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Rod Benson

As worldwide conflict proliferates, the flow of asylum seekers to Australia and other nations around the world is not predicted to ease in the foreseeable future. There are some important facts to consider when evaluating the current debates about asylum. First, it is not illegal to seek asylum in another country. All recognized refugees are […] Read More

While the New Testament writers adopted and refined the notion of conscience in Greek popular usage, it did not feature prominently in their ethical teaching. Later Christian thinkers, however, had much to say about conscience and developed the biblical concept in fruitful ways. In “The Confessions” (A.D. 397-398), Augustine traces aspects of his early life. […] Read More

Rod Benson is an ethicist and social justice advocate based in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. He previously was ethicist and public theologian at the Tinsley Institute based at Morling College, a Baptist college in Sydney. Rod’s articles that have appeared on are available here, and his interview at the 2012 Baptist […] Read More

David Whitten, an Australian doctor, recalls his family holidaying at Katoomba’s Hydro Majestic Hotel in a 2005 essay titled “Tempting Fate to Save my Bacon.” When the waitress served his breakfast of fried eggs, he noticed “something next to the eggs that looked like thin, crisp meat and was the source of a wonderful aroma.” […] Read More

The principle of the common good is prominent in Catholic social teaching and applicable to a wide range of social and ethical issues but is not often articulated in Baptist ethical thought and praxis. The notion of the common good appears to have originated in classical Greek thought. It was a transcultural idea and it […] Read More

Together, the seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) express our restless discontent with the way things are in the world, our communities and our hearts. They offer a daily rhythm, challenging us to refocus on what matters most, calling us to remember the unfailing goodness and mercy of God. As German theologian Karl […] Read More

If we are faithful in the way we follow Jesus, then our deepest and truest desires will find their expression in godly, countercultural, justice-shaped prayers passionately aligned to the kingdom and mission of God. Our best prayers will be ethical prayers. So, what’s distinctive about ethical prayer, and how do you do it well for […] Read More

Conversion is the central ethical message of Jesus and lies at the heart of evangelical faith and experience. For some, conversion is a slow, lifelong movement of the heart and will toward God. For others, it is a single dramatic experience, a sudden realignment of the self as the Apostle Paul experienced on the Damascus […] Read More

Two related events in recent days have done more to lower my opinion of prominent politicians and galvanize my support for public policy reform in Australia than anything else in 2011. The first was the opposition party’s response to a decision by the immigration department to fly grieving asylum seekers to funerals in Sydney for eight of those killed when […] Read More

Tourism is a form of travel for pleasure involving transactions between vendors and clients for goods and services. While there was an inn at Bethlehem, and probably also at Sodom, tourism as we know it is a modern phenomenon. Even in the 16th century, the practice of hospitality was giving way to what we now […] Read More