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

Post-Election Thoughts

The recent Federal and NSW State elections showed that people want life to continue as it has under the respective Liberal governments.  The emphasis on the economy overruled other considerations.  People were satisfied with the performance of the current governments and did not want change.  The policies of the Labour party in relation to health, education, tax, climate change etc did not win support.  Australian has a high standard of living and people were content with things as they are.  Is this an adequate response?  I will make some observations from my Christian perspective. (more…)

June 2, 2019 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

Notre Dame Cathedral

It was terrible to see the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burning. It is over 850 years old.  Watching the extent of the flames burning the wooden roof and then the timber spire fall and break was heart rendering.  I felt saddened having visited the cathedral many years ago, let alone Parisians and French people. People were shown watching stunned. We were told that tourists visiting Paris went to see the cathedral as the most visited monument in Paris, even more than the Eiffel tower, the two most notable features of the city of Paris. Now Notre Dame Cathedral was in ruins though thanks to the fire fighters not completely burnt down.  It will be possible to rebuild it and the French government wants to do so in five years. What does such a building represent? (more…)

May 1, 2019 at 8:14 am Leave a comment

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