From the Boer War and World War I right up to Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond, the Bible Society has freely given Scriptures to all members of the Australian Defence Forces who wanted them. With the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, the Bible Society in Australia has brought together unexpected and moving stories of servicemen and women who fought for their country - many of them sacrificing their lives - and of the book they took with them into combat. Life and Faith speaks with Dr John Harris, who did most of the research behind the Their Sacrifice campaign, about the experiences of some of these remarkable individuals, as well as National Campaigns Manager Allan Dowthwaite about the exhibition touring Australia over the coming year.
For more information about the Their Sacrifice exhibition, the accompanying book, and ‘The Bullet in the Bible’ DVD, visit www.theirsacrifice.com.
One of the most frequent objections to Christian faith – or to religion in general – has to do with violence: that the Bible is full of violence; that Christian history is full of violence; that religion causes violence, or is too often used to justify it. In this episode of Life and Faith, Simon Smart and Natasha Moore bring together some of the many discussions of this topic in CPX interviews over the years with Bible scholars, theologians, and philosophers. Material from Iain Provan, William Cavanaugh, and Miroslav Volf - as well as a live interview with John Dickson - offers some ways forward through this thorny, and profoundly important, question. For more extensive treatments of this subject, see the content listed under this ‘Big Question’ in our library at www.publicchristianity.org/library/topic/violence.
The spaces we spend time in and create for ourselves as humans have a huge impact on our quality of life. Why do these things matter so much to us? Life and Faith considers the role of human creativity within a Christian worldview; asks an architect about faith and creativity, beauty and functionality; and explores the order of the natural and human worlds as they appear in the recent Kate Winslet film, A Little Chaos.
How can anyone be sure that miracles are possible? Or ... how could we be sure that they’re not? This Easter, Life and Faith considers barriers to taking the Bible’s accounts of miraculous events seriously - and some of the many miracle stories from around the world today.
Dr Wesley Hill is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Pennsylvania. He is a committed Christian who is also gay and celibate, and has written about his experiences in his book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. He talks to Simon Smart about why he’s convinced that homosexual practice is not an option for Christians; how the Bible views marriage, singleness, and community; and how the figure of Jesus is compelling enough to inspire a very counter-cultural life of celibacy.
As flawed people in a flawed world, we face breakdowns in relationship all the time. What happens when we are wronged by someone else - or when we’ve wronged them? What are the possibilities for justice - or forgiveness - or even restoration? Dr Geoff Broughton talks to Simon Smart and Natasha Moore about his work on the streets and in inner-city churches, his new book Restorative Christ: Jesus, Justice, and Discipleship, and why he thinks faith and justice are deeply connected.
For International Women’s Day in 2013, Justine Toh interviewed Captain Melanie-Anne Holland, who manages a Salvation Army women’s refuge, and Dr Lynne M. Baker, author of the book Counselling Christian Women on How to Deal with Domestic Violence, about the effects of domestic abuse and the relevance of this issue to faith communities in particular. Two years on, the interview is if anything even more relevant: domestic violence affects up to 1 in 6 Australian women, and - with Rosie Batty being made Australian of the Year, and recent stories about domestic abuse in Christian marriages in particular - there is a growing momentum behind efforts to tackle this issue head-on.
We all struggle with the conflict between our desire for autonomy on the one hand, and our desire to be part of a community on the other. Social commentator Hugh Mackay’s latest book, The Art of Belonging: It’s not where you live, it’s how you live, weighs up the question "Who am I?" against the even bigger question, "Who are we?" He talks to Simon Smart about the drought of belonging in contemporary Australia, the appeal of “village” living, and how real community can be cultivated in the places we actually live in.
Mark Bilton has been a CEO and director of several multinational companies, including Gloria Jeans Coffees, and has won awards for his work as a “change catalyst”. Life and Faith spoke to Mark about the relevance of faith to work, and the role his own faith has played in his career in the cutthroat corporate world.
Citizenfour, Rosewater, and The Interview are three very different movies - but they all make a strong case for the importance of free speech. Simon Smart and Natasha Moore discuss the threats to people’s right to speak freely that these films warn against, and what Christian faith has to contribute to debates about whether and when to limit freedom of speech.