Off the political rants for now.
Normally my daily drive up Melbourne's western ring road only causes me traffic-related stress. However on this particular morning, I had a whole new reason to laugh, cry and cringe all at the same time.
But first, a preamble: Doctor Francis Macnab, a qualified psychologist, is a revolutionary in post-modernism. When it comes to Christianity, he is full of opinions. The narrative runs to an age-old theme: Only raving fundamentalists would believe in a virgin giving birth, God becoming a human being for a spell, and a guy walking out of his grave after being dead for three days. We all know those things don't happen because, well, I didn't see them.
In fact, Dr. Macnab was behind a $120,000 newsprint and billboard campaign back in late 2008 stating that the Ten Commandments was "the most negative document ever written". It was to promote his views that, among other things, Abraham is a concoction, and Moses was a mass murderer. Free invites to the Jewish community, then.
Plus, Jesus obviously wasn't deity, didn't die for our sins and certainly didn't walk out of the grave. In fact, I think Macnab is ambivalent as to whether he even existed or not, because it's nice to be flexible. God, by the way, is not a distinguishable personal entity but a concept we can find within ourselves through personal reflection and...so on...
This is all fine. It's a free country. The thing is, Dr McNab is a Uniting Church minister. He's the UCA version of John Shelby Spong.
As one commentor on a Macnab article wrote "Just WHAT does it take to get someone de-frocked these days?"
That's a good question, and I don't know. Believing in absolute truth, perhaps? That certainly isn't a great career move for men-in-frocks these days. But, being a "Christian" leader who re-defines what being a "Christian" really is, by tearing up the original instruction manual...well, that makes you a revolutionary. A hero. An agent of change. It means book sales, book signings, the public speaking circuit at smug, academic humanist universities and, if you're really controversial, a spot on the telly.
On that logic, I should be able to advertise as a brothel, and when clients arrive, put them through a course of Valiant Man. Viva la revolucion.
There's a more detailed look at Dr. Macnab here in the Melbourne Anglican.
Back to my fateful trip on the western ring road on this particular day- Doctor Macnab has a new advertising campaign. While the UCA are trying to offload property and send the proceeds to the needy, Macnab has spent (presumably around another $120,000) on these:
Three people listed in order; NIGHTINGALE, KING, MACNAB.
Good to see Macnab has found his inner god.