Stimulus Volume 22 Issue 2 - Jul 2015


Prophesy and Social Justice: Christian Influences and the Development of Restorative Justice in New Zealand’s Adult Systems of Social Regulation, Control and Punishment
Douglas Mansill

Prophetic or Pathetic? The Response of the Churches to the 1951 Waterfront Dispute
Laurie Guy

Wesleyan Wives: The Role of Women in the Wesleyan Mission to New Zealand in the 1820s
Paul Moon

Berggrav and Bonhoeffer: Two Lutheran Models of Resistance Theology During World War II
Jim Pearson

The Voice: Pastoral Ministry: A Walk in the Park or a Walk on the Road?
Geoff New

Nigel Smith

“Do Not Go Beyond What is Written” (1 Cor 4:6)
Mark Keown

Vision: Inside Out
Sarah Penwarden

Book Reviews

St Imulus


“The Lord requires that his people do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with their God”. (Micah 6:8). Perhaps this is a text with which we are all too familiar; It is a text that has become the flagship for Christian Social Justice movements, and perhaps this is rightly so. Perhaps, on the other hand, it is a text that highlights the fact that some have turned their backs on offering justice and mercy to others. It is a text which challenges the churches still, both in our own practice and our ability to speak truth to power.

Three of the articles in this issue of Stimulus have picked up these themes. In 1994 a significant conference was held at the Teschemakers retreat centre near Oamaru around the theme of restorative justice. Later that year the Making Crime Pay conference drew together a wide range of speakers. A number of addresses from the conference were published in Stimulus, in what became known as the “Restorative Justice Issue”. Douglas Mansill picks up the conversation once more. A number of Christians in the legal system, community practitioners and clergy hoped to bring change to the justice system where a shift occurred to a particular focus on community well-being rather than punishment for the promotion of a revolutionary framework for the reformation of New Zealand’s adult regulatory system and subsequently the development of restorative justice and its implementation. Mansill, in his essay, reviews the decades since the conference and asks whether the vision developed back then can become a reality.

Laurie Guy reaches further back into history, remembering the 1951 Waterfront dispute. At the time a public perception was generated which stereotyped wharfies as those who seemingly wanted a lot of money for little work, and were denying “the motherland” its post war support. But there is another side to the wharfie story, where men were on call and only guaranteed a wage for part of the week, working in situations which today’s OSH would shut down due to the unsafe conditions. Given that support of any kind became illegal, what were the churches to do?

The 1951 dispute exposed faultlines in NZ society. The world was coming to terms with the experience and aftermath of World War II. The churches had much to ponder about their own responses to tyranny. The passage of time has enabled more frank and perceptive interpretations of our past to emerge. Jim Pearson’s article, “Berggrav and Bonhoeffer: Two Lutheran Models of Resistance Theology during World War II” compares and explores the lives of these two key Christian leaders who resisted the Nazis in their respective countries of Norway and Germany. He explores the different approaches that the two Lutheran Pastors took to confront and attempt to stop the movement.

The 2014 bicentenary of Samuel Marsden’s Christmas Day sermon at Oihi in the Bay of Islands has generated reconsiderations of Christian history on other fronts. Often we hear of the men who introduced Christianity to Aotearoa, and little is mentioned of the women involved. Paul Moon’s article addresses this by looking at the role of women in the Wesleyan Mission to New Zealand in the 1820s. He states that the wives of the early missionaries were more than “supporters”. The mission was more likely to thrive when couples functioned as a unit. The women’s roles were to work with their husbands, often to work specifically with Maori women. Although today we might find aspects of their views on the place of Maori, and Maori women in particular uncomfortable, it is because of these missionary women that Maori women were able to receive education, employment and received the Gospel.

Among our columns, Geoff New, regular contributor of “The Voice” offers an extended piece reflecting upon a significant change in his life – a shift from Pastoral Ministry to become the Dean of Studies at the Presbyterian Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Mark Keown provides the first in a new series from Laidlaw’s School of Theology. And Nigel Smith explores the synergy between faith and action in Synergeo.

Through reading this issue of Stimulus, we hope that in your own context you will find ways of doing justice, where you can love kindness and walk humbly with our God.

Fiona Sherwin and Martin Sutherland