Former PM to launch new book on timeless relevance of Christian faith

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Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott will launch ‘Christianity Matters in Troubled Times’ (details at end of article) edited by Catholic Weekly contributor Dr Kevin Donnelly on May 19 in Sydney. The book, which includes contributions from figures such as Cardinal George Pell, Tim Costello and Tess Livingstone, lays out the relevance of the Christian faith at a time when Christianity may seem to be receding but, as its contributors argue, it is more than never needed. before. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Culture Wars

Such is the destructive impact of culture wars and political correctness, now rebranded as being woke, British philosopher and cultural commentator Roger Scruton in his book Conservatism details what a change of era is in the battle of ideas.

According to Scruton, the intellectual debate is no longer focused on “the market economy and free trade”, but rather on “exploring the roots of secular government in the Christian heritage” and restoring “trust not only in our political institutions, but in spirituality”. legacy on which they ultimately rest”.

Making a clear call to action, Scruton urges conservatives to “rediscover who we are and what we stand for, and having rediscovered it, be ready to fight for it…And what we stand for is a religious as well as political heritage”.

Many voices for the importance of Christianity

In an increasingly secular and materialistic age, the argument being put on Judeo-Christianity is of little, if any, significance or value. It is ignored that for all its sins, in Western liberal democracies like Australia, Judeo-Christianity underpins and protects our political and legal systems and contributes much in areas such as health, education, welfare , literature, music and the arts. Christianity Matters in Troubled Times is published by Wilkinson Publishing. Photo: provided

Thus, the publication of Christianity Matters in Troubled Times by Wilkinson Publishing. Cardinal Pell writes in his chapter that the Bible represents a unique and compelling message that redefines the nature of existence and the way individuals define themselves, interact, and seek intellectual, moral, and spiritual purpose and meaning.

His Eminence writes: “The Church teaches that this one true God is Spirit; merciful, almighty and always faithful. God is good and wise, neither cruel nor capricious. God is infinite, beginningless and endless, the almighty lord of history, who will ensure the final separation of good from evil. Unlike the capricious pagan gods of ancient Greece and Rome, God is interested in us, takes care of us, and told us how to live.

As Augusto Zimmermann noted, while Australia is a secular society where there is a clear distinction between church and state, the reality is that our political and legal systems inherited from Britain are deeply steeped of Christianity. Zimmerman writes:

“…the fact is that Western legal systems were largely influenced by the moral convictions of Christian lawyers and politicians who believed in a superior or superior law that is above the law of the state. Belief in superior or superior laws has been enshrined in all the most famous documents of Western legal history”.

Society owes the Christian faith – bigtime

In the words of the American Declaration of Independence, the liberty and liberty we take for granted are “gifted by their creator” and this explains why the preamble to the Australian Constitution includes the words “relying humbly upon the blessings of Almighty God” and why parliaments begin with the Lord’s Prayer.

Concepts like being a good citizen by promoting social justice, a commitment to the common good, service to others, and human flourishing, as detailed by Tim Costello in his chapter, are also largely Christian in origin.

Costello writes, “In Matthew 25, the parable of Jesus instructs his disciples to care for the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, the sick, and the prisoners—the marginalized, in whom his face can be revealed. The imagery is powerful because Jesus commands us to take care of the “least of them”.

Tough times for faith

Cardinal George Pell is one of the contributors to Christianity Matters In These Troubled Times. Photo: CNSM Robert Duncan

Christian aged care facilities, hospitals and charities dominate Australia’s health and social care sector. Christian schools enroll approximately 34% of Australian students.

While Christianity is inherently good and responsible for defining the best of Western civilization and our way of life, these are deeply difficult and troubling times for the Catholic Church and those of faith.

As Stephen Elder has detailed, Catholic schools face the challenge of staying true to their religious calling in an age when absolutist secularism guided by neo-Marxist-inspired critical theory argues that there is no absolute or of a sense of the spiritual and the transcendent.

Facing the past, celebrating the importance of Christianity

Wanda Skowronska also details the destructive and debilitating influence of Cultural Marxism that can be traced to the Frankfurt School in Germany in the late 1920s. The academics involved and their long march through institutions had a profoundly nihilistic and destroyer of religious beliefs and faith.

Despite the benefits and strengths of Christianity, as Peter Rosengren acknowledges, it is true that many sins have been committed in the name of religion. Rosengren admits that the history of Christianity “is both light and dark” and that “there is no stage of Christian history which is free from what might be called the sins of its members “.

At the same time, the Church must confront and repair bad sins like child abuse, there is reason to be optimistic and to hope again. Tess Livingstone writes, “For Christians intimidated by the best way forward, surely the most reassuring words are those of Christ: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And remember, I am always with you until the end of time.

Christianity Matters in These Difficult Times will be launched by Tony Abbott on May 19and In Sydney. The book and tickets are available here.

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