Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor and an Australian panellist. These are his own words.
I am an aging, crumbling, broken-down retired country solicitor nudging 66 years, living in a constant state of domestic delirium with Jan, now into our 41st year. Our two adult daughters live 10 minutes drive away, the younger married one with husband and our two cute little granddaughters aged 10 and 8.
We used to collect them from school on Thursday afternoons to take them for afternoon ‘tea’, comprising a gastronomic delight at MacDonalds where I tended to enjoy the tastier cardboard or plastic wrapping, after which it’s off to the beach or something similar depending on the weather. Great fun. We have now graduated in our culinary tastes and prefer to eat where “the burgers are better at Hungry Jacks”.
I am the middle child of three, both sisters living in the southern wastelands called Sydney with their extended families, and nearby my soon-to-be 91 year old mother still lives alone – as a young family we escaped from there over 23 years ago to settle on The Tweed.
God willing, in early November 2014 Jan & I are off to Sydney to attend my high school’s 50th year reunion together with spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends or whatever. The farthest afield to attend is an architect coming from Beijing. No doubt we will swap stories of, and compare definitions of, success forged over the previous half century.
After obtaining an economics degree from Sydney University, at the wise old age of 21 I headed off alone by ship to South Africa and thereafter drifted to wherever my backpack led me during the ensuing 16 months. After hitch-hiking (when possible) thru many countries in southern and north Africa, Europe, parts of the Middle East and overland to India, I finally flew home from Singapore to study law, also at Sydney U.
The Law Profession
After the arrival of our older daughter Ainslie, Jan wanted her to be baptised: why I had no idea. But our LORD had determined that that was how I would be introduced to this strange but interesting new area of learning (intellectual only at that stage) called Christianity, the gospels being far more interesting than studying income tax law. Over 37 years later, here I am.
As the years passed applying and honing the gladiatorial skills of the courtroom, and subsequently in an office environment through the mail and over the ‘phone, I became evermore impressed with the power of logic and a well-reasoned argument combined with (not surprisingly) the skillful choice and use of words.
But outside the austere legal environment, in daily life where the rules of evidence and courtroom etiquette imposed by a demanding judge do not apply, I discovered that there is something more powerful than logic and reason: vis personal preference, which is not ‘logic based’.
You have no doubt discovered this too when debating with a ‘rusted on’ voter of a different political persuasion. Doesn’t matter what arguments you put forward does it? The same interesting (at times frustrating) phenomenon is experienced when debating the ‘rusted on’ atheist who will not genuinely intellectually engage with you for the simple reason: they don’t want to.
Their preference is to remain mentally and emotionally comfortable by not contemplating answerability to an invisible, vastly superior supernatural spiritual Being. This is the foundational issue in the creation v. evolution debate, it really having nothing whatsoever to do with science. That is simply the chosen garb to give the god of evolution (‘lord science’) intellectual respectability and acceptance.
Post retirement over 5 years ago, we have continued with our ballroom dancing, occasionally ride our bikes beside the beautiful blue-green Tweed River, learn rock ‘n’ roll, and at times enjoy a cold beer, bottle of wine and cheeses also beside that River, where we might occasionally sight some dolphins and maybe a turtle.
I have also utilised these ‘years of entitlement’ to write a book about the creation: evolution debate (as stated and explained therein, the mindset of evolution does not qualify to be called a theory), which debate will not end ‘till the happening of the magnificent victorious return of Jesus.
I feel privileged to have been invited to join the Australian Panellists, being firmly of the view that Well-Being Australia's Dr Mark Tronson has done a great thing in providing young, mature, passionate Christian men and women from varied backgrounds, with an international platform on which to express themselves about a diverse range of topics of their choice.
Gavin Lawrie 2017 young writer conference with Emma McGeorge
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at