METTLE News Weekly


Hippolite Musings

As discussed last week, I took my family to go see Prince Caspian on Sunday, although the 1:30pm session was completely booked out; had to settle for the 4:30pm session.  3 hours at Te Papa.  The kids loved it.  Thank goodness there was something half-way descent at Te Marae to watch.

Andrew Adamson (Director) has done well.  He’s built upon the success of the first Narnia movie and made this one better.  By the way, if ever there was proof required that I and Chief Censor Bill Hastings don’t see eye-to-eye, it is in his slapping an M-rating on this movie.  The expression “calling good evil; and evil good” comes to mind.

I won’t spoil it for those waiting for the school holidays; it’s well worth adding to the collection.


Book Review


Refuting Evolution


A Response to the National Academy of Sciences’ Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science



Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.


Answers in Genesis, 1999




Out of print.  Note: there is now a second edition available at the link above.


In 1998 the National Academy of Sciences published and distributed a book to public schools and other institutions entitled Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. The material in that book is meant for indoctrination of students and teachers, and Dr. Sarfati exposes this as misinformation.


An awesome book.  This first edition is a bit dated now, but it neatly and concisely cuts through the evolutionary miasma to deliver a stinging blow at academic indoctrination of our children in anti-God untruths. 

This book has rekindled the desire in me to present a “reasons to believe” seminar for new Christians and/or sceptics about why a literal Creation is not a side-issue, but foundational to a lasting relationship with Jesus.  For example, why trust in Jesus for your eternal salvation if you don’t believe in a literal hell as a consequence for a literal fall from a literally perfect creation?



Foreword by Ken Ham


  1. Evolution & Creation, Science and Religion, Facts & Bias
  2. Variation and Natural Selection Versus Evolution
  3. The Links Are Missing
  4. Bird Evolution?
  5. Whale Evolution?
  6. Humans: Images of God or Advanced Apes?
  7. Astronomy
  8. How Old Is The Earth?
  9. Is the Design Explanation Legitimate?
  10. Conclusion


About the Author

 Praise Reports

  • 390,000 signatures were delivered to Parliament this week.

 Prayer Requests

  • That the PM will be shamed into relenting to allow the Citizen’s Initiated Referendum to proceed this election.

 Other News

  • None

 End Notes

·          METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Elim Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily (but not exclusively) businessmen from Wellington Elim Church, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This newsletter is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from these newsletters, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.

·          METTLE has no affiliation with Telecom New Zealand Limited

·          If this week’s newsletter has been of benefit to you, why not drop a line and say so.  Or better yet, visit the TVORNZ website and add a comment!



4 thoughts on “METTLE News Weekly”

  1. Hi James

    Odd that you should refer to both Bill Hastings and J.D. Sarfati in one e-mail.  I know both men.

    I think that there is something you need to know about Bill.  How he does things is not as clear cut as some have tried to portray.

    Bill is an intelligent man academically.  In life, he is friendly, humorous, yet terribly insecure (not that he would admit that) & very intense.  I have heard him speak on the subject of film censorship and his office.  This has led me to believe that Bill has made a fundamental error in his philosophy about his role as Chief Film Censor.  I believe that he thinks the role is a “shaping” role, that he can shape and progress society and film through his judgements as CFC.  In reality, the role is an “application” role, a position in which he ought to be making judgements about the application of law to the viewing community in New Zealand.

    An example is the fundamental disagreement that he has with an odd position in the censorship of films in New Zealand.  A percentage of films, those that are on or under M15 censor’s ratings in Australia, if I recall, are not assessed in New Zealand at all – they are assessed in a state in Australia (possibly NSW, but I cannot remember for a fact).  As far as I know, this has not been changed since he said this in his talk.

    If you look at a number of his judgements, they are aligned with the following criteria:

    ·         That all films in New Zealand ought to be assessed in NZ by New Zealanders (i.e. his office): if they are outside the category of his assessment, he feels he needs to make his assessment in line with his intention to bring all films under NZ authority;
    ·         The key test is whether a film content is “injurious to the public good”.  Little weight is given to other tests;
    ·         In New Zealand, we are less accepting of violence and more open to sexual content (that is a quote from Bill during his talk), while in Australia they are less tolerant of sexual content and more tolerant of violence.
    ·         He alone has the power to decide if something is injurious to the public good or “objectionable” (S.4 of the Act)

    However there are other factors he ignores:
    ·         When assessing the film, “The passion of the Christ”, he ignored an exception in the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 that would have allowed him to pass material that might be of a violent nature, that would otherwise be “injurious to the public good”, if it is of historical or cultural importance; I suspect he did so to maintain his authority over censorship of films of such content (as an M15 film, as the film was rated in Australia, would maintain that assessment in NZ, had he not ruled it was different)
    ·         Whether the material is immoral, indecent or offensive ( )


  2. ·         This extract from Wikipedia is also interesting:
    The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards in particular has alleged that Hastings is a \’gay activist\’ who promotes homosexuality and promiscuity by giving liberal classifications to films that it believes should be banned.[3] Analysis of the 101 publications whose classifications have been reviewed by the Film and Literature Board of Review between 1995 and 2006 however reveals that the OFLC under Hastings has been found to be too liberal with classifications in only 3.5% of the appeals – in contrast to 27% for his predecessor, Kathryn Paterson.[4] The Board of Review has upheld 82% of OFLC decisions made under Hastings\’ regime.[5] Ironically, the only two appeals won by the Society (of 15 sought) occurred when Hastings was Deputy President of the Board of Review.[5] [6]
    In short, it would be more practical to look at how he is making assessments to increase the power of his post, rather than to think he is “soft” on homosexuality and promiscuity.  He does allow some garbage through: but his assessments tend to favour the view that all films need to be assessed by him, and that they ought to follow a policy stance (the “shaping” role), rather than a legislative-bordered field of acceptable content (i.e. the “application” role).



  3. About the Creationist viewpoint.  I personally have tended to the “old Earth” philosophy, but believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth, that adaptation does NOT equal evolution (to believe so is a bigger leap of faith than believing in Creation), so creatures and species can vary in different environments while not contributing to so-called evolutionary evidence, and that Jesus, the Spirit and Father are described as one in Genesis 1, as the One God initiating creation.

    Having said all that, I am willing to be rebuked regarding my scepticism over the “Recent Earth” concept and allow God’s Spirit to tell me that I am wrong in my beliefs.  JD Sarfati is also a man willing to accept such rebuke, despite a lot of people believing the contrary.  He is also a man to listen to on the topic of Creationism.

    Jonathan Sarfati is a graduate of Victoria University, which is where I met him.  He is a hard man to debate with and can get very personal in his arguments, attacking the person as well as the argument.  He lacks a lot of love and is suspicious of Pentecostal beliefs.  At least once, we nearly came to blows when I threatened to “deck” him after hearing my views on Judaism in a discussion with some Jews (remember: I have Jewish ancestry and JD is Jewish born, Christian by choice) !  He later won my admiration by coming to me and apologising in a Godly, scriptural way.  He has a huge faith and is a well known apologist (and was a founding member of the Wellington Apologists Society, if I recall).  Never play him in chess unless you are really, really good at it – he once stalemated a Russian Grand Master!

    Last I heard, he was working with the Creation Science Institute in Australia.

    I would like to sit down and discuss with you what happened in the discussion at Karori Baptist.  I am afraid that KBC has a reputation of listening to their intellectual beliefs before the Spirit of the Lord.  They have a strong acceptance of Biblical Feminism in the congregation.


  4. UPDATE: I have been hanging on this e-mail, as I wanted to give it some thought before sending it.  Keep me in prayer, as I am truly assessing where I stand on Creationism.  Until now, I have taken an “Old Earth” stance, following Keith Green’s view that it “does not matter to me; I more care that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me”.


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