Jesus in the news: Easter mediawatch

CULTURE | Sophie Timothy
Tuesday 7th April, 2015

Did you spot Jesus in the news over Easter? It’s always encouraging to see what gets a run at this time of year when it’s more socially acceptable than usual to mention the J-word.

In case you missed any, here’s a wrap up of where Christians (and non-Christians) wrote about Jesus over the Easter break.

Economist Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald
Jesus the Great Debt Eliminator
“At this time of our greatest Christian holy-days, what does the Bible have to say about economics? A lot more than you may think,” writes Gittins, beginning his surprising look at what the Bible says about money, debt and forgiveness.

Centre for Public Christianity Director Simon Smart in the Sydney Morning Herald
Is Belief in Christ a Dangerous idea?
Simon Smart at his best reflecting on what we do with wonder and awe if we have no framework with which to understand it. And, he says, if the Christians are right about it, then there’s a lot at stake.

Author, Historian and Minister John Dickson in the Daily Telegraph
Religion is part of our Rich Tapestry
This sneaks in as a pre-Easter piece, but makes the cut because it’s not every day a Christian voice is published in the nation’s most widely circulated paper. John Dickson winsomely argues for the place of religious instruction in schools. “Religion is one of the most significant features of culture through the ages and parents should be able to allow their kids to give it a sympathetic hearing in a trusted environment. I don’t think it should have a privileged status. An option of half-an-hour a week sounds about right. But removing the program isn’t neutral. It’s an act of cultural vandalism. It condemns our kids to ignorance about a key dimension of human life.”

CPX Research Fellow, Natasha Moore on ABC Religion & Ethics
Monotony & Meaning: What Easter is for
Natasha Moore writes beautifully about the way the Christian calendar, and especially Easter, breaks through the mundane everyday of life and reminds us of a greater reality. “Easter comes to disrupt the everyday: not by cancelling out our ordinary responsibilities, but by pointing backwards to an event it claims is of cosmic significance, and forwards to the cosmic fulfilment of its promise of completely full and meaningful life.”

Guardian columnist, Giles Fraser
Christianity when properly understood is a religion of losers
Moving overseas, this UK columnist puts a spotlight on our obsession with being successful and popular, reminding Christians and the church it is meant to be a failure in worldly terms. “At the very end, ironically at the moment of greatest triumph, [Jesus] had no followers left. That says something profoundly counter-intuitive about what a successful church looks like.”

Assistant Editor of The Spectator  Isabel Hardman
David Cameron’s Curiously Sanitised Christianity
Isabel Hardman takes a swipe at UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s fluffy Easter message where he says the meaning of Easter is “remembering the importance of change, responsibility, and doing the right thing for the good of our children.” She doesn’t hold back: “The Prime Minister seems quite keen on that why-can’t-we-all-get-along message of Christianity, which is the one Justin Welby recently dismissed as ‘moral claptrap’, as it’s not really the heart of Christianity at all. It is of course much easier to claim that it is, because the be-nice-and-look-after-your-kids message is one that most people tend to agree with, whereas any stronger message can end up offending people.”


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