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Showing posts from August, 2013


One of the confusions to which we Christians are prone is that between Faith and Belief. We have so identified faith with belief that we use them as synonyms: we speak of believer's baptism when we talk of the sacrament which marks someones start on the journey of faith and ask " what do you believe in " when really we mean " what do you have faith in ?" My supervisor, Paul, was very helpful today when I talked with him about the reaction of some people to the last few posts I had written on here. I thought I had been talking about my progress on the path of faith but found that I had caused some angst in others over matters of belief; and when people tried to engage me on matters of belief, of course the inevitable happened: we talked past each other to the mystification of both, because we were entirely missing the point. Or at least, I was. Faith is a verb. You don't have it, you do it. It  has more to do with trust than it does with belief, altho


 This is one of my shots of a Snowfall, which so damaged some of our high country farmers. Snow is neither good or bad, except in the eyes of those who perceive it to be so. Your body and mine are made from atoms that are so heavy that in all the universe there is only one place where they could have been formed: the interior of a star is the only place with sufficiently high temperature and pressure to construct an atom heavier than helium. The fact that we are here at all testifies to the life and then extinction of a star (or stars) somewhere, someplace, some unimaginably vast time ago. The universe is a terrifyingly violent place. It proceeds by the operation of vast forces manifesting in the gathering of matter and explosions and collisions and births and deaths. Things, and I mean all things without exception, in our universe come into existence, have a presence for a while and die. The matter from which they are constructed is redistributed and reused by other parts of th


I'm not publishing anonymous comments anymore and Comments will be moderated from now on, so they might take an hour or two to appear.

Anniversary: Part 2

Stained glass window in the recently deconsecrated church in Millers Flat About a month after the night in Lower Hutt I was baptised in the New Life Centre in Christchurch by Pastor Peter Morrow. It was a Wednesday night, and there were about a dozen of us, all young men. The women were baptised on a different night because of the effect of water on 70s clothing and the need for decency. Together, we constituted that month's crop of converts, and we all shared a common experience. All of us had known what it was to be born again, which I now see was a conglomerate of a number of things all experienced in close proximity. There was a sense of release and freedom from guilt and anxiety There was an affirmation of us as individuals and, for me, the cessation of crippling lack of self esteem. The Lord of the universe loved, astonishingly,  even me! There was, for most of us,  one overwhelming experience of being immersed in the presence of God; of having senses and boundaries


40 years ago today, when I was 21, I sat in a back room at the Assembly of God, Lower Hutt, and was coached through the Sinners Prayer by a glittery eyed young man. I was raised a Methodist but from the time I could express my own opinion I was a fervent little atheist. My atheism was my metaphorical way of addressing my father issues, and was therefore keenly held and virulently expressed, but since about the beginning of 1972 , I became less and less certain about my professed worldview. I met some fairly impressive people who held alternative views and who were able to meet, absorb and gently return my materialist certainties. Like many in my generation I had the occasional experiment with chemically altering my consciousness and in the cold light of the day after, these experiences caused me some philosophical doubts: what,  exactly,  was the nature of this sense experience which I ardently argued to be the only source of knowledge? And, crucially,  I had a pivotal conversation