METTLE Weekly Newsletter


Volume 3

Issue 36


28 September 2008


Hippolite Musings

So much has happened; so much to tell.

On Wednesday, I was privileged to be asked to speak to senior Maori students at Nelson College.  This was an opportunity to “give back” to the community which educated me, and encourage some boys whom may be from a similar background to me.  The day was split into a brief plenary session (there were 6 speakers, approximately 6 minutes each) and 2 workshop sessions.  There must have been about 24 boys, as there were 3 simultaneous workshops of about eight boys each with two speakers facilitating.  I was paired with Wari Ward-Holmes, which was another honour.  The other speakers were John Mitchell (author); Tai Ward-Holmes (artist); his brother Wari (accountant); myself (IT geek); some dude Ben May from the Tasman Bays rugby; some dude Ropata (a former Nelson College teacher, rather than old boy).

Irony is, my proclivity for home schooling; but that’s another matter and didn’t feature on the day.

Here were my topic notes.  I stayed fairly much on-topic:

  • Plenary:
    • Brief Background
      • Was a day boy; moved to Wellington; never left
        • “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day."
        • Absolutely Positively Wellington
      • Pursued education; a degree; and industry qualifications
        • As method of benchmarking. 
        • “Process of continual improvement”
      • Focused on computers but changed careers a couple of times
        • Flexibility within core strength
        • “Find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day of your life.”
    • ‘If I had my time at school again I would…………’
      • Spend less time thinking about girls
        • Difficult to do, with hormones raging.
        • Just completed pre-adolescent study with my son.
        • Abstinence is the best policy
      • Spend more time concentrating on sport
        • An honourable and time-tested substitute.
        • A love of a sport will help keep you healthy in the years ahead.
        • Reference Celia Lashlie’s “He’ll Be OK: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men” (for your parents)
  • Workshop #1: ‘Maori identity; How much do I (need to) identify?’
    • During the 80’s
      • Society was just swinging back to it being okay to be Maori.
        • Didn’t experience much racism personally.
        • My size discouraged fights!
      • My father was a “black activist”
        • Gave me knowledge of Spring Bok tours / HART
        • I was the token Maori in the class; expected to have an opinion
      • I became the voice of sweet reasonableness
        • Dad’s conversion to the other side (working from within Dept. of Social Welfare)
        • I became willing to engage, but only when absolutely necessary
    • Now
      • Politically
        • I disagree with welfarism
        • I agree with resolution of historic grievances
      • Socially
        • Being Maori doesn’t impact me a lot in my daily life.
        • However, it’s always there whenever tangi or whatever comes up
      • Religiously
        • Being Maori Christian has given me great stability, where previously I had none.
        • Christian first; Maori second
    • What the Boys told me
      • It didn’t matter whether they looked Maori
        • The degree of identification is entirely up to them.
        • Some even had kohanga reo (pre-school language nest) experience
        • But when they came to secondary college, that became bottom priority
        • Thus, they’ve begun to lose te reo
        • For others, there wasn’t a lot of identification

Workshop #2: ‘Being a Maori student at Nelson College/ in education….is a strength or a weakness’ and ‘What makes success?’

The Boys Told Me Their Definitions of Success

Textbook answers (in large group)

·       Setting goals

·       Attaining goals

·       Being a good person

Heart answers (singly, individually)

·       Sport

·       Academic (most)

·       Oratory

·       Work (one)

I told the boys my own story

When I was a primary school student, a group of social welfare employees were on a weekend retreat with my Dad.   I was asked how I managed/coped with being Maori at school.  I told them I used my Pakeha side to get ahead and my Maori side to have fun.

·       Definition of “getting ahead” being succeeding academically;

·       Definition of “having fun” being enjoying whanau (family), wairua (spirit), raruraru (non-sense).


·         I specifically went with the intention to discuss 3 non-state-sanctioned topics: religion, politics and abstinence.  I scored on all three.  I think I managed to do it in such a way as to get the boys attention and not switch them off, e.g.

¨       Abstinence: “Your mother tells you these things and you don’t listen, so listen to me instead!”  

¨       Also, “NZ has a problem; the rest of the world doesn’t shut down the conversation when the topic of religion is raised.”  

¨       And finally, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.   Why should my taxes pay for you to do nothing?”

·         The school will do a survey and decide whether this first experience was worthwhile and whether to invite me back next year.  I didn’t get paid to do it, so there’s no skin off my nose either way.

·         I had several very interesting conversations during the course of the day; some with old teachers who knew me; some with the current staff who were organising and facilitating the day.   Celia Lashlie’s book was less well received than I would have anticipated.  I think the reason being that the Education Sector doesn’t take to perceived criticism very well at all, even in the best interests of their students.


Sunday Sermon

Things you need to know:

  • White Sunday, 12 October, Wear your traditional dress
  • Are you a parent?  4 Oct Parenting workshop “Our Unbeatable Children” with Helen McGhie, 12:30 – 4:30pm
  • Meet people after services today
  • Lift Me Up!  The new lift is operational.  $25,000 request
  • 30 Nights of Power, Every night Thurs 9 Oct 11pm to midnight @ Elim until the election



  • A lot of new faces (suspect they turned up for the special speaker)
  • Jeannie Knott’s sister visiting from England
  • Lots of birthdays
  • Kevin got a new job; Jessie is pregnant
  • Ken and Ann are back from their whirlwind national book-signing tour
  • Both Maria and Captain Von Trapp (from Sound of Music performance at State Opera House) are members of our worship team (Ike and Jess)


Guest Speaker

  • Dr Tas Walker, PhD in Engineering
  • Creation Ministries International


The Current Culture (a typical bookstore)

  • Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist, God is not Great
  • Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion


Atheist with a Mission !

  • I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented (p36)
  • Unless otherwise stated, I will have Christianity mostly in mind, but only because it is the version with which I happen to be most familiar (p 37)



  • Creation Magazine, answers these questions
  • The Creation Answers Book
  • Refuting Evolution 2 by Jonathan Sarfati
  • The Astronomy Book
  • The Geology Book
  • Journal of Creation
  • DVD, Unlocking the Mystery of Life


How to we know there is a God?

  • Romans 8:28
  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Evolution & Atheism

  • Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear… There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind.  There is no life after death.  When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead.  That’s the end for me.  There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life and no free will for humans, either.
  • William B. Provine, Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University , Origins Research


The History Book of the Universe!

  • The Bible
  • Both the Bible and Evolution attempt to answer how we got here.  They tell two totally different stories.  One of them must be false.


Why do it in six days?  Why not six minutes?

  • He could have done it in six minutes.
  • He chose to do it in six days, as a model for us to follow (six days work and 1 day rest).


Enormous complexity

  • Boeing 747 = Over 5 million non-flying parts
  • Living Cell = Billions of non-living parts


Kinesin: cellular stevedore / longshoreman

  • there’s no way this could come together step-by-step in order for it to work


First cell – how?

  • Paulo Davies, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University , Sydney
  • New Scientist 179(2403) 32. 12 July 2003
  • Nobody knows how a mixture of lifeless chemicals spontaneously organised themselves into the first living cell.


Prof Anthony Flew

  • Atheist
  • Became Theist December 2004
  • “There Is no A God” How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind.


Evolution Excludes God

  • In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer need or room for the supernatural.  The earth was not created; it evolved.  So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul, as well as brain and body.  So did religion.
  • Sir Julian Huxley
  • Darwinian Centennial Convocation
  • University Chicago , 1959


Lies in the Textbooks:

  • The Ascent of Man
  • Neanderthal & Homo Erectus are humans
  • Lucy is an ape
  • Homo habilis is an invalid taxen
  • A racist image: from dark (ape) to light (human)
  • Evolution is a destructive philosophy, not a science


Where did all the races come from?

  • How many different skin colours?
  • “Jesus loves the little children, red and yellow, black and white”
  • There is only one colour: dark brown (with varying degrees of pigmentation)
  • All the skin colours are possible in one generation from middle brown parents


One Blood

  • Acts 17:26
  • Adam & Eve, Genesis 3:20, I Corinthians 15:45
  • Sons & Daughters, Genesis 5:4
  • Noah
  • Tower of Babel


Christina Doctrine originates in Genesis

  • Marriage
  • Sin
  • Death
  • Seven-day week
  • Dominion
  • Curse
  • Why is Jesus called the last Adam
  • Why do we need a new heaven and a anew earth?


Academic bias against Christianity

  • I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well informed people I know are religious believers.  It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and naturally, hope there is no God…
  • Thomas Nagel



  • Genesis says death is a results of sin
  • Evolution says death is natural and normal


Geologic Time Scale – interpretations

  • Day age
  • Gap theory
  • Theistic evolution
  • Framework hypothesis
  • Progressive creation
  • Local flood


From Adam to Christ

  • An awesome diagram
  • From Metaphor to Christ?


RC Sproul:

  • For most of my teaching career, I considered the framework hypothesis to be a possibility.  But I have now changed my mind.  I now hold (missed this quote, along the lines that literal young earth creation is true)…


Correct interpretation of geologic time scale

  • Noah’s Flood
  • Reference to the Dutch ark.  People didn’t realise the ark was so large.  Yes, all the animals would have fitted.



  • Marine fossils on Mt Everest
  • Brown’s Bay (Auckland) has great examples of stratification


Dr Albert Mills

  • PhD biologist
  • Haeckel’s drawings convinced him evolution is true
  • Richardson ’s actual photographs proves the fraud
  • I personally don’t see how any scientist who is prepared to forget all his presuppositions and read Creation (Magazine) for one to two years with an open mind, and be willing to think, could still believe in evolution or “long ages”.


His Conclusions:

  • Unless the Christians speak up, who else are unbelievers going to hear it from?
  • People in prisons benefit from this: evolution teaches them they are just animals.


My Conclusions:

  • I was very happy that CMI returned for another visit.
  • I don’t think it was just me, either.  There was a buzz in the audience about this stuff.
  • There were definitely several new faces in the auditorium.
  • You can’t get a lot done in a ½ hour sermon.  Dr Tas did very well with the time allotted to him.  There really is a lot a material to get through, and it is understandable that he had to spend some time explaining what resources are available to us.


Book Review


Eye to Eye


Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel




William Koenig (no, not Walter)

Bill is the president of “Koenig’s International News.”  The daily news service has readers in 50 states and 79 countries.  Bill co-authored, Israel: The Blessing or the Curse in 2001.  He is a grad-uate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Communications.  He has a M.A. in Communications from Louisiana Baptist University.  Bill and his wife Claudia reside in the Washington D.C. area where he is a White House Correspondent.


About Him Publishing, Alexandria , VA , 2006






What do these major record-setting events have in common?

·         The ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history

·         The twelve costliest hurricanes in U.S. history

·         Three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history

·         The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history

All of these major catastrophes began or occurred the very same day or within 24-hours of U.S. presidents Bushy, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of “peace and security,” sponsoring major “land for peace” meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel’s covenant land and/or calling for a Palestinian state.

Are each one of these major record-setting events just a coincidence or awe-inspiring signs that God is actively involved in the affairs of Israel ?

In this book, Bill Koenig provides undeniable facts and conclusive evidence showing that indeed the leaders of the united States and the world are on a collision course with God over Israel ’s covenant land.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come again Jerusalem ” (Zechariah 12:9).


I hate to admit, I couldn’t finish this book.  Apart from a very brief executive summary in which the author sets out his central hypothesis, the rest of the book is a recitation of events which, on the face of it, admittedly appear to back up his claim.

I don’t know what to make of this book.  I am neither a replacement theologian (the Church has replaced Israel in the promises of the Bible), nor am I a Zionist (the modern state of Israel is sacrosanct). 

I require the assistance of a strong Christian, preferably Jewish brother to assist me to categorise this book.

Not recommended.



Statement by U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma)


1.      Historical Basis for Israel ’s Right to Its Land

2.      The Error Of Replacement Theology

3.      U.S. Catastrophes and Events: 1991-1992 ( U.S. Administration: President George H.W. Bush)

4.      U.S. Catastrophes and Events: 1993-1996 ( U.S. Administration: President William J. Clinton)

5.      U.S. Catastrophes & Events: 1997-2000 ( U.S. Administration: President William J. Clinton)

6.      U.S. Catastrophes and Events: 2001-2004 ( U.S. Administration: President George W. Bush)

7.      U.S. Catastrophes and Events: 2005 ( U.S. Administration: President George W. Bush)

8.      Major U.S. Catastrophes & Events in Perspective

9.      Disruptive Period #1: September 11, 2001

10.  Disruptive Periods 2-7: When President Bush Pressured Israel to Give Up Her Land

11.  Disruptive Periods 8 & 9

12.  Suicide Bombings Coinciding with U.S. or Israel “Land for Peace” Efforts

13.  U.S. Presidents & Middle East Leaders Involved in “Peace” Process and the Consequences

14.  Strange Parallels to Rabin and Sharon ’s Political Endings

15.  Israel ’s New Leader: Ehud Olmert

16.  Madrid to The Road Map & U.S. Statements


Addendum 1: Open Letter to Israel

Addendum 2: UN: Security Council Resolutions 242 & 338

Addendum 3: Signatories of letter from church leaders to Sec. Powell

Addendum 4: White House – Koenig Letters


Bill Koenig’s Biography



Praise Reports

Prayer Requests

Other News

  • Free Public Lecture by UK Barrister Mark Mullins.  Topic: “How should we respond to legislation that undermines the public good and attacks Christian values?  A legal perspective.  Venue: Central Baptist Church, 46 Boulcott St, Wellington.  Date: Friday 3rd October 2008.  Time: 7.30 – 8.15 p.m.  Followed by questions.  Mark is a Barrister and a member of Christian Lawyers UK. Mark was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1995 and specialises in immigration and crime. In 2003 Mark became chairman of both the London and the Public Policy committees of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship and a member of the National Council.  Sponsored by: Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.  Contact: David Lane, Tel. 970-1067.
  • Britain’s Royal Society is considering casting out God … so who is surprised?

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 you choose to respond to any item raised in this Newsletter, please indicate clearly which items you wish to remain Private, as any correspondence may be considered Public and could be published in the Comments section of each article.
  • 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 to read past issues and add a comment yourself!





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