Seeing

An old man, part of a group of mentally disadvantaged people, sat next to me on a bench as I was waiting for a ferry to take me across Sydney harbor to Mosman. I was eating a chocolate bar and offered him a piece. He held up a shaking hand and took it, hungrily. I […]

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In 1953  Robert Nesbit wrote a very insightful book called The Quest for Community. In it he summarised the prevailing view of  man with these words: “The theologian Paul Tillich sees before him in the western world today a culture compounded not of traditional faith and confidence, but one agitated by feelings of fear and […]

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I had lunch the other day with an elderly friend of mine whose health is failing. He knows that he doesn’t have long to live but has a very strong faith, so we talk about this process of living and dying quite openly. He told me a very personal story about his first wife, which […]

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“Being authentic” is one of the key attributes of leading a good life in the postmodern mind. As our confidence in traditional beliefs and institutions has weakened, we have come to rely more and more on our own core strengths. One of these is our “integrity” or our “authenticity.” The opposites of “authenticity”  — being […]

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I haven’t been to church for several months. For most of my life, this would have been unthinkable. Church was an integral part of my life. What has happened? I sense that my choice to stop going to church is wrapped in my own negative stories about many aspects of church. Where did these stories […]

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The most basic fact about human life is ‘everyday.’ Everything we experience, know or hope is in the context of everyday. As the philosophers Kant and  Heidegger saw human life, we cannot get beyond our ideas about our world because our language is inextricably trapped in metaphors tied to everyday. But Jesus says that we […]

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Psychologists, cultural anthropologists and philosophers now generally agree that there is no such thing as an ‘independent, rational self.’ All of us are products of our genes, our upbringing and the pervasive, continual influence of the culture we live in. We cannot escape what it means to be human. As St. Paul said so well, […]

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“Our learning to see with Jesus’ eyes will eventually result in us desiring with Jesus’ heart — which is to say, our receiving the mind of Christ, which is how we discover the mind of God.” [James Alison in On Being Liked] There is a chain of reasoning associated with this statement that each of […]

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