“I went to bed last night and my moral code got jammed. I woke up this morning with a frappachino in my hand.”
Nick Cave, ‘Abattoir Blues’, from the album Abattoir Blues
Nick Cave’s line captures something true about our attempts to live well in the world: we often feel as though don’t have a clue. We sense our ethics might be compromised; but how does that relate to what happens next?
But, praise God, we’ve been given a clue in Jesus Christ. Everything on this blog comes out of the conviction that knowing the crucified and risen Jesus enables us to live ‘with the grain of the universe’ – even when the grain of the universe goes against the grain of the majority.
Life is always lived on an ad hoc basis; we do what we can given what we know in a particular moment. Learning to ‘think like a Christian’ is a process of learning how the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus shapes us as persons so that we can made ad hoc decisions in a manner consistent with the grain of the universe that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has made. Jesus is crucial for this formation, for ‘in Him all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:17).
Being so formed in the ways of ‘practical reason’ enables us to participate in the world as God intends us to. Thinking like a Christian is part-and-parcel of living like one. And if God really is in Christ ‘reconciling all things to himself’ (Colossians 1:20), then thinking about life – and living it – start with Jesus. Of course, as theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas says, ‘That’ll make your life really weird!’ True. But what revolution ever began by affirming the status quo?
And so this blog embraces the weirdness – and the difficulty – of thinking like a Christian. In doing so, we hope to understand just a little more how our compromised moral codes relate to our unexpected frappachinos.
Who am I? I’m married to Alison (a social worker). We live in Newtown, in inner-city Sydney; we love it. We live in an old graveyard under a beautiful fig tree – Alison blogs about it here. We attend the afternoon congregation (Cottage Church) at Newtown:Erskineville Anglican Church.
I’m currently studying theology at Moore Theological College here in Newtown. Prior to that I worked in campus ministry with the Evangelical Union at the University of Sydney. Before that, I spent a year working to establish Hope For Sydney, a not-for-profit seeking to connect volunteers from Sydney churches with organisations serving the poor & marginalised.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts (History) and a Masters of Political Economy from the University of Sydney.
My interests include writing, Christian ethics & theology, politics & economics, music, coffee, and lots of reading.