Sunday, July 29, 2007

Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire

I highly recommend this book by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat.

This book is a great contextually driven understanding of the subversive nature of Christian thought for our contemporary society. The work the authors have done in setting the context of not only the Colossian society, but also the cultural context we live in really sets the stage for a powerful new ethic.

The most powerful point of influence for me comes from the ideas revolving around imagination. When we realize that the empire we are facing today is not nations, but the global economy and global consumerism, we can then begin to understand the Christian response to this empire. This response begins with our imagination. The empire of global consumerism seeks to control its subjects by snuffing out the alternative imaginations, by either overwhelming our imaginations with its own propaganda, or subverting our imaginations by directing them into new forms of the same consumerist ethic. When we can no longer imagine the kingdom of God come, then we are forced to accept the kingdoms that we are given. What is necessary is a new imagination, to once again become the creative people created in the image of a creative God, and dream of a new ethic, a new politic, a new practice.

I again hope you will read this book, and will join me in a commitiment to practice creativity, and exercise the imagination.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My baby is a grown up

Well my eldest daughter turns 18 today. Its kinda weird. I know its not about me but I feel old.

Adriahna is an inspirational young lady. Her compassion, and care for others is quite amazing. She is a peacemaker, a joy bringer, and the life of a party. She consistently amazes me with her wisdom, which seems unfair for an 18 year old.

She is very much like me in some ways, (which she doesn't really like), but she is so much better. There is much less insecurity, or aggression in her manner. Adriahna is very strong willed, she can talk her way out of just about anything, and she doesn't mind centre stage. She is emotional, in a good and not so good way, something that looks much nicer on her than myself. She doesn't allow herself to be ruled by fear, which makes me very very proud.

When I look at the man I was at 18, I am doubly proud of my daughter. She is far far past me in every respect. She will make this world a better place, if only for being in it. I want all the world to know that I love her, I am proud of her, and I look forward to her future. Eighteen years ago God lent her to us, and is now starting the process of taking her back, I hope we have done well in the meantime, but she has shined either way.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

martial arts instructionals

Well as many of you know I am a former professional fighter, and am a long time competitive grappler. I made these dvd's a number of years ago, they are available outside of Australia at

and in Australia at

so if you wanna learn to break legs and necks for fun, do some purchasing :)

and yes I understand the irony of the anti capitalist pacifist selling martial arts videos, I am a complex individual, or I am a hypocrite, probably a bit of both


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Christi-anarchy "being the change you want to see"

Dave Andrews hosted the morning session on Saturday, and it was the best message on the Sermon on the mount that I have ever heard.

He started talking about judging, and showed how we actually are to judge both ourselves and the actions of others, but doing so realizing we will be judged by the same measure. And then began to unpack the sermon on the mount Matthew 5-7 as an ethical framework for how we are to live in the kingdom of God.

The problem with so much of how we have interpreted this sermon, is based on an incorrect reading of the text. This incorrect reading has made Jesus' teaching here, seem impractical, and therefore must be talking about heaven, or some spiritual ideal. However Dave showed us very convincingly that a proper reading of the text will help us to understand how we are to live in a redemptive way.

In the incorrect reading we see Jesus contrast the old way, (the law and tradition), with the new way (Jesus' more complete teaching). But this is where we wind up in trouble as it seems impractical. ie you have heard it said do not murder (old way) but I say if you are angry with your brother, or call him names, you are still in danger of judgement (new way). So this seems completely impractical, how are we to not be angry or have disagreements with our brothers. Those of us who live in close community know exactly how impossible this seems.

But Dave shows us that this is not the way to understand this teaching, it is not the old way versus the new way, but is rather laid out this way: The old way

The repeating cycles that even adherence to the old way doesn't fix

directives for living in a redeemed world.

So we have the old way: Do not murder

But then Jesus points out: But even if you don't murder, you still have anger, and hatred and unredeemed relationships, so the root of the problem doesn't get dealt with.


Jesus instructions for how to live: If you are offering your religious duties and realize that you and your brother or sister are in conflict, forget your worship for now, go and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then be reconciled with God.


Do not commit adultery


burning with lust doesn't allow us to live a life transformed


remove yourself from temptation

Now this was a very quick para phrase of what Dave explained, so if I did damage to the integrity of the message, I welcome correction. And please feel free to join in some conversation over this. Dave also talked about how important the beatitudes are and suggested it might be the stimulus for a renewal movement in our own lives. You can learn more at