RLDG DISCUSSION 18. ON VALUES AND MEASUREMENT

Discussion Held: 8 June 2022

The purpose of this discussion was to review, comment on and refine the current section 3.2, on Multi-values and their measurement. Also discussed was the 'big picture' of economics, including its mandate. It is part of the series of the RLDG discussions, which started at the 2020 Reith Lectures.

Present: AH, AB. Apologies: CA, NO.

[AB hosted this discussion, recorded it and then transcribed it (21 June 2022), inserting links, notes and comments. AB adopted two roles in doing this, (a) of editor, e.g. giving links to other material, adding "***" to important points, explaining things, or attaching unique labels for future reference (actually only places for labels to be added later); (b) of contributor, inserting responses to what had just been said, especially some that he would have made had be been able to. The latter are added in order to further the discussion, especially in a way that could contribute to our Rethink. These are distinguished as "[Ed: ...]" and "AB: ...]". Sometimes he will even criticise himself for what was said on the day!]

Contents

----- Unrecorded Discussion

# AH: "My aim is that creation care would come to be seen as a normal part of xn life, as normal as music, worship, charity, etc."
# AB: Ecochurch? # AH: Ed. Brown. CareOfCreation.net

[recording started]

----- Is Measuring Value Reductionist? [zei01]

[Ed. AH came up with an important question.]

# AH: That brings up a question I had when I was writing my book in 2007 about statistics in the WsW, that was with the help of Bruce Wearne and Roy Clouser. [Ed. Hartley AM. 2008. Christian and Humanist Foundations for Statistical Inference: Religious Control of Statistical Paradigms. Resource Publications, Eugene, Oregon, USA.] []

# A question I had in my mind at that time was "To what extent is measuring the emotional or aesthetic or economic, biological or pistical - all these properties and laws - is that reductionistic at all?" []

--- Reducing Value to the Quantitative Aspect [zei02]

# When we measure something about those different aspects, are we reducing those aspects to the quantitative aspect?
# AB: right.
# AH: I could never find where this might be addressed within, say the New Critique or Dooyeweerd's other writings.

# AB: That's a good point. # AH: Well, I don't whether I can be so strong as to call it a "point". I'm not a philosopher. And it always seems like the WdW is kind of vague on what exactly is reductionism. But of course I have not read it through, the New Critique; I've not even read through one of the volumes. []

[Ed. WdW is the 1930s precursor to Dooyeweerd's New Critique in the 1950s, which translated WdW into English and added more. ]

# AB: I've never read through, but I think it's a very valid question.
# Because, in the earlier discussions, before you joined us, I think it was the 4th and the 5th [discussions], we discussed value and measuring value. (Ed. Actually the 3rd was the first one on measuring value.] You might like to look at the notes there. Just eyeball the notes. It rambled a bit, as discussions do, but there are some useful things there. []
[02.50]
# In those days, I was taking what we discussed and I was putting it into a file called topics.html and with references. I gave up after about the 5th [Ed. Actually, after the 2nd! So points from the 3rd to 5th are not in that file.] If you go to the main website, which is "http://christianthinking.space/economics/reith2020/" and then you'll find a link called "topics". But the Rethink is a directory above that called "economics". [Ed. Actually, the audio has a load of bumbling about, and AB got the link wrong, so I have given the correct link and the name of the file.] In the "topics" file I've collected a number of things about measurement - I've given up on the topics thing [Ed. Sadly, before the measurement discussions, so that statement is not correct.]
[04.40]

--- 1. Types of value [zei03]

# AB: [Three types of value.] One the discussions [Ed. The 5th] was about that there are some values that cannot be measured. RG was good on this, and published a paper. At the other extreme, there is money, which is the quantitative measurement assumed for all value. In between there seems to be a kind of approximate value, there are some things about which we can say "more" or "less". That's / # AH: Ordering? # AB: Ordering, but ordering in quantity [AB: and also where we can have approximate sameness, which of course is not ordered]. []
# In fact, almost all ordering is a retrocipation back to or an analogy of quantity and more or less. I tend to characterize the quantitative aspect now, sometimes by the word "amount" or "quantity" but now, to make it more tangible, I sometimes say "Anything that you can say meaningfully, 'more' or 'less' about" is quantitative. I think you will probably find that in New Critique. []
# AB: So, there are types of value that cannot be given a precise number but you can say "more" or "less" about it. Like, I think / You can say "louder, softer", or you can say "more friendly, less friendly". Although you can never be precise about it.
# But there are some things that cannot even say "more" or "less" about. Some examples / []
# Now, that's one point.
[06.55]

--- 2. Reasons for measuring [zei04]

# The second point is: "What are the reasons why we might want to measure?" []
# Quantitatively or perhaps qualitatively for those we cannot get quantitative about. []
# One of the reasons was to get an overview; "Are we improving in what we are doing?" And there are a few other reasons, and they came up with a discussion. And I've put some of those reasons in our rethink. [AB: Some reasons for measuring: giving an overview, judging whether or not we are improving in any given venture, presentation, benchmarking, prioritizing in decision-making and planning ] []

# AB: This is en route to addressing your question of "Is it reductionist to try and measure psychological up to pistical [value]?" []
# It's [Measuring is] not necessarily reductionist but it is distortive. []
# In that Donald de Raadt, an early Dooyeweerdian that I knew, he talked about "transducing meaning into the quantitative". Now I don't know whether that's his own word, or whether it's a real word, but / representing things in numbers. []
# And, as long as you can say "more" or "less" about, there's some validity in doing so. Especially if you can make some count or measurement about it. []
# Now, there's two ways of doing it. One is to count things. The other is to measure things against a yardstick, like inches. # AH: Some standard, that we know, such as how long, or how heavy, or the temperature. # AB: Yeah. Whereas the other one is to count. []
# Now, I've actually put these into the section on Measuring Value, and you'll find it in the pdf I sent a couple of weeks ago.

# So, I was writing these things down just to make sense of them.
# I think its not so much reductionist but more distortive. And there's various amounts of distortion. []
[09.50]

----- Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation [zei05]

[Ed. The discussion then moved onto quantitative and qualitative measurement.]

--- Why Quantitative Measurement Might be Necessary [zei06]

# AH: Well, ah, yknow, where this comes to the practical realm of making decisions, and the way we act in the world, is appropriate risk-taking. [] ***

# I don't see the way to use judgement and probability without quantifying belief. And belief measured on a continuous scale, maybe 0 to 100%. [] ***

# AH: For instance, in the artificial case of making a bet at the lottery. How do you decide whether it's prudent to buy a ticket in the lottery? Well, that has to do with the probability of winning, and how much the ticket costs, and how much you would win if you did win. So, how to decide whether to take that bet, without those three things, and those three things require measuring the faith, measuring the belief that you will win. # AB: So, what were those three things again? # AH: [1.] The investment, namely how much the ticket would cost. 1. The probability of winning if you did win. Let me rephrase that more simply. The probability that you would win if you entered the bet. 3. The amount of winnings: if you did win, how much would you win? (And of course, I'm not interested in the lottery in particular, nor casinos nor playing slot machines.) []

# This [example of betting] is just a pedagogical device for the decisions we make every day, when we take risks, such as whether we should take an umbrella when we go outside, that depends on how inconvenient is the umbrella, how bad it would be if you did get wet, and what's the probability of rain - that's another analogy for the lottery scenario that I'm talking about. The lottery example is archetypical of the decisions we make every day. []
[13.15]

[AB: But surely not all appropriate risk-taking is like with betting in needing these kinds of calculations? Are there not some judgements in which the issue is not these quantitative considerations, but rather which issues to take into account - a qualitative issue - and which have priority over others - an ordering issue? ]

--- Qualitative? [zei07]

# AB: A lot of those decisions, though, sound to me qualitative rather than quantitative. []
# [For example] "How bad it would be if I did get wet" is something that's more naturally a qualitative thing. So, for example, if I did get wet, I could be open to catching some sort of flu or something. If I did get wet, then it would make me uncomfortable. If I did get wet, I would have the inconvenience of drying things when I got home. Especially if I'm living in a tent on the mountainside. # AH: Yeah, sometimes getting wet could be fatal. # AB: Yeah. Even positives. Do I ike getting wet? I remember taking my son on a camping trip, and it poured with rain and he had boots on, and he got wet in his boots, and he said really enjoyed the feeling of water in his boots! Well, I don't, but I've learned not to enjoy it. # AH: And yes, when I'm running, and it's a hot day, I like to get wet. So in that case, I would definitely not bring my umbrella! []
# AH: So, you say that's qualitative?

[AB: Not only is that qualitative, but these are all cast in terms of human and weather functioning rather than in terms of quantitative calculations or even qualitative truth-values. ]

[14.50]

--- Quantitative measures of qualitative [zei08]

# AH: Yknow, I could conceive of putting a quantitative impact on all those things. # AB: Quantitative impact? # AH: Quantitative. # AB: OK, such as? # AH: Well, it depends on how much my clothes would be damaged if they got wet. How much did they cost originally, and how much their lifespan be shortened, or their colours would run if they got wet. # AB: I'll write these down. How much my clothes would be damaged if wet, how much it would cost me to replace them, and there was something about drying them or washing them? # AH: Sure, you could consider a cost like that too. # AB: how much it would cost me to dry them. []

# AH: If I had a book, of course, if I'm carrying a book, then the book getting wet could be a pretty severe cost, or a serious cost, especially if it's someone else's book rather than my own. # AB: Yes, I've done that; I dropped it in the mud! Oh dear. I slipped over. I was reading it as I was going, and I slipped in the mud. And it was someone else's book.
# AH: Well, being in a quantitative discipline as I am, it's tempting to put a price or an amount on each of these costs. []
# AB: In my case, when I dropped the book, it wasn't the amount. I should have thought, "I'll try and get him a new copy." It didn't cross my mind. It was embarrassment, the apology - and those are both qualitative of course. [AB: Not so much qualitative as human functioning.] And the feeling of "He cannot trust me with books any more." I'll put, the breaking of trust. []
# AH: And I was guilty of that at one time too. I allowed a book that someone lent me, I allowed it to become wet and therefore wrinkled. And the person was quite upset at me. # AB: Yeah, yeah: you never did that again! []

# AH: You're saying that some of these things really cannot be quantified? # AB: Yeah. []

[AB: Actually, AB is probably not quite correct there. Many of those things can be quantified, but it distorts to do so. So, whether to quantify or not will depend on circumstance and requirements. ] [] ***

# AH: Is there a way / Does the WdW tell us which ones cannot be quantified? []

[ AB: Note that quantification itself is human functioning, the functioning similar to a Gegenstand relation in theoretical thought. We are standing over against what we are trying to measure, rather than truly engaging with it. ] [] ***

# I should read RG's paper on / # AB: Yes, Gunton et al. 2017. # AH: Do you remember the title of that work? # AB: It's something like "Valuing the Invaluable". I could send you a copy if you like. # AH: Electronically? # AB: Yeah, because I'm one of the authors. []
# ACTION AB: Send copy of RG's paper to AH. []
[19.25]

--- Evaluating Multi-aspectual Human Functioning [zei09]

# AB: If we think in terms of: the mandate of economics is for everything go contribute towards Overall Good, and the the mandate of economics is to help us deal with Good as resource / []
# Including investment, actually; your point [Ed. in an email from AH] about sacrifice there [as the kernel meaning of the economic aspect, an idea from which AH departed later] is not entirely without foundation. []
# Then the idea of Overall Good is not necessarily quantitative or qualitative. It's the whole functioning of Creation. []
# And so, take the example of the guy that got upset when you wrinkled his / got his book wet. That probably cannot be measured quantitatively. It is even difficult to deal with it qualitatively, i.e. conceptually. It is more a henavioural thing, things to do with functioning. It's to do with functioning by you and by him, functioning / Possibly it was carelessness on your part, or you had not learned that kind of being careful (especially when one is a child), and then there is the functioning of forgiveness versus unforgiveness on the other person's part, as well as the physical functioning of the water and the paper wrinkling and things like that. []
# So, its a kindof multi-aspectual thing there. Well, we can never really fully think it out. But I guess that you have always been careful since then, so it's changed your functioning. [AH laughs] And the fact that you have been more careful has probably contributed, a tiny little bit, to the grand total of SHalom, as it were, than if you had not learned that lesson. []
# AH: Especially in the moral and economic realms. # AB: Yeah. # AH: The ??two ends meet in?? the needs of others, what they appreciate. I guess the social realm too, the social aspect. []

[AB: That might be a good example to cite about how we should evaluate the human functioning in economic activity rather than mere resources. ] [] ***

[20.20]

----- The 'Big Picture' of Economics [zei10]

[Ed. The discussion then moved away from measurement and value to the 'big picture' of economics, which is more concerned with the issues of Mandate and Embedding. ]

--- The Mandate of Economics [zei11]

# AB: That's ultimately, I think, what we are called towards. []
# AH: Shalom. # AB: Yeah. As human beings, the Creational mandate is to develop the total of Good in the whole Creation, which I call Overall Good or Shalom or something. []

[AB: That is the 'big picture' that should be always borne in mind when discussing economics. ]

# AH: And Genesis 2:15, the Garden. []
# AB: So, if that's the case, then things like economics are one aspect, and they are there to help us [towards fulfilling that mandate] and they can contribute themselves. []
# Still have to work out exactly how. []
# But qualitative /

# AH: The frugality of economics allows us to gain more with the same amount of effort, or to expend less, for the same results. [] ***
# AB: I like that. Especially the "gain more" rather than "expend less". It's the positive [r.t. negative]. []
# AH: Well, in this time of resource scarcity, and the need to reduce certain types of impact on the Earth, I think that we need to move towards using less to get the same results. Or even to use much less to get a smaller result. [] ***
# which, of course, is not what world wants to hear! # AB: Yeah, exactly. []
[24.45]

--- Rethinking the 'Cost of Living' Crisis? [zei12]

# AH: Orientation towards growth. []

# AB: As you've probably heard, in Britain there is a "cost of living crisis" and various other things. []
# AH: Inflationary, you are saying? # AB: Well, inflation has gone up. It's now about up at ahout 9% or something bad. # AH: 9% since this time last year? # AB: I think so. # AH: That's quite ??morketed?? that's fast. # AB: it was /
# AB: Even before inflation started, last Autumn there was a cost of living crisis, especially the cost of energy crisis. Even before the Russian thing, there was an energy crisis. Cost of energy going up.

# And, my feeling was that we in Britain have been living beyond our means on stuff that was actually too cheap [for us] and the cost of living going up is really just going to what it should be. [] ***

# AB: It's not a good [acceptable] message, and I never hear anyone else say that on the Radio or anything. And I don't feel capable of muscling in and saying it myself, because there's an awful lot that I don't know. But it certainly needs to be said. [] ***
[26.30]

--- Doughnut Economics [zei13]

# AH: Well, do you think that with these higher prices we moving towards the Doughnut, in Raworth's terms? Are we getting inside the sweet spot [in the doughnut] of both sustainability and meeting human needs? [] ***
# AB: That's a good point. Let's look at that.

# AH: Well, my first reaction that is, Number 1, that I feel the same. You definitely have a brother in arms there, a compatriot / # AB: Very pleased at that. []

[Discussion of Doughnut continues below.]

--- Carbon Pricing [zei14]

# AH: But I also want to say that the primary piece of legislation that I'm working on is one where we put a price on carbon. You've probably heard of carbon pricing. And I think even the UK has as system like that, as do many countries. []
# That is partly an effort to bring us into the Doughnut, even though we don't really think in terms of the Doughnut. []
# It's bringing the price of coal, oil and methane towards its cost. []
# Yknow, cost and price are not the same thing, because cost includes all the externalities of an economic transaction. []
# All the third parties who are affected by the transportation and use of that fossil fuel. So, what the carbon price does, is it raises the price that people pay.
# And if used properly [Ed. I highlight "if" for below], it can help to mitigate some of those negative externalities. So the price and the cost are closer together, because of that carbon price. []

# AB: Yes. That's the theory. I noticed you said the little word "if": "if used properly." And the / []
# AH: For instance, if we put that money towards the development of clean energy or if we give at least some of that money to the communities who are being disadvantaged by pollution, for instance if they have to live next to a fossil fuel refinery. # AB: Yeah. # AH: So there are many ideas out there about how to use those fees when they are collected. []
[Carbon pricing contibues below.
[29.30]

--- Plans and Strategies for Change [zei15]

# AB: I'll take you up a little bit on the word "if" [Ed. highlighted above].
# You see, in conversation, we often say "if used properly" or "if". And the way it is said, it's almost an assumption that the "if" takes on a value of true. Whereas, often, the "if" takes on a value of False. [AB: [] ***

[AB: For example, putting money towards developing clean energy or disadvantaged communities is unlikely to happen as fully as it should. The IF there is largely FALSE. But in conversation, does our optimism about the ideas we like not make us assume the "if" is true? ]

# AH: Some time I'll have to tell you the joke about statisticians in that regard. # AB: What's your joke? # AH: A statistician and a physicist and a chemical engineer are stranded on a desert island. Their ship went aground and they had to swim over to this very small uninhabited place. So they did have a can of beans. Somebody did happen to have a can of beans in their pocket. So the question was to open this can of beans, because they have not can opener. So, the physicist say, "Well, you just climb to top of that palm tree and throw the can of beans down, and the rocks will break it open." The chemical engineer says, "No, that's gonna be too messy. What we have to do is put together this chemical concoction to burn the can open." But the statistician says, "Well, it's easy. You just have to assume that we have a can opener." [laughter] []

# And that's what we [statisticians] do all the time: we make assumptions that are off and unrealistic. [] ***

# AB: You see, that "if we use it properly" is something that a multi-aspectual approach could help us overcome. Because we ask, "What are the aspects of using it properly?" []
# Because [in saying] "if we use it properly", usually we put certain aspects aside. And it may be the formative aspect in that we don't have the means to do something, or the ethical aspect in that we assume people are fully altruistic and there is no selfishness, and whatever it is, and so on. []
# AH: So those aspects serve as reminders to us to think of all the implications of this or that way to use the collected fees. []
[32.30]

[AB: Note: As our Rethink suggests, it is one thing to have a conceptual mechanism (Dooyeweerd's aspects etc.) to understand and think of all relevant factors, but it is another thing to be motivated to give real importance to them, especially when established interests are being called upon to sacrifice some of their dominant positions or their traditional habits. Or maybe we should say "our" rather than "their"? Dooyeweerd can provide a framework for understanding; it requires religious commitment to be motivated to sacrifice, and it takes Christian religious perspective to understand God's way of this and have hope for the future. See ENRICHING WITH A 'CHRISTIAN' PERSPECTIVE. ] []

[Strategy for change continues below.]

--- Back to Carbon Pricing [zei16]

# AH: From the standpoint of the politics here in the US, there is a strong contingent that depends heavily on the free market. The school that says, "The Capitalistic system can solve all problems." There is much of a faith in that. []
# So to make Carbon fee palatable politically and viable, what we're working on now is to return the collected feed to consumers in equal shares. So it doesn't matter what sort of fossil fuels you use, or what is your carbon footprint, you get the same amount, no matter if it's high or low. And this is designed to incentivize the movement towards clean erergy. []

[AB: I remember a discussion we had during the 13th discussion on moral concerns of left and right, understanding of which can help strategize our attempts. ]

# AB: Now, would they think that's too socialist? # AH: There are some people who say that. Right. []
# One strength is that it protects the low income families from higher energy prices because they will generally receive more in that divident, in that payback than they pay with higher energy costs. Whereas of course, high energy users, those who use a lot of fossil fuels especially, they'll be paying more than the dividends they receive. []
[34.25]

# AB: In Europe we have had a carbon trading scheme, and some some sort of carbon tax, but it's been an abysmal failure. Because - I haven't really taken much notice of it, but I read something a month or two ago about its failure. And I think one was that it almost makes a feeling for a company or a country that "Oh well, we can carry on as normal, and all we ??need to do?? is pay someone else to reduce their carbon." []
# AH: So we depend on a government programme to solve our problems? # AB: Yeah, yeah. Or another country. # AH: Why do you say "another country"? []

--- Outsourcing Our Carbon Emissions [zei17]

# AB: Well, if its a inter-country / # AH: Like the EU? # AB: Yeah or / But especially the African countries and so on. The EU is very close to Africa geographically. # AH: Yeah. So are you saying that Europeans would depend on Africans to reduce the overall global carbon footprint. []
# AB: Well, I think we have already done so for some years and decades. []
# AH: Maybe by moving the manufacturing and mining to poorer countries, developing countries? # AB: Well, that's what Britain did in the 1990s, 1980s and 90s. We exported our dirty industries to ??? I remember Mrs Thatcher (was it Mrs. Thatcher? maybe it was post her) / []
# The idea that we were going to become a service economy. # AH: Oh sure, yeah. In the US we call it an information economy. # AB: Yeah. So, let China build all / do all the manufacturing / # AH: Suffer from all the cancers, emphysemas and all these diseases. # AB: Yeah. []
# And it's partly because Mrs. Thatcher was / her main enemies as it were was the rail, coal and steel industries. Especially the coal miners. And so she had a great incentive to get us away from manufacturing. # AH: The public was complaining about the diseases and the unpleasantness of living so close to to these high-emitting industries? # AB: No, no, no, it was because we had this year-long, nearly-year-long strike by the coal miners against Thatcher. She wanted to close the coal mines and there was a lot of sympathy for the coal miners. Coal mining was an honourable occupation for a century, because the British industrial revolution was built on coal; we conquered the world because of coal. []
[38.00]

--- Back to Strategy for Change [zei18]

# AH: So that occupation was seen as heroic? # AB: It is heroic, because it was a very dangerous occupation. # AH: Griity and self-sacrificing and hard work. It's honest. # AB: And it's honest. []

[AB: In rethinking the economy, we have to take into account those who used to work in the 'dirty', 'rust belt' old industries. They often see themselves, and are seen by many, as heroic, as self-sacrificing for the good of the country, as hard-working, honest, etc. These are genuine qualities in other aspects, such as pistic, ethical, formative and juridical, and the qualities in those aspects did actually help the Economy at the time. They used to be told their sacrifice and work were honourable.

Strategy for change: So, when we 'middle-class thinkers' come along and say that their industries are bad, and must be closed down, we are up against the pistic, ethical and other aspects as well as the economic. Dooyeweerd's aspects can help us be careful and compassionate. Such people might accept a different, even higher, vision for the meaningfulness of their lives. Their self-sacrifice can be applauded, but turned to higher things than mere growing GDP. We, who pride ourselves on thinking, must take on the responsibility of thinking this out, not just making easy political statements. ] [] ***

# AB: So, miners thought of themselves / a lot of others thought of the miners as the peak of the workers. # AH: I think we share a lot there, US versus Britain. []
# AB: And I mean, we need to take these things into account. []
[38.40]
[Continues with the need for Revival below.]

--- Doughnut and Ecological Footprint [zei19]

# AB: Let's go back to Doughnut. []
[Discussion of Doughnut economics, continued from above.]

# AH: Well, I do need to get going. As I said, my mother depends on me. She's looking for some lunch here pretty soon.

# AB: Let me say something about Doughnut.
# AB: "Are in the sweet spot?" Well, we might have moved slightly towards the sweet spot. []
# AH: With the higher prices that Britain is now experiencing? []
# AB: Yeah.
# But, given that on average European countries have an ecological footprint of three Earths, and the United States, five Earths. Then, to get between the social floor and the ecological ceiling, well, what we assume is the social floor, what is reasonable socially is probably above the ecological ceiling, because of our affluent expectations, already. [Ed. See Is The Ceiling Above the Floor?] [] ***

# AB: To reduce our ecological footprint by two-thirds [From 3.0 to less than 1.0], how on earth is the population going to welcome that? # AH: It's unimaginable. # AB: In the United States. []
# AH: Well, you can make some progress by levelling the playing field in terms of the rich and the poor. The rich are not going to over-consume, or at least not as much. []
# AB: Yes, you can do something like that.

--- Strategy for Change: Need for Holy-Spirit Revival [zei20]

# AB: But my feeling is that the only solution we have is spiritual revival. [] ***
# As in the Welsh Revival of 1904. I don't know what revivals there have been in the United States, but there was one in Canada in the 1970s. There was one in Sweden in the 1850s. Then there was the Rwanda Revival. # AH: When was the Welsh Revival? # AB: 1904. # AH: I'll have to look that up. []
# AB: It changed society. Because hearts were changed by the Holy Spirit. And people no longer wanted to get drunk, they no longer wanted to beat their wives, spend all their money at the pub, and so on. They were changed inside. []
# And, unless we have that, [in which] people no longer want to consume, no longer [aspire to], in Europe, it's well, "We need to fly away to holidays" and so on. Unless people just of themselves no longer want to do this, I don't think we've got a chance. But / []

# AH: When you say "revival" for me, it has a little bit of a negative tone. Because so much of the Revival Movement in the US has been very personalistic. Where we look in terms of emotions only, and a feeling of giving my heart to God. And, yknow, being at peace with my future; with a certainty that I'll be in heaven when I die. This kind of thing. And it's not focused at all on reformation, on justice, on mercy, on societal Shalom. [] ***
# I don't know if you share any of that [concern]? # AB: Well, I do and I don't.
# AB: I do think that revivals, especially Pentecostal revivals have been very personalistic and unconcerned. But if it's a work of the Holy Spirit - and the work of the Holy Spirit is to bring about love, joy, peace, patience [Galatians 5:22-23] : peace with our surroundings, patience with nature, yknow, these attitudes, then I don't see why He (I'm not sure whether the Holy Spirit is a He or a She [laughter]), the Holy Spirit can change / by changing / it has to be / I believe it's become too personalistic, but I believe it [change in society etc.] has to change in the heart of the person. # AH: Sure, it starts there. []
# AB: I mean what's called "revival" is often just an emotional meeting; that's not revival. Revival is when the whole of society is changed. As in the Hebridean Revival and the Welsh Revival. []
# AH: So, are you saying that the Welsh Revival was more than just personalistic? # AH: Absolutely. But it was personalistic, because people gave their hearts to Christ, willingly, and they came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit individually, but that had fruit in the social. [] ***
# AB: It wasn't that they thought "We need to get revival in order to get fruit in the social. It [fruit in the social] was outcome of what the Holy Spirit did. And that was true revival. It happened in northern Sweden in the 1850s, and so on. []

----- End of Discussion [zei21]

# AH: Well I really hate to break off here.
# This has been a really worthwhile discussion. []
# Hopefully we can continue sometime soon.
# AB: Well what I'll do is: It'll be about the first Wednesday in July, I expect.
# AH: The 6th OK.
# AB: Yeah. We might even bring it forward.
# AH: Well, I've taken some notes here and you've given me a few readings to sort out.
# AB: Well, thank you very much. Good to have conversation one to one; that's great.
# AH: And, if you are ever stuck on a desert island, and want a statistician, give me a call. I'll make some good assumptions for you. [laughter].
# AB: OK, Bye bye.


Created 21 June 2022. Last updated: 24 June 2022 links.