My Name is David Palmer. I’m a semi retired minister in the Presbyterian Church of Australia.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was blessed with forebears, both English and Scottish, of modest means, morally upright for the most part, and definitely intelligent and hard working.

I grew up in a loving family, was converted to Christ with great joy at age 15, married Chris, the girl of my dreams and firmest affections at age 24, subsequently acquiring at various times, as one does, sundry children – well two children, dogs, cats, birds of various descriptions, and more possessions than really needed.

I was educated at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney and graduated in Chemical Engineering from Sydney University, subsequently enjoying a 25 year career with ICI in the Chemical industry both in Australia and the UK, beginning 1965 before entering theological college in 1990 and being ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1993.

My interest in setting up this blog is to engage in a running commentary on matters cultural, political and theological.

I’m passionately committed to the Reformed faith. Luther and Calvin are my heroes.

I’m unashamedly conservative. We live in a time when outright contempt is displayed toward our forebears who for example were in no doubt and for very good reasons knew that marriage involved a man and a woman who would provide a home for themselves and their children.

The English philosopher Edmund Burke living at the time of the French Revolution and noting the then self righteous contempt of the revolutionaries for their ancestors, customs and institutions, wrote that society is a partnership between not only between those who are living but between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born. I believe this is a profoundly Biblical understanding.

As a conservative adhering to Christian faith that is Biblically and Confessionally bound, I’m concerned with the drift in broader Australian society away from the standard of morality that more or less prevailed up to the 1960’s, informed as it was by the Judeo Christian heritage of Western civilisation. I am certain Christians need to be forthright in defending good and godly ways in the public domain recognising that while our opponents are formidable in controlling oppositions of power and privilege yet they are lacking in real substance and anything of lasting, intrinsic value. I have written extensively on matters of public interest over the past 10 years off my own bat but also in the making of submissions to public inquiries on a range of issues as a member of the Presbyterian Church and Nation Committee and the Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee in Victoria. I am a member of the Board of Freedom 4 Faith, an educational and advocacy group seeking to uphold freedom of conscience and of religion, freedom of speech and of association at a time when anti-discrimination measures threaten to overrun these ancient rights.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Christopher for the interest in writing me.

    I will have a think about what you have written and get back to you. I may get my son’s comment as well and a friend who lectures at our theological college.

    But I can make a few brief comments.

    I’m not really up on all the ins and outs American Reformed/Presbyterian scene. I read Kuyper while still in my 20’s (I’m 69 now) – I found him incredibly invigorating/mind expanding. However today’s Australia is vastly different to Holland in late 19th century. The Church is small and basically focussed on minding the machinery, caring for the people it has and focussed in the case of the Presbyterian Church of Australia planting new congregations/rejuvenating old ones. We are small overall and our congregations generally small. In a way I’m out on a bit of a limb, appreciated by my colleagues, out there as it were writing submissions on proposed Government legislation, appearing occasionally at public enquiries, all the time networking with fellow Christians across the Catholic/Orthodox /Protestant divide, writing articles for church and broader society organs – actually I’ve handed over most of these aspects to others.

    I do read our non Christian ideological opponents, virtually out of necessity, because in arguing on these social issues plus freedom of religion you need to know what your opponents are saying. Last year I attended a 3 day international atheist convention in Melbourne with all the leading lights present (you can read my before/after assessment on my atheism page). Those fellows I was running up against on Old Life were fatuous, foolish, complacent, detached dreamers not in touch with the real world.

    So I’m a practitioner. You write epistemology and I’m thinking, “yes I know that word, um…!”

    I’ve got Old Life bookmarked because I have liked Hart’s historical studies and appreciate his high (Calvinistic) view of the Sacraments. I got half way through VanDrunen’s Natural Law and 2K book and have his shorter volume, so I need to get back to read VanDrunen. I thought R Scott Clark’s Recovering the Reformed Confession a terrific read. So far this year I’ve read, just to illustrate my fairly eclectic interests, David Goldman’s, How Civilisations die; Eric Kaufman’s Shall the Religious inherit the Earth?; Charles Murray’s Coming Apart; David Young’s John Calvin and the Natural World; a book by some Unitarians, The English Presbyterians; Robert Louis Wilken’s The First Thousand Years and Scott Manetsch’s Calvin’s Company of Pastors plus several books of crime fiction. (I’ll start a new thread with my comments on these)

    My current interest is being Moderator of our State Assembly (Victoria, SE corner of Australia) and I’m a Board member of Freedom4Faith, an organisation out there in the Public Square seeking to influence Governments on issue of freedom of conscience and of religion, with persuasive academic and legal argument, something the fatheads over on Old Life (or at least the Bobbys and mikkelmanns) wouldn’t have a clue about being so snugly set down in their burrows as they are.

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