10 questions with: George Bryant September 19, 2008Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, George Bryant, New Zealand Without God.
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At Castle we assisted prolific author George Bryant with publishing his latest book – New Zealand Without God? George has a vast amount of experience in public life, providing experience and credentials for this insightful and crucial new book. We asked George a few questions about his life, his new book and New Zealand…
I know you’re not one to let the grass grow under your feet – what are some of things you’ve done in your adult life so far?
I’ve taught and administered the teaching of teenagers for 37 years, involving the Principalship of a high school for 15 years. Also been a school chaplain and pastored a couple of churches. Have written some 20 non-fiction books and booklets. Involved in numerous community groups, played squash, tennis and golf, and watched too many movies!
What are you most passionate about?
Seeing individuals and societies reformed. We don’t have to put up with negative, bad things that happen to us or go on around us. I’m keen on seeing people healed – in the widest sense.
You’ve written a number of books, what is the most rewarding part of that process?
Actually seeing the final, printed product, after countless hours of work – just as an artist gains great satisfaction on viewing his or her finished masterpiece.
Tell us how New Zealand Without God came into being…
I got the idea standing in a cathedral in Southern Ireland. A great deal of money had been spent on renovating it. It did look great, but only 60 worshipped there on a Sunday and they were mostly over 70 years old! Then I saw many abandoned or converted churches around Britain. The same thing was happening in NZ. So I set to wondering what NZ would be like without the influence of Christianity.
How would you summarise the message of New Zealand Without God?
NZ society has major, worsening social problems. The good influence of Christianity is slowly but surely disappearing. What is replacing it? If we want a better society we need to follow some basic core values. I analyse six of them.
How do you think people will be challenged by and respond to New Zealand Without God?
I hope readers will be personally challenged to do something constructive about the declining social, moral and spiritual values around them.
Is controversy a bad thing for a book to stir up?
No. It is good to get people thinking. Awareness of any situation is necessary before effective action can take place.
What do you see as the best possible outcome from people reading this book?
The best outcome would be for readers to accept the challenge of promoting peace instead of violence, replacing hate with love, arrogance with humility and commit themselves to working with others to improve the communities they live in.
What are the best things about New Zealand?
I would like to say ‘people’ but can’t. Although there are some really nice, caring people around so many are selfish, disrespectul, uncaring and violent. The best thing about NZ is its beautiful God-given scenery and clean air.
Tell us about other book projects you’re working on…
I’m presently researching and interviewing people who have struggled against the odds through disability of some sort (physical, poverty, abuse, business failure…) – and not only survived but gone on to help their community. What motivates people to work through their pain and be ‘successful’?
To enquire about New Zealand Without God?, or to order copies, please contact us.