Culture

Blue like jazz

2013 Reviewed by David Weddell. Based on the best-selling book of the same title and funded by the donations of thousands of fans, Blue Like Jazz is not a stereotypical Christian movie, and that's a big part of what makes it great. Rated M, this semi-biographical movie is edgy because it is realistic. The plot firmly grabs your attention, partially ...

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Open your heart; find your voice

Song for Marion Stars: Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston, Terence Stamp Rated: PG Reviewed by Sue and Kate Hutchinson mother and daughter. Song for Marion is a genuinely affecting story of love, friendship, heartache, persistence, hope and redemption. For fans of Quartet, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Calendar Girls, this warm-hearted movie, even if predictable, will delight and move you. ...

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Recognising God in the whole of creation

Dreaming a New Earth: Raimon Pannikar and Indigenous Spiritualities Mosaic Press 2012 RRP $39.95 Reviewed by David Pitman. This is a book about indigenous spiritualities, with particular reference to Australia, Korea, Japan and New Zealand. It is a collection of articles, written by authors from around the world, that offer a strong affirmation of the integrity and authenticity of indigenous ...

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Play the ball, not the player

Talking about ethics: Negotiating the maze Acorn Press, 2011 RRP $14.95 Reviewed by ethicist Trevor Jordan. It is often said that "ethics is a conversation", but as Justin Denholm points out in his helpful study guide, we need conversations that go beyond a mere sharing of opinions or disagreements. Talking about ethics is a good place to start for Christians ...

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Taking time to nurture our spirituality

Contemplative Meditation for Groups Homewood Publications 2013 RRP $20 Reviewed by Noel Preston. Ken Davidson's own sacred story — told early in the script — begins in the Queensland Methodism of the 1950s. The critical point of its development is undoubtedly the traumatic death through cancer of his young wife, Margaret, in the 1980s. Sparked by that traumatic event, Ken's ...

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The world’s Christians: Who they are, where they are, and how they got there

Wiley-Blackwell, 2011 RRP $39.95 By Karyl Davison. This book reminds us that the contours of Christianity around the world are complex and enormously diverse. Christians are members of thousands of different churches, speak hundreds if not thousands of different languages and are present in almost every country across the globe. Douglas Jacobsen, Professor of Church History and Theology at Messiah ...

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How we make decisions, and why it matters

The Righteous Mind Penguin 2012 RRP $19.99 Reviewed by Rob Sandilands Anti-abortion or pro-choice? For or against the ordination of homosexual people? Infant baptism or believer's baptism? These are some of the political and religious divisions that can occur in society and the church. There are times when you can have a mix of all of them within the same ...

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Doctors without Borders under the microscope

Hope in Hell: Inside the world of Doctors without Borders Firefly Books 2010 RRP $24.95 Reviewed by Marian Zaunbrecher. As a mother of a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) member, I am aware of the difficulties faced by these organisations. Disease and injustice co-exist within political, cultural and social parameters about which the NGO must remain neutral in order to retain effectiveness. ...

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In a post-Christian world, preaching is a political act

Cuttle Fish, Clones & Cluster Bombs: preaching, politics & ecology Darton, Longman & Todd, 2010 RRP $34.95 Reviewed by Peter Harvey Rural Ministry Associate, Presbytery of WA. Michael Northcott is Professor of Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. He has written extensively on economic ethics, biotechnology, and apocalyptic religion and violence. He is the author of more than 60 peer-reviewed ...

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Exploring reconciliation in communities devastated by violence

Living without Enemies: Being present in the midst of violence IVP Books 2011 RRP $17.95 Reviewed by Peter Harvey, Rural Ministry Associate, Presbytery of WA. In Living without Enemies, theologian Samuel Wells (dean of Duke University Chapel and professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School) and community activist Marcia Owen (executive director of the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent ...

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