NewsStand 13 - 19 August
Anglican treble in the Australian Christian Book of the Year award; church bells to toll for planet Earth; turning to Christ in a devastated Beirut; the multi-faith background of the woman who might be the next US Vice-President; grim words recalled from a church paper in the immediate aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago; and much more...
August 19 2020
For the third year running, a Sydney Anglican academic has taken out the Australian Christian Book of the Year award, with Natasha Moore winning for her work For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than You Ever Imagined. Dr Moore, a research fellow at the not-for-profit media company the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), wrote For the Love of God with CPX colleagues John Dickson, Simon Smart and Justine Toh.
What we lose when buildings and beaches close forces us to rediscover the heart of what is sacred and how we connect to the divine. Whatever form it takes, our experience of the sacred has been made more personal and more urgently desired. Perhaps, we are better for it.
Churches around Australia will be simultaneously tolling their bells just before midday on Friday 21 August to mark Earth Overshoot Day – the day people have used all the natural resources that the Earth can renew during the year.
One week after the massive blast in Beirut that killed dozens and left hundreds of thousands homeless, Eternity’s Kylie Beach spoke with World Vision’s Rami Shamma about how Christ is at the centre of his work in the devastated city.
Churches across the globe are exploring how their investments can be an instrument of mission and advance goals of racial, economic and ecological justice.
A letter to the UK’s Charity Commission has complained of the “impaired transparency and intermittent accountability” of the Church of England’s main safeguarding body. Dozens of signatories include survivors, clergy, lawyers, academics and a serving bishop, who say church leaders have failed to devise a “safe, consistent and fair system of redress to all parties engaged in safeguarding complaints”.
Few, if any, US Vice-Presidential candidates have had as much exposure to the world’s religions as Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old senator from California whom Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has picked as his running mate. Senator Harris’ Indian-born mother's background is Hindu and her father is from Jamaica, while the Senator considers herself a Black Baptist and she is married to a Jewish lawyer she met on a blind date.
The COVID-19 pandemic has indefinitely delayed the introduction of the Commonwealth Religious Discrimination Bill, which would have provided protection against religious discrimination in the workplace. With Federal reform on pause, One Nation MP and former Federal Labor leader Mark Latham has introduced a bill to the NSW Parliament to protect people of faith (and no faith) from discrimination. Sydney Bishop Michael Stead, who chairs his diocese’s Religious Freedom Reference Group, writes that the bill is welcome because reform is overdue.
The progressive Christian magazine Sojourners has replaced founder and President Jim Wallis as editor-in-chief and announced a new policy of editorial independence from the organisation's advocacy work. The decision came after weeks of turmoil over Wallis' removal of an essay criticising white supremacists within the Roman Catholic Church, which led two staffers of colour to resign from the magazine. Wallis, a prominent progressive theologian and activist, will continue to serve as president of the Sojourners organisation. He had been a leader at the magazine since its founding in 1971 as the Post-American.
Church Times reprints its editorial opinion and readers' reactions days after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. "... The atomic bomb should be outlawed as soon as possible by general agreement, like poison gas," the paper's editorial on 10 August 1945 said. "This week’s news is as fearful a challenge to Christians to pray and work for the conversion of the world as any that has been issued since man crucified his Saviour. If love will not turn men to God, will terror?"