All natural

Review by David Merritt

Book | Seasons and Self. Discourses on being ‘At Home’ in Nature | Rex A. E. Hunt

The author’s introduction to this book starts with a quote from American author and philosopher Sam Keen: “Whether we continue to talk about God is not so important as whether we retain the sense of ...

Present beliefs

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | Paul and the Gift | John M G Barclay

The main argument of this large, scholarly book is actually quite simple: if we are to understand what Paul says about salvation as a gift we need to understand what the concept of gift meant in the culture of the day. ...

Issues of belonging

Review by John Rickard

Book | Why Indigenous Sovereignty Should Matter To Christians | Chris Budden

Chris Budden is profoundly qualified to write this book that examines the issue of Indigenous sovereignty for the church. He has a passionate heart and a willingness to sit and listen to the concerns and desires of the First Peoples of ...

State of amnesia

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past | Shaun Walker

What’s going on in Putin’s Russia?

The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, Shaun Walker, recently wrote that, while World Cup soccer fans realised Russia is not entirely alien, there remains a dark side. It is a ...

Illustrated Bible

Review by Tyson and Evie Robinson

Book | Mystic Bible | Alexandra Sangster

Tyson (aged 13): Mystic Bible, by Alexandra Sangster, is a children’s book about the story of Jesus.

I got to experience this book firsthand and I am impressed. I was wowed at the beautiful drawings and found it really easy ...

Natural wonder

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | The Wasp and the Orchid: the Remarkable Life of Australian Naturalist Edith Coleman  | Danielle Clode

Australians may be more likely to look overseas before recognising our own nature writing endeavours. Women writers are particularly prone to being forgotten.

Zoologist Danielle Clode, formerly with Museum Victoria and the University of Melbourne, is a ...

Puritan redemption

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | What Are We Doing Here?  | Marilynne Robinson

American novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson is particularly interested in rehabilitating the Puritan founders of the US in this work.

Although they have a reputation for dour strictness, they were, she argues, relatively tolerant for their time and their legacy ...

Theological perspective

Review by Bob Faser

Book | A Genuinely Theological Church: ministry, theology and the Uniting Church | Geoff Thompson

At the very least, Dr Thompson has given us a book with a provocative title.

In some UCA circles, whenever the T-word (theology) is mentioned, people look rather tense, as if they assume an all-in brawl ...

Memory matters

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | Collected Short Fiction | Gerald Murnane

Gerald Murnane is one of our finest writers and was recently shortlisted for the Miles Franklin award for his latest novel Border Districts.

But his fiction, including the recently released Collected Short Fiction, is a strange kind of fiction, reading more like nonfiction, and as ...

Divine nature

Review by Belinda Clear

Album | Finding Faith | Andrew Tierney and Timothy Dunfield

This contemporary Christian album features songs written by Andrew Tierney of Human Nature fame and Timothy Dunfield, a worship pastor from Canada.

It is an album that will appeal to those familiar with contemporary Christian music and those who are ...

Still incredible after all these years

With school holidays approaching we asked budding film critic Emily Gittins, aged 14, to give us a review of the long-awaited sequel to a Pixar family favourite.


Film | The Incredibles 2 | PG

It has been a long time since The Incredibles (2004, PG) left us on a cliffhanger with the attack of the Underminer.


Split decision

Review by TIM LAM

Film | Come Sunday | M

Carlton Pearson was one of the most popular preachers in America during the 1990s, his Pentecostal mega-church regularly drawing more than 5000 worshippers.

But when he saw footage of starving children in Rwanda, Pearson had an epiphany: Jesus died for all humanity and ...