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The Whitehouse Church Podcast

The Whitehouse Church

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Weekly-ish sermon recordings from the Whitehouse Church in Canberra. If you’re a fan of Greg Boyd and Brian Zahnd among others, you’ll definitely notice the influence (and occasionally shameless borrowing) of their great ideas. The Whitehouse Church is mostly Neo-Anabaptist~ish, post-evangelical leaning in worldview. We see Jesus as the full expression of what God is like and try to build community around his teachings. If you have any questions or comments check out our website and send us ...
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It is common when reading the psalms to identify with the psalmist and take on their prayer as our own. Whilst I know I live a life of great comfort and privilege; the depths are still a place that we can all understand. The depths of grief or disappointment, the depths of regret or shame, the depths of sickness or pain, the depths of frustration o…
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When people talk about coming to faith, they often remark about leaving the world, or leaving behind a life of sin. But Nicodemus had already built his life around being set apart and avoiding sin. To be born again is not simply about sinning less, it is about living more beautifully as the Spirit transforms us. It is about being made new daily.…
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On Good Friday we remember how the people in charge tried to make Jesus be quiet. We remember how they were so upset by his message of love and forgiveness that they killed him. We remember how they thought their violence was more powerful than his love. And we remember how Jesus forgave his enemies, and how Jesus also forgives us.…
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Sadly, like the first century Jews, many modern Christians are awaiting a warlord. They are waiting for a triumphant Jesus to ride in on a warhorse soaked in blood and seeking vengeance. But the Hebrew Scriptures don’t just give us a warrior Messiah, they also give us a picture of a suffering servant that Jesus perfectly embodies and fulfils.…
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Psalm 291 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness.3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of t…
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The Psalms of disorientation deserve a place in our prayer lives. They are a window into the raw, chaotic, and despairing voice within humanity that emerges during times of crisis and confusion. The Psalms of disorientation give us both the language to cry out our rage and grief, and the permission to authentically petition God. These Psalms also h…
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"In popular piety, without people ever thinking about it, the only Psalms people know are the Psalms of orientation . . . it's important to keep the rest of the repertoire working that allows for faith in disorientation . . . the Psalms of orientation are enormously valuable resources for us, but they are by themselves not adequate because they do …
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In modern times the word hope can often be understood as a desire for something to happen. The Hebrew word translated as hope three times in Psalm 25 is better understood as waiting. The outcome is inevitable, it is the timing that is unknown. And it is the same with the coming of the kingdom of God. The promises of the kingdom that we are hoping f…
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In our modern Christianity it’s common for people to have the idea that everyone in church needs to be happy. So, when people are going through challenges they often disappear from community. They don't know how to be a Christian whilst going through a divorce. Or how to be Christian amid chronic illness. They don't know how to authentically live o…
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The genealogy that introduces Jesus includes all sorts of unsavory, unpleasant, and 'unclean' people. This is the Messiah's family tree. Hallelujah! This is clearly a family that doesn’t exclude anyone! This is a family that can redeem anyone and change their story into something beautiful.
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As God’s workers we are invited to partner with him to make all things new. And in this, we have an opportunity to support the poor so that their needs are met now, and we can comfort those who are mourning, and protect the earth for the meek. Right now, we can invest our talents in mercy and peacemaking. As we wait, we must not be idle, but rather…
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As a pastor and friend I have a responsibility to help people put on the new garments of faith, but that more often looks like coffee andcounsel than an emotive call to repentance. I have found that doing life closely with other people is the best way to spur on growth. I’m not saying that we should be complacent with sin, just patient. We should b…
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This landowner planted a vineyard, he built the wall, dug the winepress, and built the watchtower. These are the actions of a landowner who loves his vineyard. He got his hands in the soil and stones and seeds. The tenants were privileged to live and work in the vineyard but they did not build the vineyard and they did not own the vineyard.…
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For the kingdom of heaven is like… a place where people have their needs met regardless of when they arrived or how much they can contribute. Where all people are treated with dignity and value. Where we have the privilege of serving in God’s garden and joyfully labouring under the sun for the work of justice and kindness.…
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Jesus never misled his disciples about the nature of his kingdom. They just couldn’t see past their cultural worldview. They couldn’t see past their religious nationalism and their desire for retributive justice to the kingdom of peace, love, mercy, and restorative justice that Jesus was building.
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As is common, there is a lot more going on behind this text than we first imagine. When the woman is viewed as a representative person from an elite economic class that has habitually taken advantage of the peasants of Galilee the conversation takes on a different tone. Jesus’ comments could very well reflect the real-lived experience of bread bein…
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The challenges of life: the grief, wars, famines, floods, fires, diseases, death, anxieties, worries, suffering, misery, and injustices of history are the groaning of God’s good world. We are in the groaning time. But it isn’t just meaninglessness. The groaning is like childbirth and at the end of all this pain there will be a beautiful reconciliat…
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Have you ever felt that a task was hopeless. World peace? Eradication of hunger? The restoration of the environment? Forgiving someone who has wronged you? The reconciliation of a broken friendship? Healing from a toxic or abusive relationship? Finding peace in the wake of tragedy or grief? Sometimes the best that we can offer is a meagre handful o…
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Awful things happen in the world. The weeds are apparent in every facet of our lives. Big weeds like war and famine, but also in the small things. Even in the church there are weeds among the wheat. But the good farmer, the Son of Man, is waiting. He is not powerless and one day he will command his angels to harvest and sort the crop. The kingdom o…
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The story of Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice to Yahweh presents Christians with a challenging portrait of God. If we are to believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and contend that God is like Jesus, we do not have the liberty of dismissing or embracing the violent portraits of God. Rather, we must find a way to interpret them in l…
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Matthew is retelling the story of his midlife crisis and in the midst of that story Jesus heals a paralysed man and an unclean woman, and then he raises a girl from the dead. This is what following Jesus was like for Matthew. The day Jesus called him was a day of salvation and resurrection. A day of mercy and breaking cultural taboos to bring life.…
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The narrative of Amos describes the people of Israel as devout in their adherence to cultic ritual but also as devoid of genuine concern for justice and righteousness (Amos 4:4-5; 5:21-24). As God’s covenant people they were meant to reflect his care for the most vulnerable but instead they oppressed the poor, withheld justice, and engaged in acts …
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It is disappointing that the type of divisions Paul was addressing in the Corinthian church can still easily be seen in churches today. Celebrity pastors and culture in the church, gender-based hierarchies, reserved seating and car parking, barista coffee for the rich and instant coffee for the poor. The more trivial of these examples sadly belie t…
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I have frequently talked about the simplicity of Jesus’ command to love but it is so important for us to remember. When I look at history and even when I lookaround today, it is apparent that many people in Christendom think that loving looks more like correction than washing feet, and more like judgement than cooking meals, and more like condemnat…
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The statement, “because you are with me” is in the exact middle of this Psalm and represents the central theological claim of the entire passage. It may be dark and bleak, but the shepherd is in the valley with you. The shepherd knew the way into this valley, and he knows the way out the other side, the way to grassy pastures and still waters. So d…
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Rather than perceiving this woman as prostitute, a harlot, or a sinner, there is a narrative here that can present this outspoken and theologically astute woman as an unfortunate victim of her circumstances that boldly steps into a place of faith and then chooses to go forth as an apostle to her people. If this story was about a man, it would likel…
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There are many things that the Bible actually says, and even more that have been tortured out from its pages that cannot be considered consistent with the life and teaching of Jesus. Bad exegesis and interpretation can easily create false gospels. The post-transfiguration life for Christians means walking away from – repenting of – violence, power …
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Just as the Ten Commandments were the foundational laws in the society of Israel, Jesus is presenting a manifesto for the new community of the kingdom of God. In all these teachings Jesus expresses what the true fulfilment of the law should look like, not as a doctrinal statement but rather as a beautiful vision of a holy community relating towards…
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If you are exhausted but still holding on in spirit,if you are grieving or in despair,if your gentleness is triumphing over your violence, if you are seeking for God’s justice in the world,if you are merciful and pure and making peace,if you are persecuted or mocked for following Jesus. Celebrate and rejoice!The time of citizenship,comfort,prosperi…
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A tent of meeting tried to contain something of God’s nature. There was a tabernacle, and a temple, and an ark, and a Holy of Holies, but none of them could not contain God. They all passed away, yet God still desired to dwell among his people, he still wanted to be with us. And so, he took on flesh like us. And within Mary’s womb became the temple…
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Jesus’ kingdom isn’t from this world, which should be obvious because worldly kingdoms always defend themselves with violence. Worldly kingdoms are insecure and fragile realms led by insecure and fragile kings that are founded on the blood of their enemies. But Jesus’ kingdom is from another place, and instead of violence, trickery, and insurrectio…
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Somebody needs to lead and somebody needs to hold power, it’s just that Jesus simply doesn’t recognise this as a prerequisite for greatness. Having the most power, prestige, influence, money, or might is irrelevant to Jesus’ definition of greatness. It is obvious who Jesus thinks is great. He draws attention to the widow with a few coins, the good …
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Our picture of God must be shaped by our understanding of Jesus. He is the only true perfect representation of the father, and he is the lens through which we must interpret all Scripture and revelation. His teaching and example are superior to all others, and when we are faced with complex theological and moral conundrums the sensitivity, gracious…
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We must trust that war and violence, death and suffering, greed and malice, and all manner of evil will ultimately be done away with in the kingdom of God. We must trust that the unjust, apathetic, unmerciful and evil empires, powers, and authorities will receive judgement and that the poor, the oppressed, the broken, and the innocent victims of th…
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