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April 06, 2011


bruce grindlay

Could we also say:

- increasing discussion about faith and religion in the public sphere
Is that so? Where are we hearing that in Australia? I've nothing to hand, and there may be some, to suggest that this might be so.
- increasing participation of churches in community services sector
So, what does this mean? 'Doing good' in the non-pejorative sense links us with an increasing number of people who want to do some good. What might be our distinctive contribution in this?
- increasing participation in church schooling
Lots of church schooling at the moment is a "position good". People with money/can afford it are sending their children to church schools for reasons very other than it is a church school. It is what having gone to that school with the increased govt. funding it receives, and the 'name' it has over against the poorly resourced local govt school. Let's be honest, very few parents send their children to the big name private schools because they are Christian schools. It's about money and class and all the rest of the bourgeois stuff.
- strong presence of churches in debate about social issues
Sure we are in that arena but if it means, as it did under the previous 'Howard" govt that to be critical of govt policy meant that churches could have their govt funding affected, we were pretty mute and bland.
Craig, thanks for raising these points. Your ongoing writing and blog are a daily check for me and do stimulate my thinking, etc. Keep it up!


Bruce, I largely agree with you! i think all of my points are debatable. My point is rather that scenario planning can begin with a sense of God's absence from the world or a sense of God's presence in the world. Is the glass of grace half full or half empty? If the church were to seek to align itself with what God is doing, rather than assuming that God only works through us, then what would we say God is doing? I think I can make a case for some of those things being arenas of grace, and at the same time agree with your critique! Wait for my posting of Roberto's 4 scenarios and then let me know what you think.

bruce grindlay

Thanks for the response Craig. I find what you post interesting (see my comment re the latest recipe!). This one got me really going. I see this as being a very fruitful area for reflection, discussion and 'warm' debate. Waiting for the next post on the subject.

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