Geering and God: 1965-71: The Heresy Trial that Divided New Zealand
by Lloyd Geering (BWB Texts, paper $14.99; e-book $4.99)
Reviewed by Judith Nathan
This text is an extract from Sir Lloyd Geering’s autobiography, Wrestling with God, published in 2006, with a brief foreword about Professor Geering by Allan Davidson, a leading New Zealand church historian. Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s. Perhaps I should state up front that I remember my father supporting Professor Geering’s views, so I came to this volume predisposed to admire it.
One wonders whether theological articles today could be so divisive as these were, and whether they would result in the author being not only vilified within his church but also interviewed on television. Christianity can still rouse intense public criticism but it is in relation to sects such as the Destiny Church, not a mainstream denomination. It is hard to imagine a 21st century trial for heresy.