  I will explore this further. (more…)

November 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

Climate Strike

On 20 September 4 million people took part in Climate Strikes around the world. In Australia 300,000 were involved including 80,000 in Sydney.  I was one of the older people present supporting the young people. The impetus for this action was 16 year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden.  She began a lone protest in August 2018 when she, at age 15, began spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on global warming holding up a sign saying (in Swedish) “School strike for climate”. Her hashtag #howdareyou went viral on social media. Soon other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. (more…)

October 3, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Gratitude versus Entitlement

I have become increasingly aware of the importance of gratitude as the best attitude to take in life.  Gratitude involves appreciation and thankfulness.  The opposite is entitlement, the idea that I have a right to various things.  They should be given to me because of who I am. The latter attitude is all too common especially by those who are already well off.  Jeffrey Epstein was a glaring example.  Gratitude is less common, especially as an overall attitude to life rather than for specific things.  I will explore these ideas further. (more…)

September 3, 2019 at 12:09 pm Leave a comment

What is the Good News?

When many secular people speak about Christianity, they think its message is one of rules and limitations.  It is negative not positive, not good news but bad. Israel Folau got into serious trouble over his post: WARNING Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators HELL AWAITS YOU. REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES.  He thought he was offering a warning. He was taken to be expressing anti-homosexual hate speech and his contract with Rugby Australia has been terminated. Is the Christian message bad news?  I believe it is meant to be good news.  I will seek to explain what this is. (more…)

August 1, 2019 at 9:28 am Leave a comment

The Church as Contrast Society

The church is called to be a contrast society in relation to the society at large.  The early church was – to the point of often being persecuted in the first three centuries.  Then, with the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine to Christianity, the church became the religion of the empire and aligned itself with those in power.  It has often done so since though there have been times when it has disagreed with people with power both political and economic.  In our time the church does well to see itself again as a contrast society.  What might this mean? (more…)

June 28, 2019 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

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