Sex, sin, shame and the virgin birth – Robyn Whitaker

By Robyn Whitaker

It took 400 years, but sometime in the early fifth century Christians transformed a tradition about Jesus’s miraculous virgin birth into a doctrine that inextricably connected sex with sin. It has plagued the church ever since, doing untold damage to generations of women in particular.

In its original context, the claim that Jesus was born ...

The dark side of Christmas – Robyn Whitaker

By Robyn Whitaker

Tyranny, violence, and genocide are not usually associated with the Christmas story. Those of us who attend church at Christmas probably hope to sing a few rousing carols and be reminded of God’s wonderful gift of love.

This Christmas season our lectionary directs us to Matthew’s version of that first Christmas, and in his version ...

Jesus as a newborn baby opens us up to God’s love

I remember changing after our two children were born. Every time I heard about a child being neglected or mistreated, I would become emotional.

It’s fair to say hormones would have accounted for some of that, but not all. Being pregnant, giving birth and caring for our tiny babies brought out a deeper awareness and sensitivity to ...

Why we must reject consumerist culture

By Rev Dr Sally Douglas

I do not subscribe to the notion that you have to be religious in order to have a moral framework. Why? Because the evidence is clear.

I know people who are not religious, but who live out of a clear ethical framework, in which compassion and justice are integral. They make the world a better ...

Church must speak out to support Hong Kong’s last stand

By Tim Lam

Hong Kong is dying.

Every day, the city inches closer to becoming a police state. The shadow of Tiananmen Square looms over the horizon as the People’s Liberation Army assembles just across the border.

I travel to Hong Kong regularly, usually to visit relatives. I lived there as a young boy and went to kindergarten in Tsim ...

Israel Folau case raises questions of hire purpose

By Claire Dawe

We are a diverse church, but when it comes to renting our church spaces, rooms and even worship centres, is there a limit on the diversity we will accept?

No-one can have escaped the media attention surrounding Israel Folau and the church his father pastors. Their church, with their own theological understandings of Scripture, particularly noting ...

Why we should shun Israel Folau’s fear-based theology

By Robyn Whitaker

You might groan at another article about Israel Folau. After all, the media attention has been massive, with little sign of abating.

This article is an attempt to address some of the issues from a Uniting Church point of view, not because I speak for the Uniting Church in any official capacity, but because the UCA has ...

Seeking a meaningful understanding of suffering and God

By Sally Douglas

Suffering and death are difficult subjects to talk about in Australian culture, particularly western culture.

I recently spent time with someone who was weeks away from death and asked them how they felt about dying. They said I was the first person to ask them this question.

While sex may no longer be a taboo ...

Missing piece of McGuire’s The Final Quarter apology

By SweeAnn Koh

There has been a lot of commentary surrounding The Final Quarter, the documentary on Adam Goodes that had its free-to-air premiere on 18 July, but one comment in particular jumped out at me.

Cherrie Frail-Green, an Indigenous woman who lives on the Central Coast, said the treatment of Goodes, the former ...

Game of Thrones and the reality of fantasy

By Brunswick Uniting Church minister Rev Ian Ferguson, who definitely will be watching the new season of you know what. 

Spoiler Alert! What follow spoils the endings of Game of Thrones (season one), Lord of the Rings (volume one), and the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Testament New).

I remember the moment of horror vividly: the executioner raised ...

Why this land is not ours

By Rev Dr Sean Winter, Head of College, Pilgrim Theological College

Debates about border protection and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers show no signs of going away.

In the midst of the political rhetoric, and despite the obvious and real challenges that face politicians, it is important to remember the longer story to which our ...