Thursday, May 19, 2016

Science and the Bible talk

Tomorrow evening I am giving a talk at the FOCUS (Fellowship of Overseas University Students) group at University of Queensland.
Here is the current version of the slides. 
I am looking forward to a lively question and answer session after the talk.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

When did you last hear a politician give a speech like this?

One that questioned the value of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of the health of a country.
Indeed, it is extraordinary that the speech below was given by Robert Kennedy in 1968 when he was running for President of the USA.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The question no one is game to ask

... except for raging grannies.
Why do we need endless economic growth?

My wife and I watched the documentary, "Two Raging Grannies".
You can buy it on Vimeo.
Two Raging Grannies from Faction Film on Vimeo.

Here is the theme song from the Raging Grannies activist group.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Learning about global inequality and hunger

Today my wife organised a hunger banquet (similar to those designed by Oxfam) for a group of friends. Guests were randomly assigned to one of three groups of people:
1. high income (15% of the world, living on more than $10K per year),
2. medium income (25% of the world, annual family income of $1-10K),
3. low income (60% of the world, less than $3 per day).

The different groups are then served appropriate meals:
1. steak, vegetables, and soft drink
2. rice and beans, water with a purifier
3. one cup of rice each, dirty water

You then discuss the associated feelings and issues, before moving to discussion of (local and global) initiatives we can be involved with to address poverty, hunger, and social injustice.

I found it quite confronting and illustrative. What was striking was, as the host, how much time my wife had to spend preparing and serving the food for the small number of "wealthy" guests. The other guests did not get much attention. This was quite representative of how the global economy is oriented towards to keeping affluent Westerners happy.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The narrative of Genesis

The first few chapters of Genesis can be a source of endless controversy and confusion. This need not be if one reads them in the context of the whole book. This video nicely introduces the narrative of the whole book.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The highs and lows of family

My wife and I enjoyed watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (at the movie theatre!). It is light hearted fun but does deal with the challenges of marriage, extended family, in-laws, immigrant identity, and children leaving home...

We enjoyed it so much we decided we will watch the original again tomorrow night.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Honour, shame, and the Gospel

The Gospel of Jesus transcends culture. Nevertheless, communicating it and living it out does take different forms in different cultures. This video nicely presents the Gospel that may be more meaningful in cultures in which honour and shame play a central role.