Welcome to the autumn edition of Journey, our first for 2018 and our first with a new look and more pages. I’m sure you’ve got the news we are now a quarterly publication but in case you haven’t, you can expect the next editions to be distributed on the first Sunday of June, September and December.
I spent some of my summer break listening to Canadian psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson’s online lectures on religion and the Bible, and I strongly recommend them for those curious to dive into the psychological elements of biblical narratives. One passage Peterson delivered resonated in particular:
“Why bother with this strange, old book at all? That’s a good question … it’s a contradictory document that has been cobbled together over thousands of years, it has outlasted kingdoms—many, many kingdoms—it’s really interesting that it turns out that a book is more durable than stone, it is more durable than a castle, it is more durable than an empire … something, in some sense, so evanescent can be so long living.”
So as we reflect on the Easter story, and indeed all the other stories which comprise both Testaments, what is it about these particular texts that has endured from generation to generation—transcending race, gender, sexuality and culture; through conflict and peace, through prosperity and poverty?
Partly our thirst for narrative—for stories to shape our understanding of ourselves—helps explain the Bible’s longevity but maybe what makes this book so special for people, century after century, is its provision of a clear blueprint for regulating our mindset and behaviour.
The Easter story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is a classic example. Yes, it is an enduring tale of sacrifice, life, death and resurrection but as Dr John Frederick writes in his feature it is a blueprint for living out our lives to shape the world for the better; we must practise resurrection in our church communities and in the wider society and remind all that Christ’s death is the reason we can be a “catalyst for true redemptive change”.
On a tangential note, this edition examines the sensitive conversation around euthanasia and end-of-life choices in Dianne Jensen’s thoughtful feature. I welcome your letters to the editor on the topic.
Elsewhere we’ve got a feature on faith–themed travel which will inspire you to get your passport ready and pack your suitcases; new regular columns by Raushen Perera (on the heart of giving), Scott Guyatt (on missional activities), Simon Gomersall (on young adults and generational change), and plenty of stories from around the state about what’s happening in the life of the church.