One of our older ministers who surprises people by being not dead yet.  He has provided the Hewitson Library with one of the largest private collections of manuscripts relating to Gallipoli, and the New Zealand Land Wars.  His next collection project is developing a collection of Muslim, and Nazi studies.

According to the New Zealand census statistics 43% of New Zealanders claim to be secular or to have no religion.  What we are seeing is a failure of the interface between a generation of post-Christian historians and the motives of an earlier generation with a belief system felt in the emotional domains of the gut, and heart, and mind.  In a secular world view humankind does not need to relate to divinity to achieve full potential.

Religious history is the history of people who have been ‘inner-directed’.  Convictions that caused people to awaken to the numinous, to unite for better working conditions, to free the enslaved, to cross the world; and convictions that led to the deaths of six million people in Germany.  In a secular world people are still living out faith; both Christian and non-Christian convictions can be realised.  It is alive with spiritual history.  We can find out where we are at a given time, discover what direction we go in to meet the challenges of today, be enlightended by a Christian world view in a secular society.

The secular church needs some inner-directedness from a god who occasionally pops in to add a bit of transcendence.

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