EFAC Australia

The Back Page – brought to you by Hannah Craven


“The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.... It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.”

Former United States President Jimmy Carter writing on the reasons for his recent decision to leave the Southern Baptist Convention.
“Losing my Religion for Equality” was published in The Age, on July 15th and can be accessed here: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/losing-my-religion-for-equality-20090714-dk0v.html


“Commentary from the borderlands between faith and culture.”

Mark Sayers is one of Australia’s leading young Christian thinkers on faith and culture, particularly in the area of youth and young adults ministry. Unassuming, and decidedly ‘real,’ Mark challenges us to see behind the gloss of modern celebrity culture. His blog provides links to interesting and relevant articles, and his own thoughts and reflections. Recent posts include: “Innovative Leadership and dancing alone like an idiot,” “Welcome to your quarter life crisis,” “A theology of Michael Jackson,” and “Bacon + Church = Men.”
Mark co-directs über, a culture specialist organisation that interprets social trends and articulates a fresh way of living the gospel in the 21st century.
Check out: www.uberlife.com.au


“The Challenge of Climate Change”

Professor David Griggs, Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, gives three keynote addresses at a conference on Climate Change, held at St. Hilary’s Kew in May.

Visit the Audio Page and type “Climate Change” in the Search box in the audio Player.

FEATURE FILM: Harry Potter - the Chosen One?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

"'People believe you are 'the Chosen one,' you see," said Scrimgeour.
'They think you quite the hero—which, of course, you are, Harry, chosen or not! How many times have you faced He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named now?
Well, anyway,' he pressed on, without waiting for a reply, 'the point is, you are a symbol of hope for many, Harry. The idea that there is somebody out there who might be able, who might even be destined, to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named—well, naturally, it gives people a lift.'"

J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, pp. 344-345

The power of belonging is a recurring theme in the Harry Potter storyline. It builds some people up and destroys other people… The real magic of the Harry Potter series comes not from spells and potions, but from the sustaining friendships of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel | posted 7/14/2009

“What would Jonathan Edwards say about Harry Potter?”

“Edwards would have seen that the essential question of spirituality – What happens when I die? – is a great vacuum that culture is looking to fill. The series also tells us – and this no less important – that if Rowling’s world is expertly reflecting the light our world can shed on these matters, true understanding is at a pretty low level.”

Josh Moody, Christianity Today, July 2009


A cheeky commentary on Christian culture. May occasionally offend, usually a pretty good reality-check!

Stuff Christians Like
#579. Forgiving people who didn't apologize.

We're supposed to forgive people.

That's in the Bible somewhere. I know it is. I mean Jesus says at one point that you should forgive people 7 times 70. As a writer I'm not the greatest at math but even I know that calculates out to about 4,900 times. And forgiving people is great, but sometimes it's funny too. Particularly when we let people know that we've forgiven them even though they haven't apologized or asked us to.

"Hey, can we talk for a minute? I know things have been kind of awkward between us lately and our friendship is strained a little, but I want to be honest with you today. I want you to know that I forgive you."

"Forgive me? For what?"

"I'd rather not go into the details and reopen the wound, but that thing you did to me a few weeks ago. I forgive you for that. It's important to me that you know I have erased that debt in my heart."

"I have no idea what you're talking about. Did I do something?"

"I'm a Christian and I'm called to forgive people and love my enemies. So even though it still stings a little, I want you to know we're cool now."

"Wait a second, we're enemies? Whoa. When did that happen?"

"Stop, just stop. Just know that I forgive you. Someday maybe you'll understand. Come here, let's hug it out."

"Don't touch me."

"I forgive that too. You can keep pushing me away, but I'm just going to keep loving on you."

"You know that's not really a verb."

"Just let me pour out my forgiveness and put a hedge of protection around our friendship.

"You are so weird."

"And you are so forgiven."

That's probably never happened to you, but I've been on the receiving end of that before. And it's a baffling, confusing, eventually humorous experience. But make no mistake, it's not forgiveness, it's soft revenge. And rarely do you feel "loved on" in that moment.

Has someone ever forgiven you for something you didn't apologize for?

Have you ever done that to someone? (It's OK if you have. I forgive you.)