A Christian History of Australia
HenryParkes made the famous statement that Australians were one people with one destiny. He was speaking in the context of Federation. The young poet, William Gay (1865-1897), who was also speaking about Federation, spelt out more clearly what he thought that destiny should be … Our country’s garment With hands unfilial we have basely rent, With petty variance our souls are spent, And ancient kinship under foot is trod: O let us rise, – united, – penitent, – And be one people, – mighty, serving God!
One People One Destiny – A Christian History of Australia
From the earliest days, it was recognised that the Australian colonies had a specialGod given destiny to fulfil. In 1786, the Anglican evangelical, Henry Venn, wrote to his daughter that the colonisation of New South Wales should be a “foundation for the Gospel of our God and Saviour to be preached” to the Heathen. James Stephen, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the British ColonialOffce in the first half of the nineteenth century, likewise had the vision of Australia as a base to reach the Chinese, Hindu and Muslim nations to the north of Australia, for Christ.
The author, Mike Spencer, says about the book, “The purpose of One People, One Destiny is to show God’s dealings, in the context of a comprehensive general history of Australia. The twelve chapters trace Australia’s heritage from Biblical times through the course of significant Christian influences in Australia’s History. If I can rekindle the spiritual vision of Australia’s founding fathers and early leadership in the hearts and minds of twenty-first century Christians, then I will have achieved my purpose.“ Mike Spencer is a New Zealander, and since 1994, he has been writing curriculum material for Christian schools in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Mike is a teacher by profession. He taught history and geography in New Zealand state secondary schools for 12 years and in a Christian school for 12 years.
God has given us a task, to run the race to the end. By using the best resources and the best attributes of all involved, we are able to do just that – help others finish the race. Our history is part of what makes Australia a great nation.
Mike Spencer has produced an excellent and valuable work in his book dealing with our Christian Heritage. This is a subject close to my heart and is desperately needed to be taught in Australian schools. As we see a continued slide in family values in our nation much of it can be traced directly back to a lack of understanding, honouring and teaching the Christian foundations that have made our nation great. The family is the very foundation of our society, whatever way the family goes – so goes the nation! This is a book that needs to be taught in our public school system and I am happy to recommend it.
This excellent publication is an invaluable resource for all Australians. We have been waiting for a book that brings together our Christian heritage so wonderfully. A very professional contribution.
This is an attractive, interesting and inviting presentation of Australian history. The author is to be commended for bringing to life so much of our heritage in such an engaging way. In particular, it is pleasing to see the hand of God being acknowledged in the shaping of our culture. Although plainly designed as a school text, this volume should appeal to a wide range of readers.