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 to a secular/Christian audience.
An excerpt from the first:
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.
Canadian singer/songwriter 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.1