The first three chapters of this book were delivered as lectures at the Emmanuel College alumni reunion on 14, 15, and 16 May 1990 at Emmanuel College. Although various lectures of mine that were addressed specifically to Victoria College are in print (e.g., No Uncertain Sounds 1988), this is my first publication devoted specifically to Emmanuel College. I was very pleased that the lectures coincided with Douglas Jay's final year as principal, and consequently can be regarded as in part a tribute to him. I say in part, because I had also hoped to make this small book something of a shorter and more accessible version of the longer books, The Great Code and Words With Power, that I have written on the relations of the Bible to secular culture. Many passages from the longer books are echoed here, in what I hope is a somewhat simpler context. After writing the lectures out in their final form, however, it seemed to me that the total argument implied by them was still incomplete, and I have therefore, after considerable hesitation, added a fourth chapter.
The fact that these lectures were addressed by a member of The United Church of Canada to a largely United Church audience accounts for many of the allusions, for some of the directions in the argument, and for much of the tone. As is utterly obvious, they represent the opinions of one member of that church only. And even those opinions should not be read as proceeding from a judgement seat of final conviction, but from a rest stop on a pilgrimage, however near the pilgrimage may now be to its close.
University of Toronto