Chalking for Jesus, and stealing from the poor

Chalking: Co-founder of Eternity newspaper, David Maegraith, thinks it’s time we saw Eternity chalked on our streets once more. But this time, the epicentre will be Adelaide.

“It’s been decades since Arthur Stace chalked Eternity around Sydney, so I thought the time we chalk this iconic word again – this time starting in Adelaide, where I live, with my friends Life FM Adelaide taking charge and Jodie the Roadie and team kicking it off with this artwork and pic.

Why not chalk Eternity where you live? It’s a work that provokes thought, and sometimes discussion – and all leading up to the first Eternity Sunday on 14 July – details here


Stealing: John Dickson describes Basil of Caesarea, one of the four Cappadocian fathers to whom he devotes a whole chapter of Bullies and Saints, and the founder of the first public hospital in history in 368 AD. “Basil was one of those Christians, drawing on the ancient Jewish tradition, who believed that if you had resources and withheld them from those in need, you were actually stealing from them. In a blistering sermon on Jesus’ parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13–21), Basil declared, ‘The Bread that you hold back belongs to the hungry. The coat that you guard in a chest belongs to the naked.The shoes that you have left wasting away belong to the shoeless. The silver that you have buried in the ground belongs to the needy. In these and other ways, you have wronged all those you were able to provide for.’l


Books v Screens: advertising a list of books about tech Reformers bookshop (a Presbyterian/Baptist org) suggests, “These books will help you think wisely about screens, smartphones, and social media.” which Obadiah thinks kind of begs the question. Books seem to be the answer, even before the question is asked! That’s not to say Obadiah disagrees.


Googled oops: Why does Google Books have Burning or Bushed, a history of the Australian Presbyterians, listed as “Historical Fiction?” Obadiah found it an alarmingly frank and factual read.


Reading list: The Australian Christian Book of the Year (ACBOY) shortlist has been announced for 2024 – but of the ten worthy finalists, only two are published locally. This could be taken two ways –
• positive: Australian authors are attracting the attention of global-scale publishing houses, or
• negative: that options for local publishing have diminished.

To be published by a major publishing house in the United States is a major achievement – like last year’s ACBOY winner Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible’s Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture by Christopher Watkin published by Zondervan Academic – and it can mean that it breaks new ground on a key topic.

In this years shortlist The Meaning of Singleness by Danielle Treweek published by InterVarsity Press is a contender for a similar break through.

Charles Ringma would receive a posthumous award if he was to win for In the Midst of Much-Doing which has the imprint of another key international publisher, Langham Global Library

There are two contenders that are published locally. Katherine Thompson continues her series of psycholigcal insights with The Discipline of Suffering published by Acorn Press.

Andrew Heard brings his experience of church planting and now running a mature church to bear in Growth and Change written with co-author Geoff Robson and published by Matthias Media.

Prolific writer Michael Frost has published his Mission is the Shape of Water with US-based 100 Movements, which describes itself as a hybrid publisher for a collective of leaders.

The small but influential publisher of liberation theology works Orbis Books brings us Meditations on Creation in an Era of Extinction by Kate Rigby.

The remaining four books are published by various imprints of Wipf andStock, which, without being ungenerous, publishes many titles but often low circulation. This does not mean low quality, and the 2024 ACBOY could be one of these. Morning Star, a local publisher previously linked with Wipf and Stock, appears to be inactive.

A Curious Machine, Edited by Arseny Ermakov & Glen O’Brien Wipf & Stock
Finding God in Suffering, Siu Fung Wu Wipf and Stock
Jesus Sophia Sally Douglas Cascade Book
Searching for Paradise Charles Nombo Lapa & Janet Dickson Resource Publications