Category Archives: old testament

Ancient Laws for New Challenges: The Ten Commandments as a Critique of Inequality

You might be interested in reading my new article, “Ancient Laws for New Challenges: The Ten Commandments as a Critique of Inequality,” Ethics in Brief 22 (2017). Abstract: This article argues that the Ten Commandments summoned ancient Israel to live … Continue reading

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New Directions for Aimless Politics

Many Christians feel lost at sea this (U.S.) election. For some, the traditional loyalties that have anchored us have been severed. We have been thrown off-course, with no obvious way forward. Perhaps our disorientation is prompting us to inquire freshly … Continue reading

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An ancient Assyrian spell to make a baby go to sleep!

This is an ancient spell to make a baby go to sleep! It is written on this clay tablet that was stored in the Assyrian library of the Assyrian King, Ashurbanipal. I took the pic in the British Museum today. You could try the … Continue reading

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A Jazz Talk | How Biblical Law Shapes Missional Communities

In this jazz-talk I speak from the piano about how to read the laws of the Old Testament, what is known as biblical law. I illustrate the nature of biblical law by comparing the development of biblical law to the … Continue reading

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The women who tricked Pharaoh

Twelve women appear in the opening chapters of Exodus, some of whom by their cunning, boldness, and decisiveness trick Pharaoh and preserve Moses’ life in order that God’s plans might be fulfilled.[1] “Without Moses, there would be no story, but … Continue reading

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Enjoying a slow read through the opening chapters of Exodus

Enjoying a slow read through the opening chapters of Exodus. At the beginning of Exodus, Pharaoh is, for all that most people can see, the unchallenged divine king of Egypt. Pharaoh’s rule is horrific, but then, mass enslavement and massive … Continue reading

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A choice between trust and fear is at the heart of almost every tension

A choice between trust and fear is at the heart of almost every tension. The pioneer of development psychology Erik Erickson spoke of “basic trust.” This is the confidence that a baby begins to have in its mother. The baby … Continue reading

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Kevin Rudd (Australian PM) is misinformed on slavery in the Bible – Biblical law is life-giving for slaves too

So the Bible says that slavery is a ‘natural condition’, Kevin Rudd (Prime Minister of Australia)? You are misinformed. Slavery was a central pillar of ancient Near Eastern society – the cultural background for the Old Testament (OT) – so … Continue reading

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Australian Refugee Policy for Dummies #1: Disingenuous Rhetoric

Over the next couple of weeks I will blog regularly on Australian refugee policy, in order to explain how it works, and to offer scrutiny in light of scripture. These blogs are prompted by the Rudd Government’s recent decision to … Continue reading

Posted in justice, miscellaneous, old testament, old testament ethics, politics, stranger/alien/outsider/refugee | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

The Ten Commandments – God’s Economics

Few Christians realize that the ten commandments stridently address some pressing problems of our generation: massive inequality of wealth, growing refugee populations, rampant consumerism and more. In their original context the ten commandments were a platform for justice, and they are a … Continue reading

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