8 December 2023

Contenders announced for Australian Christian Book of the Year

Tony Rinaudo’s work The Forest Underground is among those nominated for the Australian Christian Book of 2022. Picture: supplied

By Stephen Cauchi

4 July 2022

Anglican academic John Dickson, The Australian’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan and renowned agronomist and Melbourne Anglican Tony Rinaudo are authors with works shortlisted for the 2022 SparkLit Christian Book of the Year.

The winner of SparkLit’s Australian Christian Book of the Year Award will be announced at an awards night in Melbourne on September 1.

The shortlist includes Adopted in Love, by Rachel Herweynen – the story of Herweynen and her husband Cameron’s move to the remote homeland of Gäwa, on Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, and their adoption into the local Yolŋu family.

Read more: Tony Rinaudo has helped millions, now he wants to inspire the next generation

“A beginner’s guide to Christian ethics” A New Freedom by Mike Snowdon has also made the shortlist. The work provides a framework for approaching topics in comprehensive, biblically faithful ways, with practical examples.

Bullies and Saints by John Dickson is also on the list, a work which aims to outline the good and the bad of 2000 years of Christianity.

An examination of Christianity from Jesus’ time to the modern day, Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in our World, by Greg Sheridan also made the shortlist.

In Refuge Reimagined authors Mark Glanville and Luke Glanville offer a new approach to compassion for displaced people, based on a biblical ethic of kinship, while in Raising Kids Who Care Susy Lee aims to help families navigate relationships, culture, inner selves and the world.

In Spacemaker Daniel Sih tackles the question “What if you could be productive and rested by living an ordered, rhythmical life?” – suggesting unplugging from digital technology.

The Forest Underground by Tony Rinaudo has also been nominated, a work detailing Rinaudo’s development of a simple and affordable method of regreening land by reviving damaged trees, which has regenerated millions of hectares.

In shortlisted work, Topical Preaching in a Complex World authors Sam Chan and Malcolm Gill address the biblical, theological and cultural reasons pastors should add topical sermons to their preaching repertoire, and then introduce a four-fold approach.

Also listed is pastor Mandy Smith’s work Unfettered, a call to break old habits of faith in the Western church, and approach it through Jesus’ surprising invitation to the kingdom through childlikeness.

Judges Greg Clarke, Stephen McAlpine and Natasha Moore will decide which book is the Australian Christian Book of the Year.

Greg Clarke was group chief executive of the Bible Society Australia from 2010 to 2019 and the author of the 2014 Australian Christian Book of the Year, The Great Bible Swindle.

Stephen McAlpine is the author of Being the Bad Guys, the 2021 Australian Christian Book of the Year. Stephen and his wife Jill have been planting and pastoring churches in Perth for almost three decades.

Natasha Moore is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity and is the author of For the Love of God, the 2020 Australian Christian Book of the Year.

The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award and Young Australian Christian Writer Award will also be announced on September 1.

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