Category: Papers


The PM’s gap year push for the Australian Defense Force is a good idea. Read an article on my view at your.sydneyanglicans.net and see my media release from earlier today:

ANGLICAN CHURCH, DIOCESE OF SYDNEY

MEDIA RELEASE – FROM ANGLICAN YOUTHWORKS
9th August, 2007

Gap year is good policy from the PM, says Anglican Youth Leader

“It would be easy to cynically dismiss the Prime Minister’s push for defence force gap year recruits as a quick fix for dwindling numbers of ADF staff. However, Howard has rightly identified the benefits of taking a ‘year off’ to help school-leavers make wise decisions about their future,” said Jodie McNeill, Director of Anglican Youthworks Year 13 Gap Year.

“For the student, it offers a break from thirteen years of study. It provides an opportunity to carefully consider the appropriate career choices, and to make sure that students make wise decisions about tertiary and vocational training,” he said  “Too many people waste their time and money commencing unsuitable courses.

“This also puts an unnecessary stress on our universities and colleges. When students pull out of courses mid-year, they rob others of the opportunity to learn, and deprive the institutions of much-needed income.

“It also places a drain upon the taxpayer. Many of these drop-outs inevitably require income support, especially due to their lack of vocational or higher educational training. Inevitably they tread water for six months, awaiting the beginning of college or university in the following year.

“More positively, when a school-leaver spends a year learning about their own strengths and weaknesses, and evaluating their vocational preferences, it helps them to begin the next year’s study with greater motivation. They study a course they want to complete, not just the course for which they earned enough marks.

“What’s more, they can take the opportunity to travel overseas, and to see how they fit into the world. There is no better way to discover the wealth of Australia than to experience the poverty of other nations.

“Our team of 26 students in the Year 13 Gospel Gap Year has just returned from Kenya, Africa. Their month-long trip has taught them lessons they would never learn in a classroom, and given them insights they could never get from the Discovery Channel.

“Yet, apart from the self-awareness benefits, a gap year allows school leavers to give something back to others. Whether it’s caring for AIDS patients in a slum in Nairobi, or caring for kids in a disability camp in Sydney, a gap year gives an opportunity to serve others. In our Year 13 program, we also teach life-skills such as first-aid, defensive driving and vocational guidance, as well as theology.

“Recruiting people into the ADF through the gap-year front-door is good policy. It allows potential defence force personnel to make sure they are suited to this specialised work by getting a real view of the military world without a long-term commitment. But, it also gives these school-leavers an opportunity to serve—something we need more of in our increasingly materialistic society.”

CONTACT :         Jodie McNeill                 0425 222 338
(Jodie McNeill is Director of the Anglican Youthworks Year 13 Gospel Gap Year)

I also enjoyed an extended interview with John Morrison on the ABC Statewide Drive program at 5:15pm today.

Both Barth and Moltmann claim that the resurrection is at the heart of the Christian message. Yet, both theologians are not prepared to place the resurrection in the same category as history, either in an attempt to avoid the lifelessness of relegating it to a past event, or due to claims of its the lack of admissibility as evidence in the court of science. This denial of the objectivity leads to deeper misunderstandings of the resurrection. Moltmann claims that the resurrection is a process not a fact, and thus is the means by which God works through history to liberate his fallen world from the effects of sin. Barth claims that the resurrection adds nothing to our reconciliation, but rather is the means by which God revealed his finished work to the first disciples. Both positions fail to sufficiently emphasise the objective revivification of Jesus Christ that was necessary for him to succeed in his mission by conquering death and the devil, being exalted from his humiliation.

Read the full theological paper here

Does God have feelings?

For nearly the entire history of Christendom it has been held that God does not have feelings. Yet, how is it that this could be maintained despite the frequent references in Scripture to his emotions? And for what reason was it so emphatically held? The suffering of the 20th century has led to a dramatic reversal of this monolithic doctrine. Yet, is this simply a modern reaction, or is there validity in accepting a radical revision to this view of the character of God?

To read this article click here.

A Prayer Book For Australia is an important step forward in Anglican liturgical revision. It provides many helpful improvements in ease of use and simplicity. However, this revision has also made unhelpful changes in direction and emphasis from the original benchmark of the Book of Common Prayer. It is our intention to evaluate the Holy Baptism service in terms of methodology and theology. We will draw attention to both helpful changes and areas where amendments have been made that represent an unacceptable shift from the theology of BCP.

Read the full theological paper here

One of the funniest television commercials to appear for some time is the so-called Toyota ‘bugger’ ad, receiving almost universal praise for its humour. In this assignment, I intend to analyse this ad, and try to discern what makes it so funny. Then, I will try to establish what this tells us of Australian culture, and consider the implications of this reflection upon the ministry of teaching God’s word.

Read the full theological paper here

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