Author Archives: Alister Pate

Do Not Be Afraid

Imagine yourself a tourist in New York City on the 8th of November, 2001. You’ve gotten up early in the morning to take in the sights, and you find yourself gazing up at the enormous glass and steel man made mountains that were the World Trade Centre….. If even something as permanent seeming and invulnerable as the Twin Towers can come down, glinting in the sun one moment and a nightmare of ash and collapsed building materials the next – then what can you trust? What can you have confidence in?

The Book of Revelation and All Saints Day

What does the festival of All Saints have to do with understanding the Book of Revelation? Surely in this world come of age the time has come to turn our backs on such highly coloured images from our ancient past?

Or has it?

What do you want?

Jesus asked James and John: “What do you want me to do for you?”

It’s a hard question – As the psychologist Abraham Maslow said: “It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.”

Job: Suffering and Transformation

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. Job 1:1 So begins the book of Job. It’s a kind of fairy story really. Job is an archetype of the good man. He has no […]

Its melancholy withdrawing roar?

This blog post is part of a series (starting here) exploring what Charles Taylor can teach us about how faith and secularity interact in his (enormous) work A Secular Age. One of Taylor’s main points seems to be that there is a big story in our culture that Science inevitably replaces Faith. Matthew Arnold’s poem On […]

Charles Taylor and The Sea of Faith

The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world Matthew Arnold On Dover Beach […]

ANZAC Day, The Meaningful Cosmos, and Jesus the Cornerstone

When we look outwards, we see the wheeling, uncaring universe. When we look within we are stirred by the call to self sacrifice of ANZAC day. How do we make sense of our lives in a way that joins the little picture of my life to the big picture of the universe?