DAVE FAGG

Posts from the “Faith” Category

Poverty and the image of God

Posted on October 14, 2016

The people of this neighbourhood are often referred to by terms such as ‘battlers’ or ‘the marginalised’, or ‘those experiencing disadvantage’; but in the biblical lexicon they are ‘the poor’. How do we make sense of the Bible’s teaching about ‘the poor’ in relation to the real people and the real places we encounter? Who are the poor? What defines the experience of poverty? Who are we in relation to the poor and who are we together?

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The ISIS Adventure 2: Hardship and Encounter

Posted on December 14, 2015

Leaving the Shire Justin Duckworth, Anglican bishop and a good friend of Praxis (who I work for), loves to speak to young adults of the adventure of following Jesus. The first requirement for the adventure, drawing on Lord of the Rings, is that ‘you have to leave the Shire’. The hobbits must encounter danger, risk and the unknown to have an adventure. I think this is true of all people, and is germane to young people who are attracted to groups like ISIS. When young adults join ISIS or extreme nationalist groups like the United Patriots Front (UPF), political and security leaders call this ‘radicalisation’, pejoratively. But let’s reclaim this word. The tradition of Christianity that inspired me in young adulthood is ‘radical discipleship’. In other…

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Religion, Spirituality and the Sacred

Posted on November 5, 2015

Hi all, I am currently writing a chapter for a book on spirituality and youth work. Here is a section of my chapter on how to understand religion, spirituality and the sacred, and what a definition of these realities might be when discussing them in relation to youth work. The academically minded may be frustrated that I haven’t provided full references – there are some suggestions for further reading at the end.   Secularism constructs ‘religion’ as a private endeavour: In the West ‘we see “religion” as a coherent system of obligatory beliefs, institutions and rituals, centring on a supernatural God, whose practice is essentially private and hermetically sealed off from all “secular” activities’. In other cultures and through the ages the idea of…

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Work, Money and Faith…or “Why you should consider giving me money”

Posted on October 12, 2015

I need money for my life. Most of us do, in the absence of a fully functioning bartering system which, though I would love it, is someone else’s vocation. My family and I generally get by financially. We work, and I get paid for my regular job with Praxis. Also, the government chips in with family payments. My extended family is often generous and I do some casual teaching when it’s needed. Most of you, dear readers, also need money. You get this somehow. However, I would bargain that most of you don’t need to justify your work theologically to get it. You do the work, or apply for the required amount of jobs, and the money goes into your bank account and quickly…

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The mosque: Bendigonian political action options

Posted on September 28, 2015

Over the past couple of years, there has been a low-level debate over a planning permit for a mosque in Bendigo, which in recent times culminated in a protest cum street battle between the United Patriots Front, and No Room for Racism/Socialist Alternative. For ease of writing, let’s call the United Patriots Front ‘the UPF’ and those on the other side, ‘the Miscellaneous Groups Against UPF’ or MGAUPF. (This article in The Australian is the best summary I’ve read.) The UPF plans another rally on October 10, and the MGAUPF plans to be there (for example, the Bendigo Action Coalition). For concerned Bendigonians who want to stand for freedom of religion and against the targeting of Muslim people, what are the forms of political…

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