Former UCA president Stuart McMillan said a new book by Rev. Dr Chris Budden demonstrated the past theological failures of the Church in not recognising the central importance of recognising the sovereignty of the First Peoples in Australia.
Mr McMillan launched Rev. Dr Budden’s book Why Indigenous Sovereignty Should Matter To Christians on Wednesday morning at the 15th Assembly being held at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne.
Mr McMillan said he was very happy to launch the book which showed why the moral imperative of recognising Indigenous sovereignty was “central to our capacity to be Christian”.
In talking about First Peoples’ sovereignty Rev. Dr Budden’s book takes an “expansive view” of God’s relation with people, creation, and the Earth, Mr McMillan said.
The book describes the failure of the church to honour a commitment to not support the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations, and how this led to a call for covenant.
“He tells a story that’s not often told of our church,” Mr McMillan said.
Rev. Dr Budden said the book had come out of many prolonged conversations on the subject of First Peoples’ sovereignty.
“The heart of the book is an attempt to help people see Indigenous sovereignty as an issue of faith and discipleship, and not just politics,” Rev. Dr Budden said.
“It’s a conversation about sovereignty but also about how we stand as disciples of Jesus.”