About the author
I was born in 1978 in a little corner of Africa which has long since been washed away by the ravages of political and economic turmoil, and I’ve spent time in more than 30 countries since then. I’m currently living in Melbourne.
Professionally, I started out in engineering (electro-mechanical), then went into software development, and now I’m doing a PhD in marine ecosystem modelling. I cover most of the scientific bases: Lorenz attractors, Deinococcus radiodurans and species distribution models are all within my sphere of geekiness.
While I have a huge range of casual interests, I’m particularly motivated to write about the Christian faith, and the interfaces between Christianity, science and philosophy. I read a great deal (both fiction and non-fiction), I enjoy discussion and I find it difficult to forgo coffee.
Influential works include the writings of C. S. Lewis (particularly Mere Christianity), J. R. R. Tolkein, and the writings and lectures of John Lennox. While we differ on our metaphysical interpretations, I have extraordinary respect for the writings and scientific integrity of Stephen Jay Gould, and enjoy his work immensely. I have also found great inspiration in the music of U2 and Third Day. If you’re looking for some good books, feel free to check out my reading list.
Having been graced with an extremely popular first name and surname, I often choose to post under the tag ‘Sentinel’ instead.
A work-in-progress personal philosophy
I believe that many disagreements arise from misunderstanding rather than conflicting opinions. Failing to take the time to understand where another person is coming from leads to misinterpretation of what they say, which leads to unnecessary arguments about non-issues. This is mostly why I have an “Author” page in the first place – I want to give the reader some context for what I write. (I also tend to head straight for the “About” page on other blogs, the better to understand the perspective from which the author is writing).
My basic worldview is Christian. I do not label myself by a denomination because I am more concerned with primary articles of faith, and the differences between denominations are based on secondary or even tertiary issues of doctrine. The core articles of Christian faith (take the Apostle’s Creed for a quick summary) are held in common by every Christian denomination. Also generally held in common is the fact that all other issues are not of primary importance. If you want a more detailed understanding of what Christianity actually is (and what is peripheral), read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. In fact, read it anyway. It’s a great book.
I believe that we are all aware – however much we may ignore it and deny it – of God’s presence. As such, I also believe that a strict materialistic worldview is untenable, as it cannot be reconciled with our awareness of God. I believe that science, as a discipline, offers great power to unravel the secrets of the physical world, but I also believe that as humans we have a supernatural element to our existence. By definition this supernatural aspect eludes scientific inquiry, and thus to fully understand ourselves and our place in the universe, science is insufficient.
I believe that the created universe declares its Creator, but it isn’t enough that I simply recognise that God exists and made the universe – I want to discover all I can about God. If He has revealed Himself to us directly, and if we can encounter Him personally, that would seem to be the best place to start. I believe that God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, and that we can encounter Him personally in the Holy Spirit.
I regard the Bible as being trustworthy and inspired by God. I don’t claim that I have an answer or an explanation for every difficult passage in the Bible, but I note that Jesus viewed scripture as being God’s word to us, and I’m prepared to accept the whole Bible on his recommendation. There are plenty of things in the Bible that I struggle with. But I accept that challenge in the knowledge that God knows better than I do.
About the blog
I write about topics that I find interesting, and I welcome different perspectives on these topics.
I do, however, expect that presentation of those perspectives will remain civilised, and that discussion will remain about the issues rather than ad hominem arguments. Personal attacks and foul language are already quite common enough on the internet: I require that guests here maintain a higher standard of discourse.
When commenting, please bear in mind that:
- Inflammatory rants, personal attacks or outrageous claims which are not backed up by evidence may be deleted or edited out.
- Shorter and more concise comments are much more likely to be read and responded to than long rambling essays. Attempting to drown out opposing voices with a deluge of redundant verbiage is not conducive to a useful conversation.
- Diversions to unrelated issues hinder a focussed discussion of the topic at hand. If the post is about synthesis between the Big Bang and Christian doctrine, don’t bring up the Crusades.
- If you think your statement may be contentious, rather cite your supporting evidence before you get called on it. It saves everyone time and helps keep the conversation from getting side-tracked.