Grasstree Gathering: surely it’s time for recognition, unity and respect?

Grasstree Gathering Australia’s indigenous peoples form a small minority (2.8%) in the country they once had to themselves, and have suffered significantly since white colonisation (which can reasonably be seen as an invasion). About three quarters identify as christian. They tend to be a spiritual people, but it can be difficult for them to meet […]

Patriarchy, headship and equality

It hasn’t always been comfortable being a man during these #metoo days. Men we might have thought could be trusted have been accused, and often admitted to, all manner of unacceptable, sexually predatory and abusive behaviour, mostly against women. For me, it became most pointed when this last weekend I read a long article in […]

When churches lose sight of their core

Child sexual abuse is a terrible crime and rightly loathed by most people. And churches have, tragically, been home to some of the worst offenders. The Australian Government set up a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse almost 5 years ago. (A Royal Commission is a judicial process that has wide powers, […]

The slow easy slide into brutality

I went on a political demonstration today. Well, it was called a vigil, and it was quiet, peaceful and non-confrontational, but it was a protest. It was expressing concern about Australia’s treatment of asylum-seekers, specifically several hundred man on an island in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s northern neighbour. Realistically, there is very little prospect, right […]

The rich get richer – but what’s Jesus got to do with it?

We all know that the world is a very unequal place. Anyone reading this is probably not doing too badly, but billions struggle to make a living. But you may not be aware that, by some measures at least, inequality is increasing.

Colonialism, war and selective memory

Photo: Slaves Waiting to be sold in Richmond, Virginia, painted in 1861 from an 1853 sketch. Wikipedia. The world has changed enormously in my lifetime. One thing that I never knew as a child but which seems to characterise the present age, is international terrorism. Terrorism, via car bomb, motor vehicle driven into crowds, gun […]

Christians and homosexuality – is there a peaceful way forward?

Difficult issues series This has been perhaps the most difficult post I have written. I’ve avoided writing about this issue because it is so divisive, and because I wasn’t sure I had anything worthwhile to say. But while I don’t pretend to have a solution to the argument between the traditionalists and the progressives, I […]

Francis Chan: Giving it all away?

Francis Chan was just a name to me. He was a famous and respected megachurch pastor, speaker and author, but although I had heard his name, I knew nothing more. In 2010 he did the unthinkable, and resigned from the leadership of “his” 5,000 strong megachurch in California, but I remained oblivious – you can’t […]