So many of the most obsessively followed TV series these days - Breaking Bad, House of Cards, True Detective, Game of Thrones - hold up a truly bleak mirror to human nature. What is the appeal of the antihero? And what does this trend tell us about our attitude to ourselves, the society we live in, and our hopes for the future?
Jesus and motorsports might seem an unlikely pairing - but one man has been openly bringing his Christian faith to the racetrack since 2007, and attracting quite a bit of attention in the process. Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher once worked in the corporate world, but is now part of the Jesus Racing team, which races in the Yokohama V8 Ute Series. He came in to talk about why his ute has the name “Jesus” plastered all over it; what it means to race “for Jesus”; and the “Life Choices” program, which encourages teenagers to think carefully about important decisions and what living life to the full really looks like.
Some aspects of being a mum are timeless: loss of sleep, for example, but also an experience of profound, self-sacrificial love. Other aspects, however, are heavily influenced by our own time and place, and the ways that our culture has decided to “do” parenthood. Life and Faith welcomes back Justine Toh from maternity leave just in time for this Mother’s Day program, which considers the contemporary obsession with kids on the one hand and with autonomy on the other, and asks the question: what does the Bible have to say about the mother-love of God?
This year marks the 100th time Australians have commemorated Anzac Day. Simon Smart and Natasha Moore speak to the Rev Dr Colin Bale, Vice Principal, Academic Dean, and Head of the Department of Church History at Moore Theological College, about his interest in WWI war graves and what the inscriptions soldiers’ families chose for them tell us about the spirituality of the time. Moving from commemoration of soldiers by their contemporaries to the reimagining of WWI today, Life and Faith also reviews a new film version of Vera Brittain’s war memoir, Testament of Youth.
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.