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Good News of Great Joy: Youth Group Edition

The miracle of the gospel is easily disregarded. We forget who we once were and what Christ has accomplished for us. But the gospel is no small thing. Christ took on our poverty so that we might become rich (2 Cor 8:9). Christ was punished so we could be forgiven (Rom 3:24-25). Christ died so we could live (Jn 3:16); his resurrection is our resurrection (Rom 6:5). We were once dry bones, but Christ has brought us to life, and filled us with his spirit (Eze 37:1-14); we’ve been born again (Jn 3:3). Once we belonged to the “domain of...

Good News of Great Joy: An Introduction

Have you heard good news of great joy recently? Two of my close friends will be married in a month’s time. Another has announced they’re having a baby. Others recently bought their first home. And still others are enjoying the thrill of finally finishing their studies and wondering where-to-next. These family members and friends were eager to share their good news with me. And each story brought me great excitement and joy. Good News of Great Joy The good news I mentioned above probably didn’t bring you much delight. You don’t have the same relationships with these people as me,...

What Harvard University Knows That ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Doesn’t

Author Margaret Atwood’s novel (and now TV series) The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian story set in the near future, when a kooky religious cult takes over much of the US. In the story, women are marginalised and relegated to second class citizens, and many become enslaved. These female slaves—‘handmaids’ as they’re known—have little bodily autonomy, reduced to breeding machines for their wealthy masters. You don’t need to watch many episodes before the underlying narrative of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ hits you: religion oppresses women. And you don’t need to watch many episodes before the underlying narrative of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ hits...

Religious Discrimination: Why I Welcome a National Law

The Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and related legislation which is now before the Federal Parliament, is much-needed and long-awaited. While not perfect, it has many good aspects which Christians—as well as those of other faiths and all Australians—ought to welcome. First, it fills a huge gap in Australian legislation. Did you know that here in Sydney where I’m writing you could put a sign up outside a restaurant saying “we don’t serve Hindus” and you’d actually not be breaking the law? That’s the current situation both in New South Wales and South Australia and obviously needs to be rectified. The...

Another Australian Cricket Captain is Out: Our Problem with Sex

Another Australian cricket captain has been sent to the pavilion. Sandgate has given way to a sexting scandal. News reported this week that in 2017, Tim Paine sent lewd text messages to a female colleague. The following year Tim Paine took over Australia’s second most important job, following Steve Smith’s disgrace. The various criticisms of Paine and even the decision to stand down tell us something about sex and our culture: we no longer know what to think about sex. The reactions have been revealing. Almost everyone agrees that Tim Paine’s messages were wrong (in some sense), and certainly foolish. ...

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