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Grappling with the Bible

Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today by Adam Hamilton. Publisher: HarperOne, 2014. Recommended retail price $29.95

Breathtaking in scope and certainly ambitious in prospect, Adam Hamilton has written an important book that many people in congregations will find stimulating, challenging and, in the end, comforting. With clear and understandable language, this book is not only an invaluable resource for ministers, but also a must-read for the growing number of book clubs Uniting Churches are establishing. This ...

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Waste not, want not

Picture of a women confused by cooking reality tv shows MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules and what that means she should cook.

I may not remember my first kiss, but I do remember the first pizza I ate and the first quiche I made (and the fact that everyone thought it rhymed with “witch”). One of the most surprising things for baby boomers about reality shows such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules is the rehabilitation of humble vegies like pumpkin and ...

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Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson: Creating communities of hope

Troubled Minds: mental illness and the church's mission

This is a book the church really needs. Many people in our communities are affected by mental illness of one kind or another, but how do our church communities respond? This book identifies people who fall through the gaps or are even damaged by contact with churches and looks at what can be done about it. Let’s look at some ...

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Noah makes waves

Noah directed by Darren Aronofsky

Adapting written works to the screen is as old as cinema itself. It’s a difficult process in which conveying the core of the story is balanced against preserving the details of the original text. What works on paper does not usually work on screen, so the original work needs to be reinterpreted and retold in a new way for a ...

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Seven weird ways to serve your church

You can serve your church in unusual ways.

Did you think serving the church only involves greeting people at the door or pouring cups of tea? Serving your church, whether it’s your local congregation or some of the larger bodies within the denomination instills a sense of ownership and helps grow faith. There are many different ways to serve, not all of which are immediately obvious. Here’s some ...

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Selling a passion for faith

Passion: The Bright Light of Glory book over. Edited by Louie Giglio. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2014. Recommended retail price $16.99.

Somewhere around age 16, I got worn out by the charismatic evangelical youth group culture where I had been spending most of my free time. I had been to what seemed like hundreds of camps, conferences and youth rallies all around Australia, each with its own stadium rock worship band, multithousand dollar lighting rig and intense preacher who used words ...

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Earth, Faith and Mission

Banner for Earth, Faith and Mission by Clive Ayre.

Dr Clive Ayre’s book Earth, Faith, and Mission is a wonderful example of new practical theology. Practical theology has suffered on the one hand from the early influence of European scholars who saw it primarily as an application of theological principles developed by “real” theologians. It has been plagued on the other hand by those who want to limit it ...

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Committed to following God’s call

This is the story of young missionaries Don and Olive Boorman, who left Brisbane in the 1930s to serve in Fiji with the Methodist Missions and their momentous decision to leave in 1940, as researched by their daughter Noela Boorman. In times past, in missionary biographies, faith conquered all, and missionaries were venerated as superhuman. In Tala Tala (Fijian for ...

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Is “Frozen” a Christian allegory?

Elsa and Anna from Disney's animated hit film, Frozen.

Disney’s new animated feature, Frozen is a smash hit, and the themes of love and sacrifice will be more than familiar to Christian viewers. But is Frozen a Christian allegory? Christian bloggers and other talking heads have been mulling it over since the film’s release. In his post, “Exploring Dante’s Inferno in Disney’s Frozen” Collin Garbarino of the Houston Baptist University says yes! In a ...

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