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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 6. April 9, 1968

Arbitrary definition

Arbitrary definition

Sir—It seems the new N.C.C. chaplain, the Rev. Peter Jennings has a penchant for playing with arbitrary definitions so that he may be wrongly quoted in part.

To make the rather naive point that he would like to see the church in a more active role in the University than merely administering to souls (the mereness of this role seeming to follow another well. known pop theologician*, Prolessor Geering), he has so confused his reporter as to have him think that man has no spiritual need whatsoever.

To say that the only measurable property of man, or the University, or whatever, is that he is man, or the University, or whatever, is to reduce one's powers of observation to such a basic level as to be useless However this revolutionary idea seems the only basis for deciding man's lack of spiritual need.

It seems man's chief end is now wisdom, not an essentially new idea. However, the relationship between wisdom, moral calibre and works (without which wisdom/faith is dead) is not clear, or are professorial deviations excused by that other arbitrary definition academic freedom?

Perhaps next week's exercise is to play with definitions of the word "spiritual".

* theologian-magician.

A. D. Rae

[I think you will find Mr. Jennings was not wrongly) quoted—ed.]