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06 January 2014

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Michael,

No I was not insulted as am not too fastidious about church rules etc. It was just that I thought I had read the CS Lewis and Tolkien life stories more or less completely and had never come across Lewis becoming a catholic.

I once used his death date as a quiz question in a newsletter I was editing and the question was "which 2 famous English novelists died on the same day as John F Kennedy? I will let you figure out who the other author was.

I do agree with Phil's general argument; we all believe in a little of both science and magic. I would say that I do not believe in magic but if somebody asks me if I believe in miracles I guess I would reluctantly admit that yes I do.

I dont know where that puts me in the general scheme of things (ating confused mangi liklik).

Hi Paulus, I can't recollect where about the Lewis excommunication. No insult intended to practicing Catholics, or Lutherans for that matter.

It's not just having a history and heritage but how we embrace them that defines who we are and how we want to be perceived by others.

I reiterate: Chopping up carvings that were part of our national heritage and history was a crime.

Michael, I too enjoyed CS Lewis books (all the Narnia collection but a few others as well) though have only read one or two of JR Tolkien. Am afraid as an adult my interest in them dropped off.

Am not sure where your information of excommunication of CS Lewis by the Catholic church comes from. My recollection is that when he embraced Christianity whilst at Oxford he remained a life long Anglican where his close friend Tolkien, who was a Catholic (think he was raised in South Africa by a priest after his father died), was unable to get CS Lewis to convert.

The two best non Narnia books I enjoyed most by Lewis were the Screwtape Letters and The Problem of Pain.

As a lapsed Lutheran, you might you might read Dietrich Bonhoeffer for a change (if you haven't done so yet).

This line is a poser Phil: "If a man or woman is good because they believe in magic or have embraced some sort of religion or are convinced that they believe in nothing but science, what does it matter as long as they are good?"

This recalls to the scene in CS Lewis finale The Last Battle (aka Armageddon), where a warrior from the army of the evil God Tash is accepted accross the gates into New Narnia.

The Narnians ask Aslan, 'yo what up with that?' and Aslan says, 'Chill it, this dudes cool. He's been trying to do the right thing by his beliefs. It ain't his fault he never got to meet me. I'll just take what he done good as being for me. Nuff said.'

In my youth I read the entire collection of CS Lewis Narnia Chronicles and a number of books from JRR Tolkiens impressive collection.

In fact it was my Lutheran pastor, Dietrich Waack, who gave me one book in the Chronicles of Narnia which I had never read, from his own full collection, as a confirmation gift.

CS Lewis was excommunicated by the Catholic Church, back in the day, because of his books and beliefs and the ideas they inspired.

Lot's of magic and sorcery in those pages.

I am a scientist. A chemist by training. And I can say for a fact that there's lots of 'good' magic in this world.

The stuff that lifts our spirits.

The problem is that we're often too afraid to see it.

It's disappointing to witness fear being perpetuated at the National Parliament.

But that's hust me: non-practicing baptised Lutheran scientist with a penchant for fantasy, science fiction and poetry.

I'm loving the contradictions in me, very. It makes me, Me. And what's more, uniquely Papua New Guinean Me.

Bugger all what people think. It's between me and The Almighty.

Like the carvings [that once made] our parliament house uniquely PNG Parliament House...

I wrote in my book Four Years in the Sepik ..
"Over the years my understanding of the occult religion, found in PNG, has grown. Although my job, as a teacher, was to help them to reason, and to find the truth in things, I came to see that their belief in sorcery and the occult was a spiritual thing, something of the soul as well as the mind. The difference between the mind and the soul is not easily and firmly drawn and my task as a teacher, had me drawing on my Christian faith as well as all my university training as a teacher."

The Christian Church today includes many great scientists. They are working hard with their minds to solve problems like cancer but at the same time, in their spirit, worship the mighty and all-powerful God that we read about in the Bible.

The world also includes scientists who don't believe in God. I feel they spend all their time thinking with their mind and somehow neglect their spiritual side. Many of them are excellent scientists and have done a lot to help the world.

Christians are taught not to judge other people. We are taught to love other people, including people who have allowed Satan's fallen angels to take over their lives and kill many people. And we have to accept that our Christian God allows these sorts of things to happen.

From my point of view, we live in a fallen world but Christians believe that Jesus Christ's death on the cross was a sacrifice for our sins. That's why we celebrate Christmas and Easter. We are asked by God to tell others about this. They can accept the message of the Bible or ignore it. God has given us all free-will. But we were all created by God and He loves us all.

I am very happy to know that many people in PNG have now become Christians. They know what I know, that Satan and his fallen angels had a great time in PNG until the coming of the Christian missionaries some of whom were actually eaten by PNG people in the past!

I believe the Holy Spirit is alive in the hearts of many Christians in PNG and the country has benefited greatly. But there are still some who have allowed the fallen angels to live in them and are doing their "sorcery" or magic or what-ever you like to call it, and it often is involved with killing people or doing bad things to people. Handing out fake medicines will kill people.

The people who removed the carvings from the parliament house have probably had some bad experience with sorcerers. They have become Christians but they still know of the ancient connections between these types of carvings and the work of sorcerers.

I feel, for the peace of mind of these people, the carvings should be kept in the museum. The Parliament House should be for the government of the country and should not look like a Haus Tambaram -a men's traditional spirit haus.

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