March 19, 2015 Editor

October 18, 1990: WOMEN AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH

This study still has pertinence today. There are two versions, which titles below explain. The second was presented on the University of British Columbia campus.

An excerpt from the first:

Introduction

A few years ago, a man phoned me and asked if I had some time for a talk. I replied that I was getting my kids ready for bed, but afterwards would be happy to chat with him.

He phoned an hour or so later, and we had our talk. He had read and kept, as it turned out, a letter to the editor of The Vancouver Sun I had written a few years before concerning a prison riot at Matsqui Institution. He had appreciated some of the points I had made concerning the evil of the prison itself, and now was writing his memoirs. He was planning to quote some of my insights into the nature of prison in light of his own son’s experience as a prisoner. On a whim, he looked up the only ‘Northey W’ listed in the phone book, and asked if I was one and the same.

We had a subsequent lively conversation until in passing, he discovered that I had a Christian commitment. “Not one who really takes the Bible seriously though?”, he asked incredulously, then immediately cooled, and soon therefore terminated the conversation, upon my affirmative response.

I presume neither I nor my letter found its way into his memoirs after all.

Bruce Cockburn says that he often qualifies his affirmation of his Christian faith by saying: “But I’m not one of them.” He is obviously smarting under the identification of Christianity with things unsavoury said or done in the name of God and Christ.

My confession of faith is: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Central Protagonist in the Story of Human History. That one misses the Essential Plotline of the Cosmos, if Jesus does not occupy the Pivotal Role. That Jesus is the only Hope for a Humanity otherwise hopelessly groping in the darkness, riddled with injustice, addicted to myriad unsatisfying alternate attachments, or oblivious of God’s Way in the world.

I also am committed to an approach to the Bible which claims that “There is a stream in the Bible, which carries us on its own to the sea, if only we entrust ourselves to it. The Holy Scripture interprets itself, in spite of all human limitations.” (Barth:[Karl Barth und die kritische Schriftauslegung, Walter Lindemann, H. Reich, Hamburg-Bergstedt] 1973, p. 18). What gives life to Christianity is its dependence upon so-called ‘canonical’ Scripture as the Word of God, interpreted against the backdrop of the Christian tradition, past and present.

So I approach the topic today as a follower of Jesus who relies primarily upon the Bible read in dialogue with others past and present for clues about how to go about that.

Please click on: The Impact of Christ on Female (Christian)

Please click on: The Impact of Christ on Female (secular)

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.
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