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Biography

Paul writes: I’m an ordinary person wanting to live life fully, wanting to enjoy life, and wanting to make a small difference within this huge and wondrous world.

I have three children and live in provincial New Zealand.

I’m interested in many things, but in terms of this blog I’m interested in the intersection between the Christian Faith tradition, film and literature, art, spirituality, psychology, economics and business, community,mythology, cultural engagement, missiology, the everyday, and questions of what it means to be persons who are fully alive and human. For many of us there are important dimensions of what it means to be a human person, dimensions and layers that are substantially undernourished by (post)modern life and living. Spirituality is one of these important dimensions, so I’m interested in questions of Spirituality, and in the apparent disconnect between the two poles of this popular cliché, “I’m spiritual, but not religious”. Certainly I’m not “religious” in the pejorative sense that that term is typically applied to people.

It seems to me that we live in a storied world. There are many many stories clamouring for our attention; many stories promising us the world and everything in it, but I’ve yet to find a story like the Jesus-story, a radical turn-the world-upside-down story if ever there was one. On one hand it makes no sense at all, while on the other hand it touches the very deepest questions and struggles that give shape to what it means to be fully human and to live into great wholeness as a human being.

I have not belonged to church, in the traditional sense, for a number of years now. Consequently I’m a wayfarer, although one inclined toward the breadth and width of the Anglican tradition. Like many for whom church is at best irrelevant, I struggle too (as an ‘insider on the outside’), yet continue to wonder what needs to change in order for the church to again embody and communicate an alternative story and offer ways and means of being deeply and fully human that communicate “good news”. I also wonder about the rich resources the Christian tradition has to offer to those, like me, for whom questions of religion and spirituality are “stepping stones”, and thus a means of exploration and adventure.

Life, spirituality, religion and the deeper realities of being human are a lot more interesting and a lot more relevant than many people imagine. All kinds of reasons propel us on this journey, the journey of a life-time.

That said, not all are interested in the kinds of questions I ask or the paths I take, but many are. I’m not pushing anything; I don’t push anything; I’m simply offering something of my journey and something of what I discover along the way. Some will laugh, but others will be quietly thankful and will begin their own journey home, just like the prodigal son in a story Jesus of Nazareth told a long time ago.

Alan Jamieson is a Kiwi, and like Paul, very much a prodigal. Rembrandt’s painting of the Prodigal Father and Son hangs in our dinning room; a reminder at the beginning of each day of the God who embraces us. A God who is characterized by love, acceptance, forgiveness and an aching compassion. Alan and partner Sandra live in Christchurch (the largest city in the South Island of NZ)). They have two children and one grandchild.

During 2008 Alan is working on a thesis in the ‘Theology of Hope’, continuing to speak, teach and write for the Portland Research Trust (www.portland.org.nz) and is a half time minister at Spreydon Baptist Church (www.spreydon.org.nz).
Alan’s books ‘A Churchless Faith’, ‘Journeying in faith’ and ‘Church leavers’ express his interest in people’s faith journeys both within and beyond church structures.

A new book which will be out soon is titled - ‘Chrysalis: A forgotten phase in the journey of faith’. To be published by Paternoster Press UK.

For more information on the book and Alan's research etc, cut and paste into your web browser the following link:

www.portland.org.nz

Otherwise, you can find the link on our blog page.