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Showing posts from October, 2017

A First Look at David Bentley Hart's New Testament.

Last week I received my copy of David Bentley Hart's translation of the New Testament. The first of his books that I ever read was Atheist Delusions , which I found so entertaining and helpful, that in fairly short order I bought and read The Beauty of the Infinite , In the Aftermath and The Doors of the Sea . For a while now I have been reading The Experience of God . Hart is not always easy to read, not because he writes badly, but because he writes well. His arguments are strong, clear, concisely and cogently reasoned but are often complex. He is enormously erudite and has a bigger vocabulary than anyone I have read for a long time.  Other writers, of course, know lots of big words, especially academics, who speak to each other in that siloed, obtuse, opaque  dialect particular to universities, but David Bentley Hart, while not lacking in academic street cred, isn't like that. When I read his books I always have a dictionary to hand, as about every second page there wi


Photo (c) Next Magazine The more astute among you may have been able to read between the lines of my moderate and well balanced Facebook posts and detect a few subtle signs that, when it comes to politics, on occasion I may lean slightly to the left. So you won't be surprised that I was pleased with the way things turned out yesterday. We have a new prime minister, one from the same generation as my children. I'm hopeful about how things might work out for her and her new government, but I'm not kidding myself it will be easy. She inherits a national debt whose servicing alone is costing us around $4.5 billion a year (that's about a thousand down the tubes for each man, woman and child of us a year), and people who know about these things are saying it's about to take a turn for the worse. The ecological and social problems which were intractable for the outgoing government are still there, and she has a number of promises, made on the campaign trail, which

A Few Days at St. Matthews School

(c) St. Matthew's School NZ St. Matthew's Church stands in the middle of Hastings, and it's pretty impressive. Its art deco style reveals that it was built shortly after the 1931 earthquake, and it is surrounded by wide grounds and an array of smaller buildings, so that, what with the tower and everything,  it looks like a smallish cathedral with its close. Many people in fact regard St. Matthew's as Hastings' cathedral, and it does have that air of dignity and community centred gravitas, which makes the enterprise conducted in and around it, the one that I had travelled to Hawkes Bay especially to see, all the more surprising. About 21 years ago the parish decided to found a small primary school, St. Matthew's School. It is an integrated school, that is, while the government supplies the teaching staff, the school owners (that is, the Diocese of Waiapu) supply the buildings and are responsible for ensuring the school expresses a special character: Angli