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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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Confessions of a reluctant saint

Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Pastrix – the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner and saint Nadia Bolz-Weber Jericho Books, 2013 RRP $22 Frank, amusing and profoundly moving; this book is Nadia’s faith journey told through anecdotes from her life, with vulnerability and disarming simplicity. The theme of death and resurrection weaves through the book, as Nadia tells her story of the down-and-out alcoholic who ...

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A matter of life and death

Sophie Nélisse plays Leisel Memminger in The Book Thief, based on the novel by Markus Zusak.

The Book Thief, written by Sydney-based author Markus Zusak, is one of Australia’s most successful recent cultural exports. It is a story set in Nazi Germany, narrated by Death and follows a girl who loves to steal books. The film adaptation, directed by Brian Percival (best known for directing several episodes of Downton Abbey) is a mixed success, but still ...

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