Category Archives: Old Testament

An Advent sermon. Aboriginal land and the Uniting Church’s covenanting process.

An Advent sermon presented to the West End Uniting Church, December 15 2013.

(The original sermon included a commentary on James 5:7:11 in accord with the church lectionary readings for the week but it is of only tangential relevance to the substance of the sermon so I have left it out)

Advent is the time when we prepare to celebrate the festival of the birth of Jesus and a time when we prepare for the incoming of God’s kingdom in all its glory.

Jesus is the liberator who brings good news to the poor, release for the captive and liberation for the oppressed.

Advent is a season of expectantly waiting, let us expect Jesus the liberator and in terms our covenanting process, let us expect liberation and justice for Aboriginal people. Continue reading

The historical context of the new testament.

The time of the stories of the new testament lies between two major events in the Middle East, the Maccabees revolt of the second century BC and the Roman-Jewish wars of the first and second centuries AD. Continue reading

Australian folklore, biblical exegesis, Christian non-violence and a man with a big hat and a tricycle.

An open letter to the Australian Christian non-violence movement.

Once a Jolly protester
camped by a helicopter
under the shade of total surveillance

And he spruiked and rode
and smashed his mattock on the Helicopter
Who’l come a tricycling Matilda with me


Continue reading

How to read the bible.

The first thing to understand about the bible is that it is not a Christian book, it is written by and for the ancient tribal indigenous Hebrew people. Jesus was not a Christian, he was a Jew.

The second thing to understand is that the Christian church since the fourth century has been the state religion of the Roman empire and Holy Roman empire. The church itself was created as an agency of the imperial state and at times has itself been the imperial state.

So the bible we have today is a tribal indigenous story of the land of the covenant of Abraham that has been interpreted through the cultural and religious consciousness of the empire of Rome. It began as an indigenous oral tradition, in the Old Testament as song and poetry and the New Testament as the oral stories of Jesus that were unwritten until decades after his crucifixion. From the oral tradition it has been written in various languages including ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and then into modern languages of Europe which have then been translated into many languages.

By the time “the word” reaches our ears it has been reconstructed by the culture of European empire into something very different from its original tribal meaning.

The basic challenge for the modern bible reader is to distinguish between the essential meaning of the story and the cultural baggage of empire. Continue reading

A Supernatural God?

It is often said that atheists and christians agree on what “god” is, they just disagree as to whether it exists or not. However, what if “God” was something outside of the understanding of atheist and christian alike, something that does not conform to the cultural assumptions of what “supernatural” actually is? Continue reading

Towards an Aboriginal theology – Graham Paulson

excerpt – “What I do intend to discuss are the key
features of a biblical theology that relate especially to Indigenous
cultures. The focus will be on biblical principles not just because I am a Protestant, but because the development of theology in the Pacific
region is weighed down by a history of colonialism. One way of over-
coming the effects of this history is to engage with the biblical literature, rather than Western theology, with resources drawn from our own spiritual traditions.”

Click here for PDF – “Towards an Aboriginal theology” by Graham Paulson

from Pacifica Australasian theological studies

“Anarcho-Primitivism and the bible” by Ched Myers

“The trenchant anarcho-primitivist critique of civilisation finds surprising resonance in the Hebrew-Christian scriptures – if, that is, they are read as documents of Israelite resistance to Ancient Near Eastern empires from Egypt to Rome, rather than a legitimating ideology for Christendom.”

Click here for PDF “”Anarcho-Primitivism and the bible” by Ched Myers”

Ched Myers website – Click here “


anarcho-primitivism in wikipedia

see also “In the land of the living” – christian anarcho-primitivism