Development is a word full of hope. It brings to mind water pumps and rice banks, bridges and education, smiling children and sky-scraping financial institutions. Yet there is a dark side to development.
On Friday, July 17th, at 4 a.m., this dark side showed its face when
Only God would open up an opportunity for a Catholic from San Francisco to speak prophetically to the Prime Minister of Australia, at the Anglican Centre in Rome, on behalf of Cambodians about to lose their land in Phnom Penh. God cares that much about the poor.
It seems that much of our conversation as a Church is in a perpetual cycle of reaction. We are tempted to exaggerate the neglected truth, and end up making incomplete disciples, either social justice disciples without Jesus or Jesus disciples without social justice. Then there are those special moments where Jesus and Justice kiss.
One of the stories I first heard on my recent visit to Australia was about what helped swing the vote last November to Kevin Rudd, the new Labor prime minister. I read some new political data by veteran pollster and researcher John Black, who is respected across Australia's political spectrum. Black reported that the pivotal swing vote to Labor this time was among evangelicals and Pentecostals, especially in [...]
Though it is winter in Australia, the sun was shining on Sydney Harbor, one of the most beautiful urban landscapes in the world. With the dramatic architectural lines of the famous Sydney Opera House outlined against the sky-blue horizon and reflecting on the glistening sea, I couldn't wait to hop the ferry to Manley and from there walk to the crashing ocean to watch the surfers climb the waves. I love this place, and though I was suffering a bit of jet lag from the 18-hour trip from [...]
Black and white, we waited like I had waited in the mosh pit for Rage Against the Machine two weeks earlier. Yet the main feature on this day, a day that so many had been waiting for, working for, praying for, was just one word: "Sorry."
Matty is one of the many awesome kids in our neighbourhood who don't mind that we are white and often hang out at our houses. As one kid put it, "it's not [...]
Jim wrote a piece a few weeks back about the new Bonhoeffer-quoting Aussie PM Kevin Rudd. Well, another fun fact is that he has appointed Peter Garrett, rock star turned environmental activist turned Member of Parliament, his new Minister for Environment. That's the Aussie version of putting Bono in charge of the foreign [...]