Episode 051: Belief vs. Experience with Giles Parker

Show Notes

Intro music: Ventura Tyler Bates

Featured music: Once In A Lifetime David Byrne

Steve’s Blog post referenced in the podcast on “colonizing” scripture

Giles Parker

Hi Pilgrim,

Giles Parker returns to the show to help us wrestle with the tension of reconciling belief with experiences.  What happens when they don’t line up?  Have we replaced critical thinking with learning to handle and dismiss the ideas we don’t want to entertain?  Join us with Giles as we head out Beyond the Pale.


Steve & Tammy

Show Index

12:50- Validity of experience over belief?

15:00- Tammy shares from the heart

22:46- Reconciling the Bible with experience

34:22- Should the Christian “life” be focused on more than Christian “belief”?

41:28- Has Bible interpretation been “colonized”?

48:42- What did Jesus think was important?

58:42- Should we seek to find wholeness in ourselves or within community?


Check out this episode!


  • Steve Priest

    Steve (and Giles and Tammy) these comments are really aimed at Giles and Steve for no other reason than I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Tammy yet as Steve locked her in the flat when I came to HK to visit 🙂
    We have all talked at Belfast as well as other times and I am aware of both your backgrounds and can appreciate how far you have both travelled from your past(or) lives.
    However all I hear on this podcast is an attempt to reconcile belief to experience and so my comment/question has to be how and why do you still hold any belief in God when it seems so clear that we are more than capable of doing ‘his’ work all by ourselves?

    Really enjoyed listening to you and hoping to talk this through face to face again one day.


    • Steve

      Hi Steve, yes its true Giles and I are trying to reconcile belief and experience. As one of our fellow Belfast friends said to me once, “You and Giles have a lot in common. You both haven’t killed God yet.” 🙂 I agree though somewhat with your point about doing “his work”. I have argued, and did a podcast last summer, that Christians need to “grow up”. Quit treating God as if we are a 4 year old who has to get every directive from him. Jesus taught us a “way” that leads to life…now he desires us to get out there, make it happen and heal the world.
      I forgot where Tammy was when you came to visit last but promise to let her out of the tower if you visit again 🙂 Actually looking at trying to make it to Belfast this year with her.


  • Giles Parker

    Steve P ! Steve & Tammy’s flat is great and well worth being locked up in! The view is fab over the bay and the air conditioning is wonderful and allows you to escape the humid heat of HK. The kids are fab too! 🙂
    Regarding the ‘worky’ comment/question – I guess my basis for a belief in God is inherently not governed by whether or not I can live this life with or without his/her help. I too get a bit tired of christians who talk as if God is intervening in their lives almost as often as they draw breath. Currently reading the book of Acts and I’m struck with how ‘pragmatic’ the whole thing is.. It reads as if the early church are just trying stuff out and seeing what works. At the same time they are undoubtedly drawing on strength and courage (and anointing) from God to get through. I do personally look to God for guidance, resource, strength, help and at times rescue! Why? well for me it isn’t just because ‘the bible tells me too’, so I guess it’s also because I’ve become increasingly convinced through experience of his faithfulness and presence. That’s not so say that there haven’t been plenty of times when things haven’t gone to plan… so I guess this is where we get into the subjective and personal interpetation.

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