Joe Hockey on faith and society

Joe Hockey, Opposition Shadow Treasurer in the Australian Parliament, made a very interesting speech In Defence of God on 9 November to the Sydney Institute. His key theme:

What we as a society must not do is allow our secularity to be a reason for ignoring those who are truly inspirational just because they are people of faith. . . . A secular society imbued with the values that faith engenders will be stronger not weaker.

The speech has generated considerable comment. The most insightful to my humble mind is that of my old mate Robert Forsyth who makes significant criticisms of the speech while concluding with a fitting challenge to followers of Christ, 

When all was said and done, there is a lesson for us Christians in what Mr Hockey said. It was impressive that he wanted to say that matters of faith do have a place and, more importantly for us, showed that the great critique on Christian faith will not be questions of truth but questions of morality. 

And that it is incumbent upon us to show that true Christian faith genuinely enhances human wellbeing and life and can even contribute importantly to a freer, more compassionate and more loving society. I know this is not going to be proof of anything, but it seems to me that those are the terms today in which a lot of our apologetic needs to move. Even if Joe Hockey’s defence of God was inadequate, he does raise questions that are inescapable.

 See Bishop Robert Forsyth’s article,  God defence falters.

Barney Zwartz looks at the political motivations and comparison with Kevin Rudd’s essay. See The Gospel according to Joe.

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