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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 23. September 28, 1950

Raven's World Tasks — Feathers nest—forgets tree

Raven's World Tasks

Feathers nest—forgets tree

Are the tanks that Canon Raven really believes confront us the most important tasks that confront us? Or was that an unwarranted implication from the headline?

The Predicament

"The destruction of Hiroshima, though this is terrible enough, does not matter so much as the wrong human relationships which cause eventually such destruction. Seeking, in consequence, to understand such a situation, he would offer four main fundamental problems."

It is now clear that he considered the problems stated to be the four main problems.

Q: Isn't human relationships an unfortunate term since it suggests only human relationships and avoids as presumably the lecture avoided the relation of human with God?

Race Relationships

The crowded East and unused New Zealand problem is not to be solved by removing immigration laws. Either those admitted absorb our culture and birth control themselves into extinction or they impose their ideas, their culture and their standard of living on New Zealand and recreate the Asian problem somewhere else. The solution is more radical than that.

Q: Is it Christian to submit a country nominally Christian to an invasion by a pagan majority with the risk of losing the little Christianity we have?

Rapprochement of Churches

"Apart from the Catholic Church (pardon me)—apart from the Roman Catholic Church sectarian divisions now existing are anachronisms—the main issues which called them into being no longer exist, and the extant differences are mainly in forms of government."

Apart from a lack of evidence which may have been in this lecture this appears to be a very sweeping statement. To suggest a couple of tests. Does an Anglican take this purely governmental view of his separation from the Methodist? Within the Anglican Church is the denial of the Divinity of Christ by Bishop Barnes purely governmental? There are 4000 religions in New York alone and it would be under-estimating the disunity that exists to suggest that the main differences are governmental,

Undoubtedly there is saintliness among all churches but the barriers and the differences were created by Protestant choice and are maintained on the Protestant thesis. Unity is impossible upon the basis of private interpretation.

Q: Does the standard of infallibility require a human to measure up to the standard, or is this a misunderstanding of that Catholic doctrine and is this the basic issue as to the truth of Catholicism, anyway.


It is encouraging to see learned men concerned with spiritual and fundamental issues, but Canon Raven did not suggest any remedies. The tasks that confront us are concerned with issues far more fundamental than he sees them.

He is content to say that the White Australia policy is "never moral" and if that is his view then he believes that there is truth. Truth is the basic element and its seeking is the basic and necessary task.

Is there or is there not truth ? Can we know it and does it demand anything? Until that issue is fairly faced the tasks that confront us will remain quite easily seen and impossible of solution. It is almost a platitude to state those problems for they have been obvious for a long time now.