Culture

Candles burn for Paris

Three candles resembling the French tricolour

Alan Austin is a Uniting Church member and former Crosslight journalist who lives in Nîmes in the south of France. He shares his reflections on the impact of terror in his adopted homeland. The message was rapidly shared among neighbours in our small village near Nîmes: we will place a candle—une bougie—in our window tonight to show notre solidarité. At ...

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Review: Global Leadership Summit

Newlife's band led Global Leadership Summit worship

Bruce Mullan attended the Global Leadership Summit and came away surprised and impressed. From the moment you were greeted in the car park of Newlife Robina Uniting Church it was clear that this event was going to be something special. A team of over 40 volunteers welcomed 250 people to hear video presentations from experts in leadership training and church ...

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Theology: hard rewarding work

Stanley Hauerwas the work of theology

Stanley Hauerwas talks about himself a lot, and this may confirm for some that he has bought into the hype that has him labelled as “America’s best theologian”. Quite the opposite! Because he is a prominent theologian, he has attracted his share of criticism and comment, and therefore much of Hauerwas’s writing is defensive. He requalifies, elaborates, apologises, restates, argues ...

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Klaxons sound at War Room’s success

Priscilla C Shirer stars in Alex Kendrick's surprise hit, War Room

War Room is terrible. There’s no getting around it. It’s a turgid, artless film with an unusually simplistic approach to prayer and a staggeringly problematic slant on abusive relationships. It’s also wildly popular. War Room is the latest in a string of films by the Kendrick brothers, who have a talent for making movies panned by critics but lauded by ...

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What is the Christian response to trauma?

Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Su ering and the Search for What Saves Us. Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker Beacon Press, 2001, $24 RRP.

Rebecca, an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church and a seminary president and Rita, a theologian and researcher, explore through their own individual experiences, deep and difficult theological perspectives and teachings of Western Christianity in relation to issues of family violence, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, racism, addiction, homophobia and post-traumatic disorders. The detailed analysis of their life experiences ...

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It’s OK to be sad

Joy (left) and Sadness (right) in the 2015 animation feature Inside Out. Photo by Disney Pixar.

SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for the Disney Pixar animation Inside Out. Disney Pixar’s latest animation feature Inside Out offers purpose to all personified emotions, addressing the guilt and shame of Sadness. Ashley Thompson writes. Critically acclaimed for offering a “strikingly intricate and satisfying conceptualisation of a pre-teen’s psyche”, Director Pete Docter’s candy-coloured visual bonanza Inside Out explores ...

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When the pope calls state to account

Pope Francis waving to a crowd. Photo by Aleteia Image Department.

The latest encyclical to come from the Vatican has sparked a lot of commentary in both religious and mainstream press. Dr John Harrison examines what Laudato si means for Australian Protestants. Christians outside the Roman Catholic tradition are watching with interest the debate among Catholics about the most recent papal encyclical. The issue under debate is not climate change, but ...

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Four signs God may be calling you to ministry (or not)

Telephone graphic representing "calling". Graphic by Holly Jewell.

Here’s a handy list for those considering a call to a specified ministry in the Uniting Church. You’re hooked on Christian education and you’ve run out of lay courses Many ministry candidates report that the hunger for knowledge and understanding that led them to explore theology was their first step. Talk to Trinity College Queensland at ask@trinity.qld.edu.au about what’s next. ...

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Correcting the trade imbalance

Hugh Jackman with Ethiopian coffee farmer, Dukale.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but fair trade documentaries The True Cost and Dukale’s Dream show the economic future of the developing world is far from hopeless. Ashley Thompson writes. “Fair trade is a citizen’s response to correcting the social injustice in the international trading system that is largely dysfunctional,” says Safia Minney—founder and CEO of ...

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Finding your own theological voice

Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology cover by Dr Val Webb. Morning Star Publishing, 2015 ($39.95).

Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology is a little Aussie gem from our own pre-eminent lay theologian Dr Val Webb.  Webb’s goal in this book is to unlock theological process from the rarefied academic world of the seminary and encourage everyone to do their own theological thinking, “rather than continually accepting the often dumbed-down scraps from the altar of others”. Testing ...

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