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Opinion

Remembering the call

OVER THIRTY years ago the Uniting Church in Australia embarked on what could have been a remarkable journey, but has it abandoned its original course? It is now a shell of its former self, like so much Liberal Protestantism throughout the West. The past decade has witnessed the Uniting Church rid itself of any prophetic vocation it might once have ...

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Translating the universal language

LOVE IS the theme of so many songs, films, operas and plays. Everyone from Shakespeare to Britney Spears has been inspired by the consequences of love. But for all the joy love can bring it can also be the cause of great pain, even heartbreak. Since its release in 1992, American author and counsellor Dr Gary Chapman’s book The Five ...

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Love is a many-splendoured thing

FOR MANY people, love is a crazy mixture of emotions: joy, pain, guilt and deep satisfaction. However it is often reduced to a shallow sentimentality that does little for anyone. This issue of Journey invites us to consider love in many ways. Of course Christians believe that one of the greatest descriptions of love is in Paul’s Letter to the ...

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Did we forget about love?

The question: Does faith trump equality? Love gets a bad press. It sounds too 1960s to be considered any political use. It’s a term of abuse against liberals. It’s privatised by fundamentalists. But it could be the key to both making sense of, and providing a way forward in the apparent stand-off in which some amongst the religious claim that ...

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Is Tony Abbott a closet Protestant?

During his recent appearance on Channel 9’s Today (December 6, 2009) Tony Abbott bristled at Laurie Oakes asking him whether he believed in evolution. It wasn’t the topic of evolution that annoyed Abbott. Rather, he was annoyed that Oakes was asking him “religious” questions which Abbott believes Rudd has managed to avoid. The exchange drew forth this rather stunning claim ...

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National Council of Churches in Australia Christmas message from Australian church leaders

Grasping The Message of Hope, Joy and Peace A recent headline in the paper was “Kids bring Christmas Message”. It is amazing how in the lead up to Christmas we often look to children to discover the Christmas message. Children bring the first Christmas alive through their pageant presentations with angels singing, shepherds watching and Mary and Joseph finding no ...

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Christmas message from the General Secretary

As the Church journeys through the season of Advent on its way to Christmas, it is good to be reminded of the enormity of God’s gift of love and life in Jesus Christ whose coming we anticipate and celebrate. This year has again been a year of considerable challenge for many working in the Synod, in Presbyteries, in Congregations and ...

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Jesus: the guest and the host

WHEN I was told that the Christmas theme was Hospitality, I thought: “Great, I can write about the hospitality of the innkeeper in the nativity story”. But then I realised that there is only one account in the Bible of Jesus’ birth and there is no mention of an innkeeper. All we are told is that Jesus was laid in ...

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Cracking the church code

WHILE AT university I dabbled in the study of world religions. I remember someone from my Church questioning me about it; he wanted to know why I wasn’t studying the Old Testament. The truth is that, as a 19-year-old, the Old Testament did not interest me as much as learning how my faith fitted into a world full of different ...

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On the long road to unity

MOST OF us have seen the sign: “There are no strangers here, only friends we haven’t met yet”. That might be true but we all know that sometimes it can be a long journey from stranger to friend. We are naturally cautious when we meet with strangers. What are these strangers like? Are they friend or foe? Are they a ...

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