Brand power

Review by Garth Jones

Book | Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions | Russell Brand

THE seven deadly sins, according to Wikipedia, originated with desert father Evagrius Ponticus.

Ponticus identified seven or eight evil thoughts or spirits humans strove to overcome. The concept was later transplanted to Europe by Ponticus’ student John Cassian, and became fundamental to ...

Blunt blade

Film | MA | Blade Runner 2049

Review by Garth Jones 

In 1981, Scott directed Blade Runner, a vexing, iconic work of noirish science fiction adapted from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a novel by author Philip K Dick.

Dick is presently enjoying a posthumous, contemporary renaissance – see Stan’s Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, produced ...

Weight of world

Review by Ros Marsden

TV | The Obesity Myth | SBS

Sometimes in a week of television channel-hopping you discover a gem among the myriad of reality programs posing as passable viewing. The three-episode SBS documentary aired in September The Obesity Myth was one of those offerings.

The series followed patients and their ...

Elect of God

Review by David Southwell

Book | Conclave | Robert Harris

The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania has just chosen a new moderator-elect, and while that may have had some measure of excitement, it’s unlikely to be the subject of an airport bookshop thriller such as this.

Picking a new pope is the subject of Robert Harris’ gripping ...

Understanding Hart


Book | The Hidden and the Manifest: Essays in Theology and Metaphysics | The Dream-Child’s Progress & Other Essays | David Bentley Hart

David Bentley Hart is the finest of contemporary Christian writers, and the release of not one but two collections of his pieces is a cause for celebration. His prose ...

Mother load

Review by Garth Jones

Film | mother! | MA

This divisive new film from director Darren Aronofsky – who last graced our screens in 2014 with the reimagined biblical epic Noah – is a startling meditation on creation.

It is subjective as to whether Aronofsky intended the ‘c’ in ‘creation’ to be upper or ...

The big split

Review by Nick Mattiske

Book | Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World | Alec Ryrie and William Collins

With this year’s anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s famous nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door comes, unsurprisingly, focus on the movement he initiated.

It is a story that has been ...

Forever friends

Review by Penny Mulvey

Play | Di and Viv and Rose

“I wanted to write a play about friendship and I wondered if I could catch what it’s like to know and love people for a long time, in an hour-and-a-half.”

English actor and playwright, Amelia Bullmore, is talking about Di and ...

Keeping the faith

Review by Tim Lam

Book | Faith: Embracing Life in All Its Uncertainty | Tim Costello

As the former CEO of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello has witnessed poverty and injustice in some of the most conflict-prone nations in the world.

In his latest book, Faith: Embracing life in all its uncertainty, the renowned Baptist minister and ...

Cursory reading


Book | Mariner | Malcolm Guite

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the tale of a traveller and his epic journey, reckless acts, a descent into an earthly hell, rescue, a kind of baptism, the path home, the growth of wisdom and the desire to share ...

Workplace wisdom

Review by Tim Lam

Book | Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God | Kara Martin

The average Australian spends more than 40 hours a week at work. With our occupations consuming so much of our daily lives, it can be easy to relegate faith to a part-time activity. 

In Workship, author Kara ...

Gospel truth


Book | Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy | John Shelby Spong

In this typically lively and provocative book, John Selby (Jack) Spong has come out of writing retirement to consider the origins of biblical literalism and fundamentalism. Spong claims to have found the key that unlocks both the (non-literal) meaning of the New ...