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Lives of Faith

Life & Faith: Reconciliation Week

The story of Christianity and Aboriginal culture in Australia, is one of tragedy, loss and deep sorrow. But there are also stories of hope and reconciliation that run alongside this darker narrative. “We deeply believe in the message, we deeply believe in Jesus, and I think because of that we’ve…

Can books save us?

The writers and devoted readers who populate a literary festival may not be the most objective observers when it comes to this question, but they certainly seemed to embrace the “Bibliotherapy” theme of last week’s Sydney Writers' Festival. The idea was books as therapy: as instruments not only for entertainment…

What is a “Christian” ethic?

ABC Radio host Jon Faine, a noted atheist, asserted the other day that he or others could live a Christian ethic while rejecting religion. This is a common misunderstanding. It is possible to lead a coherent, consistent and even admirable ethical life while rejecting religion, and many atheists do, but…

Can we love our enemies in a godless world?

To suggest Jesus never told anyone what to believe in is not only historically wrong, it misses the essential connection between what we believe and how we treat others, writes John Dickson. At the Sydney Writers' Festival yesterday, the much loved social commentator and author of The Good Life and…

Life & Faith: A Religious World

It may feel like we’re living in an increasingly secular world, but the numbers tell a different story. According to a recent study, by the year 2050, the number of people in the world without any religious affiliation will decline as a share of the global population. At the same…

Life & Faith: Music and the Mind

Ivy is 105 years old and she loves music. She sings along to “old-timers” in the car when she’s traveling around Australia, and listens to “sad” songs before she goes to bed. “I usually have the music playing softly,” she says, “I go to sleep that way.” The truth is,…

Artist God

“Creative” and “creativity” are perennially positive terms in today’s world. But to what extent are art and creativity essentials of human nature - and in what sense are they derived, historically and theologically, from the nature of God as creator? Trevor Hart is a pastor and Honorary Professor at the…

Life & Faith: On Terror

One of the defining narratives of the twenty-first century is the threat of global terrorism. It dominates the news cycle and is one of our society’s greatest fears. According to a recent Pew study, Australians consider the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) as the global threat they are most concerned about…

Democratic Delusion or the Wisdom of the Crowds?

Democracy, as Winston Churchill once said, is the worst system, except for every other one that has been tried. His comment famously shuts down criticisms of democracy by suggesting that if someone can't think of a better system, then they had better keep quiet. But it is not easy to…

Life & Faith: Adoption

“It’s a mixed blessing to see yourself in your kids,” says Geoff Broughton, the rector at Paddington Anglican Church in Sydney. He’s only half joking. As an adopted child, the first time he met a ‘blood relative’ was at the birth of his son. Watching his son grow up and…

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