From pondering how God fell off Australia’s radar to exploring the church’s involvement in the holocaust to the devastating impact of nuclear tests on an Aboriginal community and the Christian woman who fought against them, the shortlist is one of the most diverse ever.
Run by Sparklit, an organisation seeking to empower Christian writers, publishers and distributors in Australia, organiser Michael Collie says the 57 entries to this year’s awards were some of the strongest yet. He says that in his over eight years of overseeing the awards, he has seen an increase in the quality of Christian writing, despite a fragile Christian publishing environment.
“We’re looking for books that reflect with a Christian voice that can speak successfully to Australian society,” says Collie, of the awards two criteria: relevance and originality. “I think that centuries of Christian dominance has made us lazy communicators and that’s had a negative impact on the gospel. Now, we [Christians] have lost our place at the high table I think it is a positive thing that stimulates good writing.
“Take Roy Williams’ Post God Nation, for example, which is a real contender for the Australian Christian Book of the Year because it addresses just this issue: how to present the gospel in a society that is jaded. Any book that represents the gospel in a way that is challenging is going to take courage and creativity to write. And that’s something we want to foster.”
|Post-God Nation: How Religion Fell Off the Radar in Australia and What Might be Done to Get It Back On’, Roy Williams, ABC Books.
|Understanding Jesus and Muhammad: What the Ancient Texts Say About Them, Bernie Power, Acorn Press.
Read more comments from Bernie Power on how Christians and Muslims should relate, in these Eternity articles:
|Zechariah: The Lord Returns, Michael R Stead, Aquila Press.|
|Leon Morris, Neil Bach, Authentic Media ltd.|
|Child Arise! The Courage to Stand, Jane N. Dowling, David Lovell Publishing.|
|The Anonymous Leader, Ralph Mayhew.|
|Maralinga’s Long Shadow, Christobel Mattingley, Allen & Unwin.
Read more from Christobel Mattingley from the Eternity archives:
|Trumped By Grace, Peter Stiles, Poetica Christi Press.|
|They Conspire Against Your People: The European Churches and the Holocaust, Colin Barnes, King’s Divinity Press and the Centre for Jewish-Christian Studies.|
|Resilient, Sheridan Voysey, Discovery House.