Author Archives: Alister Pate

Effectuation and the Apostolic Imagination

I’ve been reading about Effectuation recently. It’s a way of reasoning characteristic of entrepreneurs, discovered by academic Saras Sarasvathy’s research into how a number of successful entrepreneurs got where they were. You can read about her research here. The  top level way to understand this is to distinguish effectual reasoning from what she terms “causal reasoning”. […]

The Gods of Sport and Art

This video is something I made a few weeks ago for a worship event at college chapel focussing on Acts 17:16-34. Paul called the Athenians “extremely religious… in every way”  The question that occured to me: What would Paul make of Melbourne? What gods would he observe? So I went on an anthropological expedition through […]

The Story of the Briefcase: How I Very Nearly Became an Accountant

I stood at the worryingly quiet tube station with my borrowed briefcase, and a perplexed expression on my face. What on earth was doing here? And what was I going to do now? Aristotle says to start the story in media res – in the middle of things. That’s fair enough advice, but perhaps it […]

What is Church For? A Pentecost Sermon

What is the church for? As you can imagine, this question often comes to me as I work my way through my three years of ministerial formation. There seem to be a lot of committees – and I don’t think renaming them “councils” makes them any more glamorous, a lot of OH&S, a lot of […]

The Gods Walk Amongst Us

People claim we live in a secular society, from whence the gods have fled. But, on the contrary, the gods walk among us.

The Kathleen Syme Centre has No Bible

In Carlton, where I work and spend a lot of my time “studying” (aka drinking coffee in cafes, occasionally adding a little cake, (purely for my health’s sake)), the local government has built a beautiful library called the Kathleen Syme Centre. It is a state of the art facility, including a space for the senior […]

The Story of Gary, Hazel, and the Stages of Faith

Consider this archetypal story. A man named, let’s say, Gary is lying in the gutter, covered in his own vomit. He has lost everything – gambled it away, pissed it up against the wall, snorted up his nose. His wife, his kids, his house – all gone. He is absolutely desperate. Then, just as he […]