Showing posts from August, 2009

Smacking and Maori Seats; National Hubris!

Man Oh Man I am stunned at John Key and National after the smacking legislation was pulled out of the ballot at parliament yesterday. Here was a chance to do something really good. The new legislation seeks to define smacking, what is appropriate, what is not? I think it is a great idea. This is where the philosophical debate lies. What is violence toward a child? When is a smack legitimate, if it ever is? Etc. Yet with utter contempt John Key simply wrote it off. I am stunned at his attitude.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this, he throws contempt on NZ. He shows he is no better as a leader than Helen Clark, who despite her many strengths, imposed her social liberalism on NZ despite NZ not liking it. It is to a large degree middle NZ's fault; we sit passively in our lazo-boys and girls and watch TV and do not get involved. We are apathetic and passive. Yet, I am certain NZ is not happy. They are not happy with legalised prostitution. They are uncomfortable about the number of a…

What's the Story

This blog relates to my world at Laidlaw College. At College we love now to talk about the Bible as 'one story' starting at creation, centred on Christ, and ending in the renewed earth. This was a great idea when it really started to take off because it pulled together the disparate parts of the Bible into one flowing narrative. This is good. It is important. It is one important element in biblical interpretation.

The problem is with the term 'story.' I am so sick of it! Everytime I hear it I groan. A few years ago the same thing happened with the word 'journey.' So, I have been thinking. How else can we say it. Here are some ideas: a narrative; an epic; a symphony; a drama; a saga; an account; a chronicle; a tale; a record; a history; a movie. So people of God, try and be creative. I am not sure all these work as well as the other, but surely we can speak in different ways.

There is another problem with 'story'. I tested this with a few friends recently …


A friend also asked me about Theosis. Theosis is that idea that humans on becoming one with Christ are in some sense deified or divinised and so become God themselves.

This is a tricky question and for me it is not so much important to define our relationship with God as to set limits.

The first limit is that we as the created can never cross the line to become god's or God. We are humans, created in God's image, and even in our completely transformed states as eternal beings, will be dependent on God and not God.

On the other hand, the other limit is that cannot simply say that we are human as we are now. We are swept up into Christ at salvation, and the Spirit inhabits us. We are thus drawn up into the Community of the Godhead (perichoresis). The mutual indwelling of Christ, Spirit and us means that we are now in some sense drawn into God. At our transformation we become eternal beings, forever a part of God's being in some sense.

For me, as long as theologians and people ar…

What saves us?

A friend sent me an email the other day. He asked me, "what does it mean to be saved?" Ultimately it is an easy question. Being saved is 'being with the Lord forever.' It is eternal life with Christ. Christians dispute whether this will be 'in heaven' (as in another dimension separate from this creation, a new heaven and earth); or on this earth restored. I think the balance of biblical data favours the latter, we will live with God forever on this world restored and renewed (e.g. Rom 8:19-23).

However, there are many questions. First, how does salvation begin? Paul hammers the point, salvation is by grace through faith. That is, the work of Christ in his life, death and resurrection, has won salvation. He has fulfilled the requirements of the law. He has died a vicarious sacrifice for humanity. He has risen from the dead. His work saves us. He offers us salvation.

For our part, we have to respond to this. The most common NT term to summarise response is '…

Maori Seats on Council

Have the government made the right decision concerning Maori seats on the new Auckland Super-council? On the one hand, I agree with Rodney Hide, Leighton Smith on Newstalk ZB and national who have ruled them out. Their logic is sound. There should be no ethnic or other group that gets favoured treatment. This is sound democratic logic. In this way of thinking, there should be no favoured groups. Let the people decide. This is similiar to right wing capitalistic free market views, let the market dictate. So, at one level, they are correct. There should not be seats for Maori, PI, Asian, European, Christian, Muslim; or any other group.

But is it as simple as this? While the Treaty of Waitangi is a minefield and difficult to interpret, what I think we can say with confidence, is that it means that Pakeha NZers (the State + other immigrants) have a responsibility under the Treaty to ensure that Maori are given some degree of priority and a say within NZ. This means I suppose, that while Ma…

Go the All Blacks

Go the All Blacks. They were a different team last night in the test in Sydney. They still made too many mistakes, the backs are still not playing fluidly, and the mistake rate is too high. But their defense and the pressure they exerted was superb. Kieran Read is the man at nos 8. Dan Carter was great not only at first five, but in his ability to lead the AB's around the park. The lineout was a great improvement. The scrum is not what it was but still dominated. The AB's won the breakdown.

My view of the game was that the AB's could have won by more. The Wallabies defended superbly and got the rub of the green. But it was the AB's who pressured the Wallabies. They are not a great side to me, especially without Sterling Mortlock. Their backs are talented but green. Their forwards are triers but lack the sort of power that can dominate the Blacks or Boks.

So, well done Graham H and the team. I suspect that they are starting to peak. I am still concerned about the wings. I…

Democracy on Trial

The overwhelming result of the smacking referendum should make the government respond. 88%% is a resounding rejection of the current legislation and a statement that NZer’s, right or wrong, believe that they should be able to smack their child. It does not endorse beating a child, but a smack given in love for good discipline. For me, this now puts the government on trial. Both Labour and National tried it on with NZ in their determination to push the legislation through despite it being clear to all that could see that the majority of NZers rejected it. It is possible that this was the decisive factor that stopped the left of NZ politics being reelected. National threw their lot in with this at the time. Now they are on trial. This result is a clear signal from mainstream NZ that they want a change. How they respond could define whether the Key-led government will be a multi-term government or whether it will a one or maybe two term government. If they themselves believe in the democ…

7's and Golf and Olympics

Should 7's and golf get admission to the 2016 Olympics?

To me the answer is an unambiguous, no! There are multiple reasons 7's should not be there. First, it is not the top flight of rugby. It is a derivation sport played by the next tier of players and not the top players. So the best players in the world will not be there. Second, it is not truly a sport played by both genders. It is a novelty sport mainly played by men. I really can't believe it is in the Olympics. Having said that, NZ might win a gold medal, so it is good for us! Mind you, soccer should not be there either. It is an U23 event and the best players are not there. There are enough rugby and soccer tournaments without this.

Golf should not be there. The pinnacle of golf are the 4 majors and that is that. Winning an Olympic gold may excite some players but ultimately, it will become a second rate event. It should not be there.

Just what should and should not be there is an interesting question. The summer spor…