Archive for History

Reconciliation and Truth

Posted in Australia, Church, Reconciliation with tags , , , , on March 15, 2011 by stephengardner

I’m currently thinking a lot about the Australian Church and reconciliation. At the more theoretical end, I’m thinking through what the essence of the Church’s ministry of reconciliation is; and to what extent can we presently experience the final reconciliation that God promises when he makes all things new. While, practically, I’m fascinated by what are our particularly Australian stories of reconciliation that need to be told; what opportunities there are for reconciliation to occur in our societies; and how the Church can be involved in all of this. A big chunk of my time at college this year will be thinking through these things – and I hope to post some reflections from time to time.

Today I had the great joy of reading Colonisation and Christianity by 19th Century, English Author William Howitt. It is a painful read – recalling to mind seemingly endless evil often committed in the name of the Church’s Master. But Howitt zealously called into question European colonisation, and its relationship to Christianity – and named it for what it was, evil.

To comprehend the full extent of atrocities done in the Christian name, we must look the whole wide evil sternly in the face. We must not suffer ourselves to aim merely at the rediness of this or that grievance; but gathering all the scattered rays of aboriginal oppression into one burning focus, and thus enabling ourselves to feel its entire force, we shall be less than Englishmen and Christians if we do not stamp the whole system of colonial usage towards the natives, with that general and indignant odium which must demolish it at once and forever (Colonisation and Christianity, 10).

How many Waterloos can the annals of the earth reckon? What Timour, or Zenghis Khan, can be compared to the Napoleon of Modern Europe? the (sic) greatest scourge of nations that ever arose on this planet; the most tremendous meteor that ever burnt along its surface! (p, 4)

But most monstrous of all has been the moral blindness or the savage recklessness of ourselves as Englishmen. (p, 6)

In hindsight, Howitt’s attempts to bring into light the evil of the past did not go far enough, but it is a valuable example of, what seems to me, to be a universally recognised essential starting block; That in order for reconciliation to occur between two parties with a history of bad blood, then there must be a revelation of the truth. A painful, honest look at the past – painful for the offender, reminding themselves of guilt and leaving them vulnerably in the hands of shame. But likewise, and particularly, painful for the victim – again, leaving them in a vulnerable position where they might be forever labelled as ‘victim.’ But if a genuine reconciliation is to occur then this pain must be exposed.

complete backlog of the Pilgrim’s Podcast

Posted in The Pilgrim's Podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by stephengardner

I have been pretty slack in putting the podcast up here. Probably best you don’t rely on me to get your Pilgrim’s hit…The best way to get into these is to subscribe on iTunes.

Here’s what’s happened recently on the Pilgrim’s Podcast:

Ep #34 Seumas Macdonald — Seumas is a masters student at Moore Theological College researching Chrysostom’s sermons. He is planning on heading to Mongolia to help with theological education. Good on him!

Ep #33 Adrian Foxcroft — Adrian (Foxy from hereafter) is a really good mate with a great passion for youth ministry. Here he talks a little about this, as well as a new venture…the Nugget! This was a particularly fun episode.

Ep #32 Bill Salier — Bill is vice principle at Moore Theological College. Bill did his PHD in John’s gospel, here he shares some insights his research has given him. As well as that Bill reflects with us on how he became a Christian and what has helped sustain him in Christian ministry. Good stuff!

Ep #31 Angus Courtney — Angus shares with us his plans to begin his own podcast…Dwarfs and Giants. This is a really great idea – 8-10 min podcasts on theology, history and culture.

Ep #30 Col Marshal — I was bummed to have missed this one! But alas, I was traipsing around the Holy Land. Here Mark talks with Col – one of the founders of MTS (Ministry Training Strategy), author and all round legend. This guys influence on Sydney and the world for the Lord Jesus is massive. His name will long be remembered.

Ep #29 Me! — a special recording over Skype from the Holy Land. The line was not that great but it was still great fun.

Ep #28 Dave Miers — Here Mark and I have a great time interviewing a good mate. Dave shares stacks about his passion for youth ministry and Jesus, as well as some great reflections on humble orthodoxy. Good stuff.