Unjust Laws: When Sin is Institutionalised

I’ve been told by many so-called conservatives on many occasions that the Bible has nothing to say on social justice and institutionalised sin – that it’s only concerned only with the actions of individuals and Christians with social justice concerns are just following the culture. I would suggest such individualism is itself more reflective ofContinue reading “Unjust Laws: When Sin is Institutionalised”

Disempowered by dualistic thinking

I don’t think it’s helpful to view opponents (dare I say enemies?) in dualistic terms. Framing conflicts in terms of good people versus bad people is disempowering in many ways. It downplays the possibility that your opponents can change. It also downplays the probability that you’re not as different to them as you’d like toContinue reading “Disempowered by dualistic thinking”

How to accommodate racism

How to accommodate racism within Christianity? It can be accomplished by adding things to scripture, sure, but it’s much more effectively accomplished by taking things away. People don’t notice that as much.  Rather than twisting the story of the curse of Ham into a justification for enslaving blacks, as more open racists are inclined towards,Continue reading “How to accommodate racism”

Bible heroes weren’t all moral models

The problem with using the Old Testament stories as morality tales is that even the best of the patriarchs, judges, and kings had serious character flaws. The most obvious example is King David, who, despite his outstanding faith amongst the kings, nevertheless committed rape and murder. If anything these stories show us the pervasiveness ofContinue reading “Bible heroes weren’t all moral models”

Sick of Political Correctness?

I find myself disturbed when my efforts to exercise discipline over how I speak to others, and about others, is casually dismissed as “political correctness”. The brother of Jesus did after all urge us to tame our tongues. He wrote, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse humanContinue reading “Sick of Political Correctness?”

Violence can’t murder murder

Martin Luther King once said, “Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn’t murder murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn’t murder lies; it doesn’t establish truth…. Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn’t murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leadingContinue reading “Violence can’t murder murder”

Conflict resolution as a Christian practice

It strikes me that a lot of the practical matters discussed in the New Testament letters are about conflict resolution in one way or another. The letters might be addressing: social conflict (reconciling divisions, enduring persecution, loving one another, practicing hospitality), sexual conflict (infidelity, care within marriage), financial conflict (lawsuits, freeloading, giving generously), verbal conflictContinue reading “Conflict resolution as a Christian practice”