New Zealand's Matthew Joils and Australia's Haydn Lea are the celebrated winners of the 2017 $500 Basil Sellers Young Writer 'Theology Award' presented on Saturday at the annual Young Writers' Conference held on the Sunshine Coast at the Alexandra Park Conference Centre.
Previous winners of the Theology awards: 2013 Sam Burrows (NZ), 2014 Jeremy Suisted (NZ), 2015 Andrew Sinclair (NZ) and Sam Manchester (Aust), 2016 Tim Shallard (NZ), Thomas Devenish (Aust).
Matthew Joils is a Christchurch based artist. He is passionate about mission and sustainability. As an artist Matthew exhibits regularly and has held single artist shows. Dr Mark Tronson, who founded the young writer ministry is a semi-professional artist himself, and is looking forward very much to seeing Matthew Joils' exhibition on Thursday 30 August in Christchurch. Matthew Joils’ articles may be viewed here www.pressserviceinternational.org/matthew-joils.html
Haydn Lea's CV for his articles reads: Haydn Lea is an Associate Pastor in Queensland, and is currently studying his Master of Arts (Theology). He has been a member of the Royal Australian Air Force since 2007, and is now training to be an Air Force Chaplain. He is married to Shamsa Lea, is the father of Amira, and loves boxing and studying Theology.
His most recent theological article was on millennialism. He says that although he loosely holds to Amillennialism, he understands that, “many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise" (Justin Martyr, a pre-millennialist, in his “Dialogue with Trypho the Jew,” 155–160 AD). His wife Shamsa is a “pan-millenialist,” believing that it will all ‘pan out’ in the end. Haydn's articles may be read here http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/haydn-lea.html
PSI—Press Service International—Christian Today
The young writer program is coordinated by PSI in conjunction with Christian Today with 85 young writers from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
These young writers are published once every five weeks with 10 articles a year, submitting 'comment' pieces on a wide range of subjects. Published in Christian Today which is part of CMCI, an organisation that has 100 mast heads around the world conveying Christian news along with specific publishing programs such as our young writers
This is giving these young people a voice into the international marketplace of ideas. Young people between the ages of 18–30 are invited into the program and once these young writers hit 30 they are welcomed to continue to 35 whereupon they might become 'senior writers'.
The Theology awards
The Theology awards are a bit of an anarchism in the young writer program as the idea is for the young writers to express their 'voice' into the market place of ideas through 'comment' articles—this means sermons and devotionals are out.
In this sense, these young people are speaking what's on their mind through Christian reflections on a wide range of subjects. This is theology on paper.
In other words it becomes obvious to the trained theologian which young writers have a better grasp of theology and in this sense a small group within PSI determine the winner of the Theology award each year.
Dr Mark Tronson says he thoroughly enjoys being part of the Theology award as there are so many brilliant young people in the program who have a clear grasp of a good understanding how theology works in the practise of daily living.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret.) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html