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Culture

Beyond Sunday morning

Book cover of Undivided: Closing the faith-life gap by Graham Hooper. Intervarsity Press, 2014. Recommended retail price: $14.99.

The easiest way to tell what anyone believes, what they value, is to look at how they behave and how they spend their time and money. It becomes uncomfortable when, through either our own realisation or by someone else pointing it out, our external behaviours don’t match up with what we say we value. The problem is worse for those ...

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Five things my father taught me about the church

Father's Day is on Sunday 7 September.

Fathers teach us a lot of interesting stuff about life, faith, and taking one for the team. Here are a few thoughts from the writers at Journey about what fathers teach us about the church. There’s always room for one more Fathers invoke the theological principle of hospitality each time they turn up at dinnertime with stray colleagues suffering food ...

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Navigating the moral minefield

Ethics With or Without God: Christianity and morality in the 21st century by Noel Preston. Published by Mosaic Press in 2014. Recommended retail price: $22.95.

When I was younger, making ethical decisions seemed a fairly straightforward process. As a Christian I had the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition to draw on when it came to making wise ethical choices—all pretty black and white and all pretty easy to understand. Now I am older things seem much greyer. As a practising Christian and in the ...

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Peculiar things we do: Conferences

UnitingWomen conference promotional poster, featuring woman of varying cultures laughing and interacting. Photo was supplied..

Why travel to Sydney when you can watch a webinar? Ashley Thompson explores. In Australia, many Christians wait in anticipation for annual gatherings. We go to great lengths, spending precious leave and flying interstate to listen to keynote speakers whose content is often easily accessible online or in their latest book. We attend conferences for a variety of reasons, such ...

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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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