Monday, 30 June 2008

Opinion piece on Anglicanism in Daily Tele.

I just got an opinion piece on the Anglican crisis into one of the local papers, the Daily Tele.

Here's what I wrote:

Like all old style bureaucracies, the Anglican denomination worldwide moves at about the same pace as the friendly slugs on the morning kid's programme my youngest daughter likes to watch.

But at long last, it looks like something may actually be happening within the normally staid and stodgy Church of England.

So this week more than one thousand traditionalist Anglicans—including all of the Sydney Anglican bishops, and nearly 300 other bishops from Anglican churches right round the world—have gathered for an unprecedented meeting in Jerusalem for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). Media headlines in Australia, the UK and around the world have breathlessly and inaccurately heralded a split in the Anglican communion.

This is wrong.

As Anglican Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen said on Saturday, “You can’t split a marshallow.”

So what’s actually going on? Essentially this: Bible-believing Anglicans have finally reached the point where they want to reclaim Anglicanism from the accelerating decline in standard Christian belief within bits of the worldwide denomination, especially in the UK, the US and Canada. It’s a decline that’s been matched by a decline in numbers, and an increase in average age in many of the churches that have decided to walk away from the Bible’s teaching.

The departure has been on a range of key issues: whether the Bible itself can be trusted; whether Jesus actually rose from the dead; whether the eyewitness accounts of his life (the gospels) are even reliable; whether the message of the gospel can actually save us from God’s terrible judgement and bring forgiveness and change; whether in fact there is even a need for forgiveness and change—or whether God the heavenly senile grandfather (or grandmother, the same people would argue) will more or less just leave us alone while we live the way we please.

These are the real issues that the Anglicans at GAFCON in Jerusalem are concerned about this week. The trigger issue, however, was the election in 2003 of a practising homosexual, Gene Robinson, as bishop in the US diocese of New Hampshire. Anglicans are brilliant at politely avoiding controversy, but this was the Anglican equivalent of selling bacon-only burgers at the Jerusalem McDonalds, with a garnish of cow-dung just to make sure consumers got the point. Provocative to say the least, and guaranteed to bring a response.

Which is exactly what has happened. The response has been firm but gracious. Yes, granted that a handful of Anglicans in dying churches in the US and elsewhere want to ignore traditional biblical teaching. Let them do it. But don’t let them pretend that they are holding on to traditional Bible teaching. That traditional teaching talks about how, in the Christian gospel, we can be forgiven for our sinful behaviour—and then actually change! That forgiveness and change involves turning away, by God’s power, from all sorts of damaging things. Not just homosexuality, but marital unfaithfulness, other sorts of sexual immorality, selfishness, drunkenness, greed, polygamy, robbery, lying, cheating, abuse, violence, pornography addiction, racism—yes, even things as basic as dishonouring your parents. The Christian gospel demands we turn away from all of those things, and receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

It’s an old message, but it also happens to be a powerful effective one. Millions of Christians and Anglicans worldwide can testify to its power. It still works to offer hope.

And Anglicans who continue to believe in it have now said enough is enough. Quite a number of them have worked out that it’s time for Anglicans to refocus on that simple message of rescue through trust in the power of Jesus. They want that message to be taught and promoted in the Anglican church worldwide. Good on them.

Lots more to be said, of course, and some of it has been said back at the sola panel blog.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Pick up your rubbish! OK...but why?

Read this tonight:

To explore the interaction of moral sentiments and self-interest, Bowles begins with a case where six day care centers in Haifa, Israel imposed a fine on parents who picked their kids up late. The fine aimed to encourage parents to be more prompt. Instead, parents reacted to the fine by coming even later. Why? According to Bowles: "The fine seems to have undermined the parents' sense of ethical obligation to avoid inconveniencing the teachers and led them to think of lateness as just another commodity they could purchase."

from here.

And I thought, 'Exactly!'

When I was in year 4, aged 9, I remember Molly Muldoon, our teacher, berating us about picking up rubbish from the floor around us in the classroom because otherwise, the cleaners would have more work to do.

And I thought, how is that a problem. For one, they're paid to do it. So you're telling me that I should do for free what someone else has been paid to do. Why? Will I be punished if I don't? Will I feel better if I do?

For another, what if I do pick up the rubbish. What then? Aren't cleaners paid by the hour? I admit I didn't check this assumption, but hey, I was 9 years old and what do you expect. And anyway, I think the assumption was right, although I still haven't checked.

The point being, though, that if I delayed them the micro-millisecond that it would take to pick up whatever it was the teacher had thought that I dropped (and the floor was invariably clean, because really, what do you drop in a classroom during the course of an average day) and if all my classmates had dropped the same quantity of stuff that I had, then couldn't it conceivably push their cleaning duties into the second hour, thus guaranteeing them a few extra dollars of pay? And isn't that a good thing? These guys have families to feed, and maybe they wanted to take them to the movies on the weekend or for a trip to Luna Park or something. Sure, they would be a bit annoyed at being late home for dinner because I hadn't picked up whatever it is you drop on a classroom floor when you're 9 years old, but wouldn't they be sitting on the Big Dipper at Luna Park that weekend thinking, if I hadn't got that extra hour of overtime at Epping Public School this week, I couldn't of afforded this.

And anyway, let's say I dropped some pencil shavings or a tissue—and why would I, because the pencil sharpener was in the corner of the room, and we all used handkerchiefs in those days—then even if I picked it up, wouldn't the cleaner's broom go over exactly the same area that I had just cleaned, only more effectively? So I'm not sure I could have made the cleaner's job go longer, even if I wanted to.

For me, thinking through all this stuff, there was a strong moral argument for finding something I could drop on the floor and ensuring (insofar as it lay in my power so to do) that those cleaners and their kids—for all I knew, my classmate buddies—could enjoy a few extra hours of fun that weekend, or maybe just an extra dollop of sauce on their meat pies.

In the end I just looked at my shoes for a moment, grabbed my bag like everyone else and marched off out the door and into Norfolk Rd.

1970. Not a bad year.

Chuck steak

So cheap at Carlingford village.

So we bought 2 kilos on Friday, stuck it in the fridge. This morning before church I got it out, sharpened up the knife and diced the meat, remembering how my mum always expressed amazement at how it shrank to half the size when you stewed it slowly, so I cut it twice as big.

Straight into the slow cooker that we bought the other day, 2 beef stock cubes dissolved in a cup of boiling water, 6 carrots chopped, and then had to get the girls ready for church so off we went.

Came back did stuff, went and bought onions, red wine was cheap as, so got a bottle of cleanskin something or other. Chopped the onion, fried it up, this was lunchtime, into the slow cooker with a big splash of the red. About an hour and a half ago, maybe two, threw in four chopped zucchinis, tasted, added salt.

An hour later, and, we just had it for dinner with mashed potatoes. Amazing. I hardly even chopped off any fat from the chuck when I chucked it in this morning, only did it because I felt I had to.

Climate change: nothing will happen

At Federal policy level, that is. Here's why:

The truth is that one of the central reasons for which Kevin Rudd won the election (his pledge to take serious action to slow climate change) is deeply inconsistent with another (his pledge to do all that he can to keep fuel and food prices low).

From here.

Iemma's gone

Morris Iemma's gone, but unless the Libs do something incredibly stupid, it won't save NSW Labor in the next election.

Friday, 27 June 2008


Another! Beautiful...Syd-dey mid widter day.

Except I've god a cold.


Phillip Jensen speaks about it here. If there's no problem with homosexual marriage, there's no problem with polygamy—is there?

Euthanasia bill for federal parliament

Bob Brown, Greens MP, is planning to present a private member's bill in Federal Parliament. The report from the SMH is here.

Bob Brown has been a consistent advocate of this. But since when did a vote for the Greens become a vote for euthanasia? Why is it so?

Thursday, 26 June 2008


'Specializing in cutting, colouring, foils, blow dries'

Okay. So can I just clarify here—is there anything you don't do?

I mean, if someone came asking for a crew-cut would you knock them back on the grounds that, technically, it's not a cut but a clip?

'I'm sorry, we can't give you a crew-cut. We are specialists in cutting, colouring, foils and blow dries. Now go away.'

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

What was my thesis about?

Dunno. Already forgotten. But this gives one significant clue.

Defiant birth

Nicole has a sobering quote from a book about medical eugenics on her blog.

Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

Our choir [update: without me!] is singing Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. (Check a page of the original score here (scroll down) and watch 7 minutes of Leonard Bernstein conducting it, here). It is not so much knockin' on heaven's door, as raising an army and trying to lay siege; a massive piece of work—90 minutes, 160 choristers, four soloists, expanded orchestra and we've got less than a month before the two performances. We're singing for the Pope when he comes out for World Roman Catholic Youth Day. There will be a lot of learning between now and then.

It's a mistake to lay siege to heaven, of course, and I don't know what Beethoven was thinking when he tried. Probably something rather hubristic. "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force." (Mt 11:12) But for those who put their trust in Jesus alone, the door to heaven already stands open.

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."

-Revelation 4:1

The true heavenly vision puts Beethoven's grandeur in the shade.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Will Peter Costello stay or go?

The memoirs will make interesting reading, and they come out in October. Brendan Nelson still has a few months left in him.

Monday, 23 June 2008

"It's not clean unless it's Pine-o-cleen"

I've used Pine-O-Cleen maybe once in my life, could be twice.

Guess I'm not clean then.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Aye, laddie

We love to impairsonate Scottish uccents frae taem tae taem.

Jane McGrath

Wife of cricketer Glenn McGrath, has died.

Balance of power

Here's an opinion piece from the SMH from one of the senators who will hold BOP—the Balance of Power—in the Federal Senate from July 1.

Good to see him mention his opposition to poker machines.

When Roman Catholic senator Brian Harradine held BOP, he was able to assist in holding the line on some abortion laws, and what sort of material could be viewed on TV, among other things.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Friday, 20 June 2008


Not going to say anything about the economics of it, but John's nailed Kevin Rudd here.

Canadian Courts and kids

This Canadian judge is absolutely nuts.

From the article:

First, the father banned his 12-year-old daughter from going online after she posted photos of herself on a dating site. Then she allegedly had a row with her stepmother, so the father said his girl couldn't go on a school trip.

The girl took the matter to the court - and won what lawyers say was an unprecedented judgment.

Al Mohler comments here.

Playing with kids

Very cool post from Trevor Cairney about playing with kids.

Most of my playing with the girls consists of barking 'Turn the TV off girls! Go and jump on the trampoline!"

Euthanasia and murder

The jury's verdict is now in.

From the article:

TWO women who say they were helping an Alzheimer's sufferer fulfil his wish to die, have been found guilty of killing him.

This is interesting:

The complex case was full of twists and dramas, many kept from the eyes and ears of the jury.

While jurors were told of Justins's alleged financial motive - Mr Wylie had changed his will a week before his death in her favour - they had not been told that his partner allegedly had a female lover in Germany.

If this is true, it doesn't seem irrelevant to the case!

I also wonder at the wisdom of Dr Philip Nitschke, the euthanasia advocate who acted as a witness in return for immunity from prosecution. His view, according to the article, is that we should be pressing on with allowing cases like this to be treated as euthanasia, and that in the meantime people who would like to be euthanased and suspect that they have Alzheimer's should not go to the doctor.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Sola powered mobile phone rechargers

So obvious when you think about it.

A friend who runs the local electrical goods place told me he's selling them now.

So there you are Fifi—Father's Day. What, 2 and a bit months away?

The other obvious thing for when the power grid goes down is the wind up radio, but we have that.


God willing, I'm resubmitting my thesis tomorrow. Finished, I think.

Thanks for those of you who've prayed. This is the finallest of final deadlines, so I'm pretty sure that's it.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Beautiful...Sydney winter day.

Barack Obama and abortion

Barak Obama supports the lifting of legal restrictions on abortion. Here is a useful summary of his views, in his own words and based on his voting record.

Justin Taylor has a useful post on the subject here, including this quote from Richard Garnett:

Obama's "full-throated, unqualified support for abortion rights, do not seem to provide a basis for concluding that, in fact, he would be willing to do anything to "discourage" abortion, other than to support social-welfare initiatives which he would support in any event. . . . [T]hese programs and efforts will come packaged with a roll-back of the few pro-life legislative and executive-branch victories that have been secured during the past decade or so.

There are other issues, of course. But this is a worrying one for people who believe that abortion unequivocally means the taking of human life.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

"I love surprises!"

"I love surprises!"

-Gordon the Garden Gnome, this morning on ABC Kids.

Why? On what grounds do you love surprises? The bubonic plague was a surprise. Still is, for those who catch it. The explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle was a surprise. Our dog weed in the lounge room yesterday. That was a surprise.

This idea of loving surprises seems to be a remarkably stupid attitude with which to approach life. Why are are we teaching it to little kids?

They never pray on Gordon the Garden Gnome, either.

A cloudy night

A cloudy winter night covers a house like a warm blanket.

George W. to convert to Roman Catholicism?

According to this report George W. Bush may convert to Roman Catholicism after he leaves office.

From the article:

Several Italian newspapers cited Vatican sources suggesting that Mr Bush may be prepared to convert. One source told Il Foglio, an authoritative newspaper, that "Anything is possible, especially for a born-again Christian such as Bush."

We shall see. Personally, I've often wondered how far George W's claims to be an evangelical Christian have had political considerations in view, and this report doesn't do anything to remove those questions.

Thanks to Tim Challies for the link.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Gay 'wedding' in Church of England

Reported by the SMH, here.

Meanwhile, the Anglican Church in Perth has problems of its own, with the Dean of the Cathedral denying the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the Archbishop failing to take clear action, as correspondence with David Ould on the Stand Firm site shows.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Patriarchy wins

This long blog post from Al Mohler is worth reading. He's discussing an article by Phillip Longman in the journal Foreign Policy:

To some extent, the statistics tell the story. Almost twenty percent of women born in the late 1950s are nearing the end of their reproductive lives without ever having had children. Longman's assessment is blunt: "The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, will have no genetic legacy.

Common sense.

The Coming of the Son of Man

The Lord Jesus will return in glory at the end of time to judge all creation.

But does he predict this final day in any of the gospels?

Broughton Knox, former principal of Moore Theological College, believed that there were five comings of the Son of Man referred to in the New Testament, and the one that Jesus was most urgently concerned that people be ready for was the third one.

Here's the relevant quote from the Sola Panel blog.

What it means is that if Broughton is right, this hymn gets the direction in which Jesus comes 180 degrees wrong.

It is still el hymno fabuloso, though, so I love to sing it (probably at about one-and-a-half times the speed of that music in the link, but).


Beautiful...Sydney winter's day.

Bit worried though. It's mild and pleasant and sunny. Could be global warmening, in which case this is Not Good.

Your local MP attends an anger management course

From the SMH:

SCENE: A consulting room, painted in muted pastels. Air-conditioning hums discreetly from vents in the ceiling. Through venetian blinds we can see tree-tops outside moving gently in the sunlight against a blue sky.

A desk in one corner is covered in files, a computer, and medical paraphernalia. An armchair stands at the foot of a chaise longue. In the corner stands a beige cupboard of extreme cheapness and simplicity with, on top of it, Belinda Neal, MP for Robertson. She is dismembering a teddy bear.

Enter left Dr Schmertz, MD (Heidelberg), a silver-haired gentleman with a small goatee.

Dr S: Ah good, Ms Neal. I see you have made yourself at home.

BN: Who the f--- are you? (Realises what she has said.) Oh. Ah ha ha ha! (Girlish, tinkling laugh.) Silly me. Hello, doctor. I'm Belinda. Your new rrruuuhhhhhrrrrraaaagghhhh patient. (Bites bear, and worries it.)

The story behind this is here.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Not a fan

So facebook has a system where you get to be a fan of someone, if you click on the link.

Is there way of not being a fan of someone? How about links for

(1) Pretty much ignoring
(2) Mildly irritated by
(3) Really quite bothered by
(4) Not a fan
(5) Get outta here
(6) Ask me privately



Here's a lovely photo from Ruth's blog.

Forget moralism

Pyromaniacs blog:

Society is not going to be redeemed, or even influenced for good, by moralistic special pleading. The vast majority of the moralism we get from the religious right is lacking any clear reference to Christ or the gospel. It is devoid of any biblical authority, because it has been distilled into a purely political message. It is frankly indistinguishable from the teaching of the Pharisees.

They say this here.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

How to win the New Yorker cartoon caption competition

Read and learn, my friends, read and learn.

All for Jesus!

All for Jesus—all for Jesus,
this our song shall ever be;
for we have no hope, nor Saviour,
if we have not hope in thee.


Raising hell

Today I've posted about speaking to dead people, over on the Sola Panel blog.


Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.

Or possibly, the Fuddmeister himself:

Our new Prime Minister is very popular with the electorate at the moment. He got off to a good start when we elected him last year. First, he signed the Kyoto Protocol, then he said 'sorry' on behalf of the nation to the Aborigines, then held a summit in Canberra where he made it seem like he was in actual fact discussing ideas with every person in Australia. But in actual fact the 2020 summit turned out to be an elaborate, weekend-long location shoot, with most of the locations proximate to Cate Blanchett who made more appearances (alongside Kevin) in the media coverage than she did on screen playing Queen Elizabeth I. We got shots of Kevin sitting on the floor as well, because if you sit on the floor you're a leader who understands what it's like to sit on floors (and sleep in cars).

From a very funny blog.


Those of you who are in the habit of praying might like to pray that I would be able to successfully resubmit my Masters thesis, as required, on June 20. Recent events have intervened in a fairly catastrophic way, so although I will certainly be handing something in, there will be significant questions about how close to satisfactory it's going to be. Thanks to various individuals, too numerous to mention, for your prayers and concern in this, as in many things.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Euthanasia and murder

I've posted in the Sola Panel on the subject of Euthanasia and murder, and a useful discussion has developed as well, which you can read if you click through to article and continue through to the comments.


Sufis are interesting. They are mystic Muslims who don't believe that Mohammed had the last word.

Today's Australian has a report on how the boot is being put into some of them, in Indonesia, by other Muslims.

From the report:

Members of Ahmadiyah, which claims hundreds of thousands of followers in Indonesia, are persecuted in many parts of the world but nonetheless maintain a presence in 190 countries.

Key among the controversial aspects of the Sufi-linked group is its refusal to accept a basic tenet of mainstream Islamic theology: the place of the religion's founder, Mohammad, as the final prophet. Ahmadis, as they are known, believe their own founder, the 19th-century Indian mystic Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was also a prophet.

Alternative medicine and hocus-pocus

This says it all really:

The consumer organisation Choice has called for products which can prove efficacy to be given the right to display a green tick - a move being resisted by the industry.

From here in today's SMH.

If the natural medicine or weight loss pill or homeopathic brew you're selling to tens of thousands of consumers actually works, and has been demonstrated to be effective in peer-reviewed scientific studies, then you'd want people to know about it, wouldn't you? And you'd certainly want something to distinguish yourself from the charlatans out there who are making money out of people's illness by selling them snake oils that have no measurable benefit.

Mind you, if people knew that your medicine probably didn't work, it would play havoc with the placebo effect, which can be quite strong.

Perhaps this is what altruistic natural therapies companies are concerned about.

It reminds me that my mum, who when she was alive was a nurse and then a nurse educator, used to help patients in the hospital who had trouble falling asleep by giving them a spoonful of sugar and salt mixed up with water. Worked like a charm.

Monday, 9 June 2008


The Bobmeister speaks:

Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.


Some stuff about female bishops in Melbourne, and courage

This quote from Andrew Moody began with a fairly typical mistake on my part. So assume a glitch by me, head on over to read the context if you feel you need to, or just read on.

Andrew says:

I'm not completely sure we're talking about precisely the same thing here as what my last post was about but I agree with what you are saying here. Which is useful cos it also gives me an opportunity to respond to a couple of comments from Tim and Jason.

[Andrew quotes Jason:]

'To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.'
-Abraham Lincoln.
...I find the Abraham Lincoln quote personally offensive in this context.

[Andrew quotes Tim:]

It's easier to be part of a discussion with an inquiring mood than an accusatory one. Much appreciated.

[And Andrew continues, with his comments on Jason and Tim's posts:]

Okay lookee here. It's not for me or Gordo or anyone to say that YOU, yes YOU are a coward for not getting up and having a go. Clearly not everyone needs to get up and fight every battle (Tim's point), and not everyone needs to make synodical (okay, I think I just made that word up) activism their top priority (your point, Jason). But here's the general observation – when nobody makes a stand shouldn't someone feel guilty? Is God really calling everybody to be Obadiah and nobody to be Elijah? Or Daniel? Or Phinehas (okay too graphic)?

These are the things I do know:

1. Melbourne evangelicals have a culture of self-censorship and everyone has a reason not to speak.
- for some synod is a lost cause so they concentrate on other things and walk away;
- those from Sydney feel they need to be careful because they are from Sydney (not Gordo ;-);
- young guys feel like its the job of the leaders;
- the leaders are keeping their noses clean so they can work with the hierarchy and achieve long-term goals;
- those entering the candidature system think they have to conceal their theology.

2. This state of affairs is unhealthy. If we choke down that knot of uncertain fear and guilt and do nothing when we think we probably should be saying something it changes us. It does, as Lincoln says, make us a little more cowardly. It makes it a bit harder next time. This is especially true for guys starting out in ministry (why else did there used to be a policy of putting evangelical curates in lib/cath parishes?) but we are all vulnerable. Even the leaders.

3. It is worth flying our colours even if we can't win the debate. If we want faithful conservative candidates to enter the ministry we need to show them that the Anglican system contains people who will not be cowed. It scarcely needs to be said that this is true for this issue especially - if we say we believe in male responsibility we need to act like men.

I want to believe that this is all changing. As I said, I think there is evidence that this is the case. But that synod was a low point. Let's pray it was the nadir and encourage one another to get into the habit of sticking our necks out.

Brave words, Andrew.


I love a really intelligent piece of paranoia.

Like a friend, Fred, who worked and worked to figure out ways to get excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, without committing a sin and in the face of a group of people who want to keep him in (I mean, the Roman Catholic Church, in Sydney in the 1970s). Eventually the priest told him if you want to be excommunicated, you are. But not before Fred had written to the Vatican, without receiving a reply.

His reasoning for not ever getting onto facebook is similar. He's not crazy in any way, just likeable and affable, or to make conversation I would have gone into significant detail to find out what he knows.

Maybe he is a spy.

Baby's legs saved in utero

A story in today's SMH about an operation at the 18th week of pregnancy that saved a baby's legs.

Sunday, 8 June 2008


Every time I read the Pyromaniacs blog, I enjoy it and appreciate what they are saying about God, and how to please him.

Thanks to the team for their work.

Prince Caspian

Got an M rating.

So, should I allow my girls to see it?

I don't really want to. I didn't like the original, and the M rating gives me a chance to squelch the viewing of an ordinary adaptation of an ordinarier piece of allegory.

What do you think?



Orchestral conductors and choral conductors are not the same beasts.

Orchestral conductors don't feel the need for love from the people they are conducting, and so they tend towards arrogance. Choral conductors, by contrast, are lovable. But they need to be, or it's not going to work for them.

An award

I know it's not really right or wise to boast, but I've been nominated for an award.

Sad story behind the Wiggles

Involving the death of a young child.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Baby survives abortion, mum delighted

The story is here.

There's currently a parliamentary debate going on in Victoria over the legalization of abortion in that state.

Here's a site called Abortion Changes You that I've seen recommended by friends.

Polly's dad

My friend Polly got a letter in the SMH:

Does anyone remember my father Harry Seidler's 1953 "Igloo" house on Parriwi Road, Mosman? In early 2001, a friend told me he had seen a demolition notice out front - that led to much media and community discussion and its eventual state heritage listing. Alas, under the new system, the house would have been immediately demolished.

Polly Seidler, Darlinghurst can't just knock buildings down without telling a few people.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Good night

Lighten our darkness, we beseech Thee, O Lord;
and by Thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of Thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Be present, O merciful God,
and protect us through the silent hours of this night,
so that we, who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
may repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The first prayer is the third collect from the Order for Evening Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer. The second prayer is also sometimes used at Evening Prayer, and can be found here.

Berlioz tomorrow and Saturday

I'm singing this tomorrow and Saturday.

If you're a facebook friend and you want to go, contact me via facebook only for cheapish tickets. Do it today but, because I suspect we may have full houses.

If you're not a facebook friend, you'll just have to befriend me then, won't you!

Preaching hell for the comfort of angry people

For those who don't want to read the whole post, here's the executive summary:

To sum up: the idea that God will judge people and cast them into eternal destruction—hell—for all eternity is a great comfort to anyone who is angry about injustice. Those of us who teach the gospel or tell it to others have a wonderfully comforting message of damnation that will bring hope to all who put their trust in God. The more we speak of it, the more comfort we offer.

I hope you will go over and have a look, though, and add a comment if you feel so moved. I actually wrote it as a tangent from a discussion about praying to dead people, which you can also find if you click through on the link and read carefully enough.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

That's socialism isn't it?

Limiting pay for honest workers, I mean. Here.

Gone fishing

21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Dogs barking at the door

Let them suffer.

Shake well

It's got to be a brand name for a new thing of orange juice.

All the best orange juices have this on the label.

If it's missing, it's not orange juice, or it's been poured into a glass for you by a waiter.

Me, I'm drinking it right now, straight from the carton.

Is this a bad thing?


i've been thinking about it a lot lately, more than anything else really. Fiona's mum died, and she and I had been friends for twenty five years, and so I think about it, and her.

Reading hard bits of the Bible

This morning I've been struggling away on various bits of Bible, and trying to post to the Sola Panel blog as well. Partial results of my labours are seen here, on the Sola Panel blog.

Do pay a visit and leave a comment!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Police corruption

Here's some seriously bad news about police corruption in Australia.

ONE of the nation's top criminal investigators in charge of fighting organised crime has been arrested for allegedly masterminding a plan to cook up the nation's biggest batch of the deadly designer drug ice.

Mark Standen, assistant director of the secretive and powerful NSW Crime Commission, was arrested yesterday at his desk in his Sydney office and remained in police custody last night.

At least they are onto the issue. But it has to raise a question over what other corruption exists within the police force for things to have got to this stage.

We should pray for our leaders and for our police.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way

- 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Brendan's brain

Annabel Crabb in the SMH:

Then it was Brendan Nelson's turn.

If Nelson ever loses his job as Leader of the Opposition he could easily find work at a freak show, memorising and reciting the Yellow Pages.

We all know that notes to the parliamentarian are as ropes to the rock-climber.

Kevin Rudd, on most sitting days, is so surrounded by notes that he looks like a teenager five hours before an HSC exam.

So when the Opposition Leader stepped up to embark upon the 22 minutes of oratory with which he was permitted to respond to the Prime Minister, a tiny ripple of excitement skittered round the room as we realised he was going to attempt it without any notes at all.

A parliamentary death-defying act if ever there was one.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Andrew Katay and redemption

I first heard Andrew Katay preach when I was a student minister at St Andy's Wahroonga in the mid 1980s. I followed him to a church somewhere in Hornsby (St Pete's? can't remember) where I was treated to the sight of him machine-gunning the congregation while re-enacting, from the pulpit, the rescue of the Israeli hostages at Entebbe airport.

He was illustrating the notion of redemption.

You know, the idea that you are caught and held hostage by forces far greater than yourself, and someone—at enormous personal cost—comes and rescues you from those powerful forces, just as the Lord Jesus, by the ransom of his blood, rescued us from the power and penalty of sin, the wrath of God, and the power of Satan.

Fear not. No actual guns were used, and no congregation members were harmed in the delivery of this sermon.

I've heard some brilliant Katay talks since then, but I'm afraid they were all downhill from that high point—at least in the drama stakes. Not one mimed machine gun in evidence from that time on.

Fifi works at Katay's wife's vet practice once a week, grooming dogs. I'm not quite sure where that fits in to any of this, but I felt I had to say it for some reason.


Beautiful...Sydney Winter Day.

Well, it is! There was one yesterday, and there's another one today.

And, I love rain, and so does the garden.

And, even when it all gets a bit oppressive (I'll let you know), for some contrary reason I am immensely cheered up by the idea of droughts breaking, dams filling, and global warmenists grinding their teeth and looking for something else to feel miserable about.