I’d Rather Learn From One Bird How To Sing

e.e.cummings, perhaps more than any other poet, has shaped much of the way I consciously approach learning. Possibly my favourite lines in all of the poetry ever written are the last two lines of his you shall above all things be glad and young:   I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than... Continue Reading →


Close Encounters

It is very difficult to appreciate just how powerful an elephant is until you encounter one in the wild. I was overseeing a conference near the Kruger National Park this week, and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for me to take some leave and spend some time with Nathan (my five year old... Continue Reading →

Jesus: The Word of God

A friend of mine made the following statement to me last week: "The difference between Catholics and Protestants is that Catholics believe in "Jesus and..."; Protestants believe in "Jesus only". He's wrong, of course. Nobody believes in Jesus only. We all add something. And if I were to be cynical, I would argue that Protestants don’t worship... Continue Reading →


The Myth of “What We Have Always Believed”

I don’t know if you have been watching the Winter Olympics. Out of a sort of morbid curiosity, I have been following on and off. Truth be told, the sports are entirely foreign to me. Living in South Africa, where the climate is beautifully tropical pretty much all year round, playing in the snow is... Continue Reading →


Build Your House on the Rock

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object will remain in a state of rest unless it is compelled to move by forces acting upon it. I don’t think it is a law that has applicability only in the physical realm; I think it is true of our social and ideological worlds too. People... Continue Reading →


None So Blind

One of my favourite television series is The Big Bang Theory. If you are unfamiliar with the programme, one of its central characters, Dr Sheldon Cooper, is a freakishly intelligent physicist who has absolutely no social skills. As brilliant as his mind is, he simply cannot relate appropriately to other people. Sheldon regulates his relationships... Continue Reading →


A Deal with the Devil

During the Gold Rush in California, untold numbers of Native Americans were forced off their land or murdered. In 1851-52, the US government signed 18 treaties with the indigenous people of California, which essentially allowed the government to take all of the land except for the reservations, which served as homelands for the indigenous people.... Continue Reading →


Goodbye to Covenants, Or Why God is a Wolf

The very fact that we think of our relationship with God in terms of a covenant is proof that the god we worship is a man-made construct. I realise that this is somewhat of an inflammatory statement, but bear with me: this thought has a ‘good news’ ending.   It was Mark Rowlands’ The Philosopher... Continue Reading →


Graven Images

It was the kind of thing that was bound to get them crawling out of the woodwork. There is a certain type of Christian that just cannot resist embarking on a Crusade when anything that vaguely resembles a “just” cause presents itself. When Comino Carvallo intended to display his sculpture – a life-sized, anatomically correct... Continue Reading →


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