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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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Making room for Santa

Actors Edmund Gwenn and actresses Natalie Woof and Maureen O'Hara in the 1947 classic Miracle on 34th Street. Photo by Twentieth Century Fox.

“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa,” asks Bart Simpson. We wince, and wonder if this is how the post- Christian world really sees us. Have Santa and Jesus coalesced into a single mythical character of indeterminate age and girth, a miracle worker who is great with kids? There is no denying that ...

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Exalting the holy fool

Holy Fool by Michael Leunig

Michael Leunig has made teapots, ducks, crescent moons, fish and flowers an enduring fixture in the Australian cultural landscape. Perhaps best known for his cartoons, which feature regularly in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Leunig’s latest collection of artwork, Holy Fool, instead draws heavily from his other works: paintings, etchings, mixed-media collages and sculptures. Leunig’s work is always ...

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Aflame with uncomfortable truths

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due for release 22 November. Photo by Lionsgate

With the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at the end of November, buzz is once again gathering around the franchise, originally a trilogy of books written by Suzanne Collins. In September, the first book of the The Hunger Games series was discussed on Jennifer Byrne’s ABC show, Books that Changed the World—alongside titles including Darwin’s The Origin ...

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Love is a verb

“I used to think Jesus motivated us with ultimatums, but now I know he pursues us in love.”—Bob Goff Love is something that is often talked about, but it seems to be rarely understood. Bob Goff’s book, Love Does is a rarity. Although it is a memoir, it is not just an appreciation of Goff’s achievements and commitments—many and varied ...

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