certainty to act

The following is an excerpt from Charles Ringma’s book Life in Full Stride*. It emphasises courage as complementary to dependence in the life of faith … The Lord said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1) God is not there […]

the waiting place

An all-time favourite in this house is Dr Seuss’ Oh the places you’ll go! “Congratulations! | Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! | You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. | You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself | any direction you choose …” Until of course, in Dr Seuss’ […]

recovering baptism for a new age of mission

I so enjoyed recently re-reading David F Wright’s 1996 essay* by the same title, that I could not resist the temptation to share a few of his thoughts. His main contention in the essay is that … neglecting or ill-treating baptism may have more serious consequences than losing one’s theological respectability: it may damage the […]

winning a hearing for the cure

Why do we men need so much alteration? The Christian answer—that we have used our free will to become very bad—is so well known that it hardly needs to be stated. But to bring this doctrine into real life in the minds of modern men, and even of modern Christians, is very hard. When the […]

when men say ‘I love you’ (to each other)

In chatting with a mate of mine about why his sister divorced her husband, he gave this wise insight; “she married him because she thought he was the strong silent type. It turned out he was silent only.” Well, there you have it, the problem with men. Saying “I love you” may be a thought […]

the nature of the stakes

The Frenchman Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was once asked by his friend Chevalier de Méré to help him solve a gambling conundrum. Chevalier wanted to know, should a game or gamble suddenly be interrupted, how should the stakes be divided amongst the players and who would be the winner? Being a rather brilliant young man, Pascal […]

a truthless world is unbearable

What possible explanation could there be that we would yearn for a God who speaks real words to us and gives us real truth? The only explanation that I think is plausible is that there must be one. Why would we want one? Where would the idea even have come from? (It is actually a […]

the hidden desire behind our pursuits

The question at a gathering of Christian post-graduate students at UCT recently, was that of the integration of reason and belief, intellect and faith—the old conundrum of keeping head and heart together. At one point in our conversation it seemed a good idea to turn the question on itself. Normally the question being how to […]

pure illusion?

You can’t, except in the lowest animal sense, be in love with a girl if you know (and keep on remembering) that all the beauties of both of her person and of her character are a momentary and accidental pattern produced by the collision of atoms, and that your own response to them is only […]

moral regeneration

I was recently asked my opinion (in lieu of an article for a popular magazine) on the Moral Charter Campaign launched by then Deputy-President Jacob Zuma in 2003. Concerning the Charter Zuma reportedly stated: “other factors, which are not values but which help to encourage good ethical behaviour, are the senses of fear and shame. […]