Monthly Archives: July 2009

Uniting Church acknowledges Aboriginality in Constitution

“The First Peoples had already encountered the Creator God before the arrival of the colonisers; the Spirit was already in the land revealing God to the people through law, custom and ceremony. The same love and grace that was finally revealed in Jesus Christ sustained the First Peoples and gave them particular insights into God’s ways.”

The following is an article from the website of the Uniting Church of Australia’s 2009 national assembly.

Church adopts historic new Constitution preamble

text of constitutional changes

See also my essayBabylon and the Christian Church in Australia which looks at some of the theological issues raised by the church’s acknowledgment of God existing in Australia before the European missionaries arrived.
Continue reading

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Talisman Sabre, Jesus, Bonhoeffer, Jaegerstaetter and the evolution of the Australian Church.

by John Tracey

I write this at a time when seven Christian activists have illegally entered the Talisman Sabre war games area with the intention of disrupting the war games. A few days ago another four did the same thing.
bonhoeffer 4
“The Bonhoeffer 4”

The activists have organised into small cells, such as “The Bonhoeffer 4”, the “Grana 3” and the “Jaegerstaetter 3”

“The Bonhoeffer 4”

the “Grana 3” and the “Jaegerstaetter 3”

I do not know how seriously the protesters are taking the mascot names of their action groups, but this reflection will explore two of them – German Lutheran, Dietrich Bonhoffer of the “Bonhoeffer 4” and Austrian Catholic conscientious objector Franz Jaegerstaetter of the “Jaegerstaetter 3”.

Both Bonhoeffer and Jaegerstaetter were executed by the Nazi regime. A superficial comparison would suggest that they were both martyred because of their Christian faith and its imperative to resist Nazism. However, I suggest that the two represent separate and contradictory paradigms of Christian faith and resistance to injustice. Continue reading