SparkLit | Australian Christian Book of the Year
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Australian Christian Book of the Year

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2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year Call for Entries

The Australian Christian Book of the Year Award is given annually to an original book written by an Australian citizen. The award recognises and encourages excellence in Australian Christian writing. The award carries a prize of $3,000 for the author, and a framed certificate for the author and publisher. Entries are judged with an eye to the:
Original nature of the work.
Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
Design, layout, cover, text and illustrations.
Contribution that the book makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in Australian.

 

Entry form and conditions

Download entry form here

2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year is a lively and revealing contribution to the debate about the role of faith in Australian life

 

In The Bible in Australia, Meredith Lake gives an arresting and comprehensive account of how preachers, suffragists, unionists, politicians, writers, painters, musicians, immigrants and Indigenous peoples have used the Bible to shape Australian history and culture. Scripture arrived tattooed on the bodies of convicts aboard the First Fleet and, in the hands of Indigenous Christians, has nourished movements for justice, for land rights, and for recognition and reconciliation. Lake shows that Australia has been neither a secular society nor a Christian nation. At every level the Bible has been held to be everything from a resented imposition to the word of God. However, even while Bible reading and biblical literacy decline, the Bible is an indelible part of our story. This is a history of national importance and an insight into Australian culture.

 

The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History
Meredith Lake
NewSouth Publishing
ISBN 9781742235714

Shortlisted

A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus: An Introduction to the Man from Nazareth for Believers and Skeptics

John Dickson

Zondervan

ISBN 9780310328612

John Dickson challenges both believers and skeptics to reconsider what they know about Jesus. He first outlines the consensus of secular historians, then looks at how our presuppositions influence the way we interpret the evidence. The text is broken down into manageable morsels and includes primary sources, personal testimonies, social commentary and suggested reading. While busting myths and meeting common objections, Dickson is ironic yet humble and respectful. This book is short and snappy and can be shared with confidence.

Shortlisted

Jesus the Game Changer: How the Life and Teaching of Jesus Changed the World and Why it Matters

Karl Faase with George Marriott & Jane Faase

Olive Tree Media

ISBN 9780994543424

Jesus the Game Changer showcases the ways in which the life, death and resurrection of Jesus change our world for the better. This book traces the Christian origins of our understanding of equality, forgiveness, democracy, scientific endeavour, education and public health care. It examines the faithfulness of game-changers past and present in the hope that the reader might also encounter Jesus and follow him. This attractive book accompanies a series of video documentaries and is perfect for leaving on the coffee table or in a waiting room for people to browse.

Shortlisted

Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity

Brian S. Rosner

Zondervan

ISBN 9780310499824

This timely book addresses a defining dilemma of our time. However we might seek personal authenticity and autonomy, Brian Rosner exposes the futility of defining ourselves by ourselves. We know ourselves by being known—by other people and by our creator. Driven by a devastating personal crisis Rosner turned to Scripture and found both comfort and clarity in his identity as one known by God. With reference to a wide range of thinkers he explores the richness and power of this simple biblical truth. In a confused world this is a profoundly practical and liberating book.

Shortlisted

Martin Luther: A Wild Boar in the Lord’s Vineyard

Mark Worthing

Morning Star Publishing

ISBN 9780648030539

Beginners and scholars alike will be intrigued by this concise and ­entertaining introduction to Luther and the Reformation. Luther’s life, achievements and errors are set in their difficult and dangerous political and religious context. The chapters are short and the scope is broad. With enviable agility, Mark Worthing guides the reader through complicated theological debates and turbulent events. Luther emerges as a person of grit, courage, faith and ­consequence.

Shortlisted

Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace

Roy Williams & Elizabeth Meyers

Acorn Press

ISBN 9780994616654

With Arthur Stace’s iconic copperplate script emblazoned on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australians ushered in the third millennium. Together with Sydney-siders, the whole world was called to consider their eternal destiny. Arthur would have been pleased. In a style appropriate to the piety of his time we read about his appalling childhood, tragic descent into crime and degradation, astonishing conversion, and fruitful life as a street preacher and pavement artist. This is a vivid and valuable portrait of a man and his era, and a tribute to Christian visionaries who preached the gospel and ministered to the needy. A potent story of God’s grace.

Shortlisted

Pathways: Local Mission for All Kinds of Churches

Ken Morgan

Pathways 4 Mission

ISBN 9780648105008

Pathways is a practical tool for helping churches make disciples. As most people are introduced to Jesus by friends, Morgan proposes that churches promote rather than hinder the formation of relationships outside the church. The approach is simple, flexible and modest, and uses existing leaders, structures and resources. First identify the nature and needs of your community. Then equip church members to reach out and serve family, friends and neighbours, and provide leaders with support that complements and cultivates their gifts. This book is like a wise and encouraging friend.

The Glue

Shortlisted

The Glue: Relationship as the Connection for Effective Youth Ministry

Mike Stevens

Urban Zeal

ISBN 9781640082151

Mike Stevens, an experienced practitioner, shares sound and effective guidance for making disciples. The strategy is simple: invest in people, integrate them into a multi-generational church community and love them. While aimed at novice youth workers, this advice should be taken to heart by all leaders. True to its message, The Glue is warm, generous and encouraging.

Shortlisted

The Bidura Effect

E. P. George

Ark House Press

ISBN 9780648173489

A young social worker encounters brokenness beyond the reach of human sympathy and solution. Her attitudes, faith and identity are challenged and transformed by her relationship with an elderly house-bound Aboriginal woman. This is a raw, lively and engaging novel.

Shortlisted

The Frog and the Fish: Reflections on Work, Sex, Technology, Stuff, Truth and Happiness

Chris Parker

National Institute for Christian Education

ISBN 9780648064329

Wake up! Like a fish in the sea we are unaware of our milieu and like a frog being boiled alive in a pot we are oblivious to our destiny—unless, of course, we acquire the necessary curiosity, discernment and wisdom to evaluate the world around us. Chris Parker teaches us to ask questions and think about the way our lives and choices are shaped by our culture. He makes complex ideas clear and accessible. From personal experience he shows why the gospel of grace is different from and better than competing toxic assumptions about possessions, sex, identity and happiness.

The 2017 Australian Christian Book of the Year is an irresistible treasury of Indigenous storytelling

 

In Our Mob, God’s Story, sixty-six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the city and the bush tell the story of the wonderful things God has done for their people. They paint in a dazzling variety of styles and write with uncommon wisdom and generosity. These artists share their vision of Jesus in order to bring us together as brothers and sisters. This inspiring book demonstrates what the recent census recorded: that Christian faith is more evident and alive in indigenous communities than in the dominant settler society. It is time for quiet appreciation and deep listening. Beautiful, confident and irresistible.

 

Our Mob, God’s Story: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists Share Their Faith

Edited by Louise Sherman and Christobel Mattingley

Bible Society Australia

ISBN 9780647519585

Award criteria

 

The Australian Christian Book of the Year Award is given annually to an original book written by an Australian citizen. The award recognises and encourages excellence in Australian Christian writing. The ACBOY Award carries a prize of $3,000 for the author, and a framed certificate for the author and publisher. Entries are judged with an eye to the:
Original nature of the work.
Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
Design, layout, cover, text and illustrations.
Contribution that the book makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in the Australian situation and in the Australian market.
Entries are read and judged by a panel selected by the SparkLit Council.

 

Entry form and conditions

 

Download entry here.

 

Awards results

 

2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History by Meredith Lake (NewSouth Publishing)
Open 2018 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2017 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. Our Mob, God’s Story edited by Louise Sherman and Christobel Mattingley (Bible Society Australia)
Open 2017 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2016 Australian Christian Book of the Year

Winner. Child Arise! The Courage to Stand by Jane Dowling (David Lovell Publishing)
Open 2016 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2015 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. Captains of the Soul by Michael Gladwin (Big Sky Publishing)
Open 2015 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2014 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. The Great Bible Swindle by Greg Clarke (Bible Society Australia)
2nd Prize. In God They Trust? by Roy Williams (Bible Society Australia)
3rd Prize. C. S. Lewis and the Body in the Basement by Kel Richards (Strand)
Open 2014 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2013 Australian Christian Book of the Year

Winner. Forged with Flames by Ann Fogarty (Wild dingo Press)
2nd Prize. Driven by Purpose by Stephen Judd, Anne Robinson & Felicity Errington (Hammond Press)
3rd Prize. A Faith to Live By by Roland Ashby (Mosaic Press)
Open 2013 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2012 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. Gumbuli of Ngukurr: Aboriginal elder in Arnhem Land by Murray Seiffert (Acorn Press)
2nd Prize. A Short History of Christianity by Geoffrey Blainey (Viking-Penguin)
3rd Prize. Love, Tears and Autism: An Australian Mother’s Journey from Heartbreak to Hope by Cecily Paterson (Ark House)
Open 2012 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2011 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. Economics for Life by Ian Harper (Acorn Press)
2nd Prize. Christianity Alongside Islam by John Wilson (Acorn Press)
3rd Prize. Judgment Day: The struggle for life on earth by Paul Collins (UNSW Press)
Open 2011 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2010 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. Losing My Religion by Tom Frame (UNSW Press)
2nd Prize. The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne (Matthias Media)
3rd Prize. Desolate Beauty by Trudy Adams (Ark House Press)
Open 2010 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2009 Australian Christian Book of the Year
Winner. No Ordinary View by Naomi Reed (Ark House Press)
Joint 2nd Prize. Catherine’s Gift: Inside the World of Dr Catherine Hamlin by John Little (Pan Macmillan)
Joint 2nd Prize. Leadership on the Front Foot by Zachary Veron (Youthworks)
Joint 2nd Prize. Preach or Perish: Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the World Today by Donald Howard (Donald and Nan Howard)
Open 2009 awards results and judge’s comments.

Australian Christian Book of the Year Award Judges

Akos Balogh is CEO of The Gospel Coalition Australia. Akos holds degrees in arts, engineering and theology. After five years in the RAAF he served with AFES at Southern Cross University. Akos and his wife Sarah live in Lismore, NSW, with their three children. He is an elder at Southern Cross Presbyterian Church and relishes time with family, blogging and cycling.

Judith Nichols is married to Tony. They have four children and fourteen grandchildren. She has a doctorate in classics and ancient history and qualifications in theology, missiology, education and linguistics. Judith and Tony have ministered together in Indonesia, with Indigenous Australians at Nungalinya College and trained missionary candidates. She coordinates women’s ministry at Dalkeith Anglican Church, Perth.

Bill Brown has been on the staff of Syndal Baptist Church for over forty years, initially as youth pastor and since 1987 as senior pastor. He has been president of the Baptist Union of Victoria and is currently chair of Australian Baptist Ministries and serves on the board of the Christian Coaching Institute. Bill is married to Julia and has four adult children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys cricket, football, gardening and time with family and friends.