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Tom Harpur offers mixed bag

My few personal conversations with Tom Harpur were all over 30 years ago, as one Anglican priest to another, but since then his columns and critics have kept me aware of changes in his thinking; so, I was among those who went to hear him at the Regent Theatre.

I heard: a sense of awe at the greatness and splendor of the universe; a concern for social justice; a respect for some aspects of various world religions; a remark that now his prayer life includes less asking and more listening; an incomplete understanding of Christian faith; and an inaccurate picture of church history.

Three things really bothered me.

Tom seems to have slipped into the idolatry of rationalism, i.e., believing that all of us are highly reasonable people and that reason is all we need to deal with every kind of problem.
He did not even begin to touch on the matter of justice for people who do more and more evil on their way to the grave. Will Hitler be in heaven?
Tom spoke of “the golden rule” as a universal ethic, but failed to point out that determination and will power by themselves are not strong enough to enable us to love our neighbours. For me to love my neighbour as myself I need the amazing supernatural grace that comes from God through the historical, resurrected Jesus of Nazareth.

Respectfully,
Al Reimers
Wellington

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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