images that teach (5): the lid

February 21, 2024 /

A curious thing happens in our society today. A person who asserts that death is the end and that there is no heaven can still be heard longing that a loved one be ‘looking down from above’. For those with ears to hear, this kind of thing happens quite a lot. What is going on?…


is there a meaning in this (old) text?

February 6, 2024 /

Today is the day when New Zealanders give special attention to Te Tiriti O Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), the text on which our nation is founded—and signed 184 years ago. But how is it that old texts convey meaning in today’s world? This is a question that is never too far away for interpreters…


adding voices

January 20, 2024 /

I’ve been a big admirer of the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Carey Baptist College for some years. It is not too surprising because the pioneering energy for the Centre was provided by Mike Crudge, who was on the staff at Carey back in my time—and everything he did, he did with excellence. Over the…



January 12, 2024 /

The author was new to me. The title didn’t grab me. It was first published 15 years ago without ever catching my eye. In the end I didn’t even buy the book. It arrived in my mailbox a couple of years ago, as a gift. Is it any wonder that it just sat on my…


gentle and lowly

January 31, 2023 /

They are remembered for everything they aren’t.  That is a clumsy paraphrase of an observation JI Packer once made about the Puritans.  What comes to mind today with a word like ‘puritanical’ is such a long way from what the Puritans actually believed and how they lived—more than 400 years ago.  A long way?  From…


topical preaching

July 17, 2022 /

I’ve been working on my Introduction to Preaching course at Carey Baptist College (Auckland) in this coming semester.  It will be my 33rd consecutive year of teaching preaching at the seminary/college level.  It is hard to believe — and to keep me evolving I like to add something fresh each time… This year it is topical…


images that teach (3): the sun

July 10, 2022 /

After several days of cloudy skies, the evening sun returned to suggest a spectacular view.  So we drove to the car park and walked up to Latrigg View — to be greeted by this vista of Keswick, Derwentwater and the mountains beyond… With this post already taking shape in my mind, I just had to…


daniela’s art

March 6, 2022 /

New Zealanders who return from living overseas often comment on how insular we are.  The first place where this is noticed is with the media, which tends to set the agenda for conversation and empathy.  During these covidian times we’ve tended to be wrapped up so much in ourselves. My hunch is that the peoples…


wisdom: here & there

February 28, 2022 /

Last Monday was World Mother-Language Day.  Al Jazeera celebrated the day on their Interactives page by collecting 25 proverbs from 25 different languages, recited by speakers of that language.  If you scroll down this page, you’ll discover it.  It is very cool. This comes a couple of days after I came across Hinemoa Elder’s AROHA:…


migration and the making of global christianity

January 25, 2022 /

The early mornings between Christmas and New Year were spent absorbed in a book: Jehu Hanciles’ Migration and the Making of Global Christianity (Eerdmans, 2021). With a Foreward written by Philip Jenkins and an opening quotation from Lamin Sanneh, Hanciles had me wandering among my pantheon before he himself had written a word — and now he…



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About Me


the art of unpacking

After a childhood in India, a theological training in the USA and a pastoral ministry in Southland (New Zealand), I spent twenty years in theological education in New Zealand — first at Laidlaw College and then at Carey Baptist College, where I served as principal. In 2009 I began working with Langham Partnership and since 2013 I have been the Programme Director (Langham Preaching). Through it all I've cherished the experience of the 'gracious hand of God upon me' and I've relished the opportunity to 'unpack', or exegete, all that I encounter in my walk through life with Jesus.