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Bigger questions

City Bible Forum

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Bigger questions

Bigger questions

City Bible Forum

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City Bible Forum explores some of life's biggest questions. Perhaps you are considering where God might fit into your life. Our aim is to explore this with you in an open manner that is enjoyable, intellectually credible and which meets the needs of professional life. We love to discuss the relevance of God and the many obstacles to faith people have. We do this in a variety of forums and discussion groups over breakfast, lunch and after work at many different city venues. We are active in every state capital and in Canberra.

Latest Episodes

Ep 152: What is authentic spirituality? | Matthew Jacoby

Spirituality is popular and we are becoming more spiritual, But how can we find a spirituality which connects to real life? A great conversation exploring a different path to an authentic and real spirituality. Our guest: Dr. Matthew Jacoby is a church pastor, lecturer at Melbourne School of Theology and lead singer of the Psalms project band, Sons Of Korah. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation Matt you are lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of the band, Sons of Korah, but who were the Sons of Korah? They are mentioned in the Bible. Just confirming that you’re not the same ones as recorded there are you? You don’t seem that old! So effectively you’re a cover band is that right? Do you think the original Sons of Korah would sound the same as you do? So why Sons of Korah? Why did you start a band with that? Smaller Questions So Matt, I thought I’d test you on “how spiritual are you’, using some online quiz I found at somewhere on the Internet. Are you a fan of on-line quizzes for profound life advice? There are three questions each with multiple options and these questions will give an idea of how spiritual you are. To determine how spiritual you are. 1. Do you like to look at the stars? A. Yes I feel very connected to them B. Who doesn’t? C. When I remember? D. Only if there’s a meteor shower or something 2. Do you own crystals? A. Yes I have a great collection B. I have a few C. I might have some in jewellery. D. What? No 3. Do you meditate? A. Yes Consistently B. Once in a while C. Nope The nature of spirituality So Matt, Spirituality is often associated with astrology, meditation, crystals, yoga and meditation and so on. Why is this? What are they tapping into? I did the quiz and I found out I wasn’t very spiritual. I got a statement You are not spiritual. You don't spend too much time thinking about what the meaning is behind life, or looking to the world and nature for answers. Concrete science is the name of the game for you! So is rationality and science the opposite of authentic spirituality? But wasn’t the enlightenment meant to bring the end of spirituality? Karl Marx, the great 19th century atheist thinker claimed that the world consists only of matter without any spiritual dimensions. So with the rise of science and objective rationalism, wasn’t spirituality to have disappeared? What is at the heart of spirituality? Is it broader than things like crystals, yoga and meditation? Bible - authentic spirituality through relationship Why don’t we have a look at one of these spiritual songs. We’re asking Matt Jacoby today’s big question, ‘What is authentic spirituality?’ and in Psalm 37, which isn’t a Psalm by the Sons of Korah, the Psalmist says in Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. You have claimed that ‘delight in the Lord’ lies at the heart of authentic biblical spirituality. Why is that? It mentions that if you delight in the Lord, he will give you the desires of heart. Now my but my eldest son currently desires a Maserati and a Steinway piano - is that what is being spoken of here? Reflecting on the spirituality of the Psalms In light of the observation of the wicked, the Psalmist encourages, in the first part of Verse 7, ‘be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him’. Could this be seen as a form of meditation perhaps? Being still and waiting for God? What is distinctive between this and modern forms of meditation and spirituality? So what? How has singing and reflecting on the Psalms for 25 years affected you? More people are searching for a sense of inner peace. Could the Psalms, these ancient spiritual songs offer anything? Or maybe we need to listen to your version of the Psalm? The Big Question So Matt, what is authentic spirituality?

27 MIN5 d ago
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Ep 152: What is authentic spirituality? | Matthew Jacoby

Ep 151: Will robots take my job? | David Chan

The rise of technology brings fear and uncertainty about how automation replaces human labour. But what about the even bigger question of artificial intelligence - will robots take our humanity? A fascinating show which peers into the future of technology and our work. Our guest: David Chan. David works with City Bible Forum and also contracts as a technology advisor to major corporations. He’s a self confessed tech geek. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation Smaller Questions I thought we’d test you on how much you know about ‘robots taking jobs’. Rise of the robots Now this is no laughing matter, for according to willrobotstakemyjob.com about 47% of employment in the US is at risk due to computerisation. Another survey predicted that 35% of today’s jobs could go to robots by 2034. So Dave, is it really true that robots will lead to large scale job losses in the coming years? Are there any particularl...

27 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Ep 151: Will robots take my job? | David Chan

Ep 150: How does the story end? | Greg Clarke

Stories inspire, entertain and stimulate - we all understand ourselves as part of stories. What do stories tell us about some of life's biggest questions? A fascinating conversation as we confront the end of the world and discover our own place in an even bigger story. Our guest: Dr. Greg Clarke is currently a Global Bible Advocacy Consultant at British and Foreign Bible Society. He was formerly CEO of the Bible Society in Australia and also a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity. His research was in Eschatology, Apocalypse and Modern Fiction. This conversation was recorded live in Sydney in September 2019 in partnership with the Simeon Network. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation To kick off Bigger Questions we like ask a couple of smaller questions - we do try to have a bit of fun on the show. Today we’re asking Greg Clarke about how it all ends. So our smaller questions to you are a...

27 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Ep 150: How does the story end? | Greg Clarke

Ep 149: Is Australia the ideal home? | Natalie Swann

Many thousands of people call Australia home each year, but how do they cope with the conflicting feelings of leaving another home. We explore some big questions migrants face coming to Australia and how something bigger helped them in making Australia home. Our guest: Natalie Swann has just finished a PhD in anthropology at the University of Melbourne, where she researched the interaction between the faith journeys and migration stories of migrant Christians in suburban Melbourne. This conversation was recorded live in Melbourne in August 2019 in partnership with the Simeon Network. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation So Natalie, you recently finished writing your PhD. How was that experience? Smaller Questions Today we’re asking Natalie Swann if Australia is the ideal home. So Natalie our smaller questions to you are about “songs about home and Australia”. Research into faith migrants Natalie, calling Australia home is a part of your research. Though the people you spoke to didn’t come from New York, Rio, London, or even Rio. In fact some did come from Baghdad. So what did you look at in your research? So what did you do in your research? What surprised you in your research? Your research was conducted in the field of anthropology, yet would it be fair to say that in the past there has been an uneasy relationship between academic anthropology and religious faith? How was religion seen amongst academic anthropologists? So how is it perceived now? And I suppose this is connected to your research as well? Experiences of migrants So what did you find in your research? What were the experiences of migrants? Are they glad to call Australia home? What are they grieving over? Aren’t they in Australia, ‘the lucky country’, with a ticket to paradise? But isn’t there a feeling that migrants should be grateful for being in Australia? In an editorial in the Herald Sun in 2016 Tom Elliot wrote, ‘recently arrived migrants and their children should feel grateful...for the second chance at a decent life that Australia provides’ So isn’t a “good” migrant a grateful migrant? Do you think that we almost demand migrants be grateful at being in Australia? So do migrants prefer to be here or in their home countries? Does the Christian message assist in the loss and sorrow of the migrants? Biblical reflections - citizenship in heaven giving a cosmopolitan view of the world The Bible contains a number of images connected to the idea of ‘home’. 1 Peter describes the lives of believers in the world as ‘aliens and strangers’ - ‘foreigners and exiles’. So Natalie did those ideas resonate with Christian migrants to Australia who in some sense are foreigners and strangers in Australia? This idea of something solid is found in the New Testament book of Philippians. The Apostle Paul writes to believers in Chapter 3 verse 20, But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ Was this heavenly citizenship, a connection to something greater, an important factor for Christian migrants? Given that these migrants have travelled in different cultures’ does this make migrants more cosmopolitan - and hence open to difference? Though some have thought that this allegiance to the higher citizenship that Paul writes about here, and is a part of the Christian message - will in fact lead to a toxic cosmopolitanism, a more conservative dogmatic force that won’t allow for moral or cultural difference. Is this how we should understand the interplay of simultaneously being a citizen of heaven and earth that the Christian message affirms? Anthropology helps us understand what makes us human - so how does your research help? The Big Question So Natalie, is Australia the ideal home?

27 MIN3 w ago
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Ep 149: Is Australia the ideal home? | Natalie Swann

How much has the Bible shaped Australia? | Meredith Lake

What place does the Bible have in modern day Australia? Is it illegitimate in a now secular nation or a treasured part of our Christian heritage? In a stimulating and surprising conversation Meredith gets under the skin of a text that has been read, preached and even tattooed into Australia's cultural history. Our guest: Dr. Meredith Lake. Meredith is an honorary associate of the Department of History at the University of Sydney. Her PhD was on religious ideas of the environment in early colonial Australia and she is the author of The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History, which won the 2018 Christian book of the year. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation So Meredith, congratulations on winning the 2018 Australian Christian book of the year. You beat some fairly well known Christian authors, how do you feel about winning? Whilst the book won Australian Christian book of the ye...

27 MINJAN 25
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How much has the Bible shaped Australia? | Meredith Lake

Where can I find meaning? | Dale Stephenson

Dale Stephenson is senior pastor of a large church in Melbourne's East. Yet at one stage in his life he ridiculed Christians and thought them weak. Dale was also successful and achieved a lot at a young age, but ended up writing poetry about the pointlessness of life. What changed? Why did he change his mind? Hear Dale's story as we ask him some bigger questions about the meaning of life. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 24th September 2017, hence the absence of an episode number. You can explore the bigger questions raised in this episode through the accompanying Chasing Life reading guide. It contains further questions, stories and reflections to help you think more about the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show on Patreon.

28 MINJAN 18
Comments
Where can I find meaning? | Dale Stephenson

How do we cultivate the things that are really important? | Anne Winckel

We are often so busy there are many things we neglect. In this episode, host Robert Martin discusses 'Time Poor, Soul Rich' with Anne Winckel (author Time Poor, Soul Rich). They talk about ways for busy people to achieve soul richness. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 4th March 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation Anne's story You’re a Christian believer, you grew up in a Christian home on the farm. But the way your father became a Christian believer is intriguing. Can you tell us what happened? Smaller Questions The smaller questions were about 'how much you know time saving devices? Time: the challenges In 1930 the famous economist John Maynard Keynes claimed that his children and great grand children will only have to work 15 hours a week. The rest would be leisure. Why was Keynes so wrong? We’re all busy. Have you ever met someone who isn’t busy? What are the casualties of a busy life? Time Poor Soul Rich: the book This is obviously something that you’ve thought about a lot as you’ve written a book, Time Poor Soul Rich. What prompted you to write the book? How does the book help? What do you mean by Soul Rich? How are those things enriching to our soul? What are some 60 second solutions that you can give us now? Things we can do when we go back to the office? The Bible Reflection We explore some of these issues in a section of the Old Testament: Psalm 90. Psalm 90:10,12: Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. What do you make of these verses? Is verse 10 depressing or realistic when it suggests that the best of our days are but trouble and sorrow? So what is a heart of wisdom? Why does numbering our days lead to wisdom? Psalm 90 makes a time comparison between God and humanity. God is eternal and humanity is temporary. For example in verse 4, ‘A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by’. How does this impact how we number our days? Do you think verse 14 is promoting deep soul enrichment? ‘Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days?’ Is there something soul enriching about song? But what about the unbeliever, someone who isn’t a Christian. Can they develop richness in soul? The Psalm concludes in verse 17 with, ‘May the favor or the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us’ In light of God’s eternity and our finitude, how does this verse change our view of what we do? The Big Question So Anne, Time Poor Soul Rich. How do we cultivate the things that are really important?

27 MINJAN 11
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How do we cultivate the things that are really important? | Anne Winckel

Is mindfulness the answer to our problems? | Mark Trench

Do you feel overworked, overwhelmed and overcommitted? Mindfulness is a new tool which is claimed to help modern workers keep up with the demands of our increasingly complex and uncertain world. But is mindfulness really the answer to these problems? Where can I find peace? Is there be another way of coping with the challenges of the modern world? We ask guest Mark Trench (Learning & Development Manager at St Vincents Hospital) some bigger questions. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 16th December 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon.

27 MINJAN 4
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Is mindfulness the answer to our problems? | Mark Trench

What does Minecraft teach us about God? | James Garth

This simple computer game had sold over 125M copies. It's engaging, versatile, inventive, and puts you in charge. There are character costumes, themed parties, even international MineCon conventions. James Garth, a Dad of Minecrafting boys, an aerospace engineer, fellow of ISCAST, and a self confessed Geek, digs into what Minecraft reveals about ourselves, and perhaps a bigger picture. In this conversation we explore many bigger questions: is there a creator? is life fine-tuned? what about suffering? does prayer work? what will the future hold? Join us as we ask James some bigger questions. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 13th May 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation Minecraft is a sandbox video game created and designed by Swedish game designer Markus "Notch" Persson. Smaller Questions How much do you know about Minecraft? Description and appeal of Minecraft Now James, whilst Minecraft hasn’t quote sold as many copies as Tetris, it still has still sold nearly 150 million copies making it just about the most popular game ever. It’s not the most visually attractive game, so what makes the game so appealing? What do you do in the game? As a part of the game, you have a character? What’s his name? Game creator Markus “Notch” Persson once said, 'Minecraft' is to a large degree about having unique experiences that nobody else has had. The levels are randomly generated, and you can build anything you want to build yourself. Is part of the appeal of the game is that you have freedom and the power to in some senses ‘play God’? If the character of Minecraft, Steve, became self aware and self conscious, what do you think are some of the big questions of his little electronic existence that he’d start to ask? Do you think he’d ask the big question ‘is there a God?’ Is there something beyond the Minecraft world? Minecraft’s connection to Bigger Questions Fine-tuning The game Minecraft allows a number of parallels to be drawn with the bigger questions concerning God, life and meaning. For example, it seems that the world of Minecraft follows a pattern and an ‘order’ - almost if the world is ‘fine tuned’ - could you have the game without this order? The more controversial connection would be to suggest that there is ‘order’ or even ‘fine tuning’ in our universe. Interestingly, agnostic scientist Paul Davies once said concerning the laws of nature that, “Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth - the universe looks suspiciously like a fix.” So much so that atheist scientist Sir Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologist, once said it was as if "a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics". Is there this same level of fine tuning or order in our universe? Creator But what about the really big parallel between Minecraft and God - the big question of ‘is there a creator’? Notch is known as the Minecraft game creator - is that significant? Is it significant that Notch is invisible “in the game”? But if God is there - why is he invisible? Although we do know the creator of Minecraft - his name is Notch and he lives in a very big house in Beverly Hills in the USA - but we don’t have the same access or certainty of a creator of the universe do we? The Bible’s answer - the game creator becomes human Today's Big Question is: What does Minecraft teach us about God? And surprisingly even though the New Testament was written 2,000 years before Minecraft, the Bible itself helps us answer this question. In the opening verses of the Gospel of John, one of the four biographies of Jesus’ life we have, John 1:14 says The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. So James, what is the significance of this? John has already been speaking about the c

27 MIN2019 DEC 28
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What does Minecraft teach us about God? | James Garth

Can you have a merry Christmas with depression? | Peter Adam

Peter Adam has been a long term sufferer of depression. How does he think about Christmas - traditionally a season of joy and happiness? Our guest: Rev. Dr. Peter Adam OAM is Vicar Emeritus of St Jude’s Anglican Church in Carlton where he was vicar for 20 years. He was also principal of Ridley College in Melbourne for 10 years. He is the author or many books and regularly speaks around the world. Peter Adam Facebook page This conversation was recorded in partnership with Darebin Presbyterian Church. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 16th December 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation So Peter, Christmas is fast approaching. Are you a fan of Christmas at all? What do you like about Christmas? Do you have a favourite or memorable Christmas? Smaller Questions Today we’re talking with Peter Adam about depression and...

27 MIN2019 DEC 21
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Can you have a merry Christmas with depression? | Peter Adam

Latest Episodes

Ep 152: What is authentic spirituality? | Matthew Jacoby

Spirituality is popular and we are becoming more spiritual, But how can we find a spirituality which connects to real life? A great conversation exploring a different path to an authentic and real spirituality. Our guest: Dr. Matthew Jacoby is a church pastor, lecturer at Melbourne School of Theology and lead singer of the Psalms project band, Sons Of Korah. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation Matt you are lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of the band, Sons of Korah, but who were the Sons of Korah? They are mentioned in the Bible. Just confirming that you’re not the same ones as recorded there are you? You don’t seem that old! So effectively you’re a cover band is that right? Do you think the original Sons of Korah would sound the same as you do? So why Sons of Korah? Why did you start a band with that? Smaller Questions So Matt, I thought I’d test you on “how spiritual are you’, using some online quiz I found at somewhere on the Internet. Are you a fan of on-line quizzes for profound life advice? There are three questions each with multiple options and these questions will give an idea of how spiritual you are. To determine how spiritual you are. 1. Do you like to look at the stars? A. Yes I feel very connected to them B. Who doesn’t? C. When I remember? D. Only if there’s a meteor shower or something 2. Do you own crystals? A. Yes I have a great collection B. I have a few C. I might have some in jewellery. D. What? No 3. Do you meditate? A. Yes Consistently B. Once in a while C. Nope The nature of spirituality So Matt, Spirituality is often associated with astrology, meditation, crystals, yoga and meditation and so on. Why is this? What are they tapping into? I did the quiz and I found out I wasn’t very spiritual. I got a statement You are not spiritual. You don't spend too much time thinking about what the meaning is behind life, or looking to the world and nature for answers. Concrete science is the name of the game for you! So is rationality and science the opposite of authentic spirituality? But wasn’t the enlightenment meant to bring the end of spirituality? Karl Marx, the great 19th century atheist thinker claimed that the world consists only of matter without any spiritual dimensions. So with the rise of science and objective rationalism, wasn’t spirituality to have disappeared? What is at the heart of spirituality? Is it broader than things like crystals, yoga and meditation? Bible - authentic spirituality through relationship Why don’t we have a look at one of these spiritual songs. We’re asking Matt Jacoby today’s big question, ‘What is authentic spirituality?’ and in Psalm 37, which isn’t a Psalm by the Sons of Korah, the Psalmist says in Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. You have claimed that ‘delight in the Lord’ lies at the heart of authentic biblical spirituality. Why is that? It mentions that if you delight in the Lord, he will give you the desires of heart. Now my but my eldest son currently desires a Maserati and a Steinway piano - is that what is being spoken of here? Reflecting on the spirituality of the Psalms In light of the observation of the wicked, the Psalmist encourages, in the first part of Verse 7, ‘be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him’. Could this be seen as a form of meditation perhaps? Being still and waiting for God? What is distinctive between this and modern forms of meditation and spirituality? So what? How has singing and reflecting on the Psalms for 25 years affected you? More people are searching for a sense of inner peace. Could the Psalms, these ancient spiritual songs offer anything? Or maybe we need to listen to your version of the Psalm? The Big Question So Matt, what is authentic spirituality?

27 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Ep 152: What is authentic spirituality? | Matthew Jacoby

Ep 151: Will robots take my job? | David Chan

The rise of technology brings fear and uncertainty about how automation replaces human labour. But what about the even bigger question of artificial intelligence - will robots take our humanity? A fascinating show which peers into the future of technology and our work. Our guest: David Chan. David works with City Bible Forum and also contracts as a technology advisor to major corporations. He’s a self confessed tech geek. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation Smaller Questions I thought we’d test you on how much you know about ‘robots taking jobs’. Rise of the robots Now this is no laughing matter, for according to willrobotstakemyjob.com about 47% of employment in the US is at risk due to computerisation. Another survey predicted that 35% of today’s jobs could go to robots by 2034. So Dave, is it really true that robots will lead to large scale job losses in the coming years? Are there any particularl...

27 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Ep 151: Will robots take my job? | David Chan

Ep 150: How does the story end? | Greg Clarke

Stories inspire, entertain and stimulate - we all understand ourselves as part of stories. What do stories tell us about some of life's biggest questions? A fascinating conversation as we confront the end of the world and discover our own place in an even bigger story. Our guest: Dr. Greg Clarke is currently a Global Bible Advocacy Consultant at British and Foreign Bible Society. He was formerly CEO of the Bible Society in Australia and also a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity. His research was in Eschatology, Apocalypse and Modern Fiction. This conversation was recorded live in Sydney in September 2019 in partnership with the Simeon Network. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation To kick off Bigger Questions we like ask a couple of smaller questions - we do try to have a bit of fun on the show. Today we’re asking Greg Clarke about how it all ends. So our smaller questions to you are a...

27 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Ep 150: How does the story end? | Greg Clarke

Ep 149: Is Australia the ideal home? | Natalie Swann

Many thousands of people call Australia home each year, but how do they cope with the conflicting feelings of leaving another home. We explore some big questions migrants face coming to Australia and how something bigger helped them in making Australia home. Our guest: Natalie Swann has just finished a PhD in anthropology at the University of Melbourne, where she researched the interaction between the faith journeys and migration stories of migrant Christians in suburban Melbourne. This conversation was recorded live in Melbourne in August 2019 in partnership with the Simeon Network. Invest in bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger Questions asked in the conversation So Natalie, you recently finished writing your PhD. How was that experience? Smaller Questions Today we’re asking Natalie Swann if Australia is the ideal home. So Natalie our smaller questions to you are about “songs about home and Australia”. Research into faith migrants Natalie, calling Australia home is a part of your research. Though the people you spoke to didn’t come from New York, Rio, London, or even Rio. In fact some did come from Baghdad. So what did you look at in your research? So what did you do in your research? What surprised you in your research? Your research was conducted in the field of anthropology, yet would it be fair to say that in the past there has been an uneasy relationship between academic anthropology and religious faith? How was religion seen amongst academic anthropologists? So how is it perceived now? And I suppose this is connected to your research as well? Experiences of migrants So what did you find in your research? What were the experiences of migrants? Are they glad to call Australia home? What are they grieving over? Aren’t they in Australia, ‘the lucky country’, with a ticket to paradise? But isn’t there a feeling that migrants should be grateful for being in Australia? In an editorial in the Herald Sun in 2016 Tom Elliot wrote, ‘recently arrived migrants and their children should feel grateful...for the second chance at a decent life that Australia provides’ So isn’t a “good” migrant a grateful migrant? Do you think that we almost demand migrants be grateful at being in Australia? So do migrants prefer to be here or in their home countries? Does the Christian message assist in the loss and sorrow of the migrants? Biblical reflections - citizenship in heaven giving a cosmopolitan view of the world The Bible contains a number of images connected to the idea of ‘home’. 1 Peter describes the lives of believers in the world as ‘aliens and strangers’ - ‘foreigners and exiles’. So Natalie did those ideas resonate with Christian migrants to Australia who in some sense are foreigners and strangers in Australia? This idea of something solid is found in the New Testament book of Philippians. The Apostle Paul writes to believers in Chapter 3 verse 20, But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ Was this heavenly citizenship, a connection to something greater, an important factor for Christian migrants? Given that these migrants have travelled in different cultures’ does this make migrants more cosmopolitan - and hence open to difference? Though some have thought that this allegiance to the higher citizenship that Paul writes about here, and is a part of the Christian message - will in fact lead to a toxic cosmopolitanism, a more conservative dogmatic force that won’t allow for moral or cultural difference. Is this how we should understand the interplay of simultaneously being a citizen of heaven and earth that the Christian message affirms? Anthropology helps us understand what makes us human - so how does your research help? The Big Question So Natalie, is Australia the ideal home?

27 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Ep 149: Is Australia the ideal home? | Natalie Swann

How much has the Bible shaped Australia? | Meredith Lake

What place does the Bible have in modern day Australia? Is it illegitimate in a now secular nation or a treasured part of our Christian heritage? In a stimulating and surprising conversation Meredith gets under the skin of a text that has been read, preached and even tattooed into Australia's cultural history. Our guest: Dr. Meredith Lake. Meredith is an honorary associate of the Department of History at the University of Sydney. Her PhD was on religious ideas of the environment in early colonial Australia and she is the author of The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History, which won the 2018 Christian book of the year. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation So Meredith, congratulations on winning the 2018 Australian Christian book of the year. You beat some fairly well known Christian authors, how do you feel about winning? Whilst the book won Australian Christian book of the ye...

27 MINJAN 25
Comments
How much has the Bible shaped Australia? | Meredith Lake

Where can I find meaning? | Dale Stephenson

Dale Stephenson is senior pastor of a large church in Melbourne's East. Yet at one stage in his life he ridiculed Christians and thought them weak. Dale was also successful and achieved a lot at a young age, but ended up writing poetry about the pointlessness of life. What changed? Why did he change his mind? Hear Dale's story as we ask him some bigger questions about the meaning of life. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 24th September 2017, hence the absence of an episode number. You can explore the bigger questions raised in this episode through the accompanying Chasing Life reading guide. It contains further questions, stories and reflections to help you think more about the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show on Patreon.

28 MINJAN 18
Comments
Where can I find meaning? | Dale Stephenson

How do we cultivate the things that are really important? | Anne Winckel

We are often so busy there are many things we neglect. In this episode, host Robert Martin discusses 'Time Poor, Soul Rich' with Anne Winckel (author Time Poor, Soul Rich). They talk about ways for busy people to achieve soul richness. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 4th March 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation Anne's story You’re a Christian believer, you grew up in a Christian home on the farm. But the way your father became a Christian believer is intriguing. Can you tell us what happened? Smaller Questions The smaller questions were about 'how much you know time saving devices? Time: the challenges In 1930 the famous economist John Maynard Keynes claimed that his children and great grand children will only have to work 15 hours a week. The rest would be leisure. Why was Keynes so wrong? We’re all busy. Have you ever met someone who isn’t busy? What are the casualties of a busy life? Time Poor Soul Rich: the book This is obviously something that you’ve thought about a lot as you’ve written a book, Time Poor Soul Rich. What prompted you to write the book? How does the book help? What do you mean by Soul Rich? How are those things enriching to our soul? What are some 60 second solutions that you can give us now? Things we can do when we go back to the office? The Bible Reflection We explore some of these issues in a section of the Old Testament: Psalm 90. Psalm 90:10,12: Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. What do you make of these verses? Is verse 10 depressing or realistic when it suggests that the best of our days are but trouble and sorrow? So what is a heart of wisdom? Why does numbering our days lead to wisdom? Psalm 90 makes a time comparison between God and humanity. God is eternal and humanity is temporary. For example in verse 4, ‘A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by’. How does this impact how we number our days? Do you think verse 14 is promoting deep soul enrichment? ‘Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days?’ Is there something soul enriching about song? But what about the unbeliever, someone who isn’t a Christian. Can they develop richness in soul? The Psalm concludes in verse 17 with, ‘May the favor or the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us’ In light of God’s eternity and our finitude, how does this verse change our view of what we do? The Big Question So Anne, Time Poor Soul Rich. How do we cultivate the things that are really important?

27 MINJAN 11
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How do we cultivate the things that are really important? | Anne Winckel

Is mindfulness the answer to our problems? | Mark Trench

Do you feel overworked, overwhelmed and overcommitted? Mindfulness is a new tool which is claimed to help modern workers keep up with the demands of our increasingly complex and uncertain world. But is mindfulness really the answer to these problems? Where can I find peace? Is there be another way of coping with the challenges of the modern world? We ask guest Mark Trench (Learning & Development Manager at St Vincents Hospital) some bigger questions. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 16th December 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon.

27 MINJAN 4
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Is mindfulness the answer to our problems? | Mark Trench

What does Minecraft teach us about God? | James Garth

This simple computer game had sold over 125M copies. It's engaging, versatile, inventive, and puts you in charge. There are character costumes, themed parties, even international MineCon conventions. James Garth, a Dad of Minecrafting boys, an aerospace engineer, fellow of ISCAST, and a self confessed Geek, digs into what Minecraft reveals about ourselves, and perhaps a bigger picture. In this conversation we explore many bigger questions: is there a creator? is life fine-tuned? what about suffering? does prayer work? what will the future hold? Join us as we ask James some bigger questions. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 13th May 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation Minecraft is a sandbox video game created and designed by Swedish game designer Markus "Notch" Persson. Smaller Questions How much do you know about Minecraft? Description and appeal of Minecraft Now James, whilst Minecraft hasn’t quote sold as many copies as Tetris, it still has still sold nearly 150 million copies making it just about the most popular game ever. It’s not the most visually attractive game, so what makes the game so appealing? What do you do in the game? As a part of the game, you have a character? What’s his name? Game creator Markus “Notch” Persson once said, 'Minecraft' is to a large degree about having unique experiences that nobody else has had. The levels are randomly generated, and you can build anything you want to build yourself. Is part of the appeal of the game is that you have freedom and the power to in some senses ‘play God’? If the character of Minecraft, Steve, became self aware and self conscious, what do you think are some of the big questions of his little electronic existence that he’d start to ask? Do you think he’d ask the big question ‘is there a God?’ Is there something beyond the Minecraft world? Minecraft’s connection to Bigger Questions Fine-tuning The game Minecraft allows a number of parallels to be drawn with the bigger questions concerning God, life and meaning. For example, it seems that the world of Minecraft follows a pattern and an ‘order’ - almost if the world is ‘fine tuned’ - could you have the game without this order? The more controversial connection would be to suggest that there is ‘order’ or even ‘fine tuning’ in our universe. Interestingly, agnostic scientist Paul Davies once said concerning the laws of nature that, “Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth - the universe looks suspiciously like a fix.” So much so that atheist scientist Sir Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologist, once said it was as if "a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics". Is there this same level of fine tuning or order in our universe? Creator But what about the really big parallel between Minecraft and God - the big question of ‘is there a creator’? Notch is known as the Minecraft game creator - is that significant? Is it significant that Notch is invisible “in the game”? But if God is there - why is he invisible? Although we do know the creator of Minecraft - his name is Notch and he lives in a very big house in Beverly Hills in the USA - but we don’t have the same access or certainty of a creator of the universe do we? The Bible’s answer - the game creator becomes human Today's Big Question is: What does Minecraft teach us about God? And surprisingly even though the New Testament was written 2,000 years before Minecraft, the Bible itself helps us answer this question. In the opening verses of the Gospel of John, one of the four biographies of Jesus’ life we have, John 1:14 says The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. So James, what is the significance of this? John has already been speaking about the c

27 MIN2019 DEC 28
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What does Minecraft teach us about God? | James Garth

Can you have a merry Christmas with depression? | Peter Adam

Peter Adam has been a long term sufferer of depression. How does he think about Christmas - traditionally a season of joy and happiness? Our guest: Rev. Dr. Peter Adam OAM is Vicar Emeritus of St Jude’s Anglican Church in Carlton where he was vicar for 20 years. He was also principal of Ridley College in Melbourne for 10 years. He is the author or many books and regularly speaks around the world. Peter Adam Facebook page This conversation was recorded in partnership with Darebin Presbyterian Church. This episode was originally broadcast and released on 16th December 2018, hence the absence of an episode number. Help us keep asking Bigger Questions. Support the show for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon. Bigger questions asked in the conversation So Peter, Christmas is fast approaching. Are you a fan of Christmas at all? What do you like about Christmas? Do you have a favourite or memorable Christmas? Smaller Questions Today we’re talking with Peter Adam about depression and...

27 MIN2019 DEC 21
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Can you have a merry Christmas with depression? | Peter Adam
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himalayaプレミアムへようこそ聴き放題のオーディオブックをお楽しみください。