partnership? yeah, nah!

June 2, 2024 /

The 100% Pure New Zealand website, with its collection of Kiwi slang, describes ‘Yeah, Nah’ in this way: Kiwis are exceptionally agreeable, so even when they want to disagree with you, they’ll throw in a “yeah” as well. Basically, “yeah, nah” is a non-comittal way of saying no. As in: “Do you want to go…


not so with you

January 24, 2024 /

It is sickening. In recent years there have been these waves of stories about spiritual abuse in pastoral leaders. Yes, it is like a wave—building out there in the ocean over many years and then crashing down onto the beach, one after the other. The bigger waves (the ones we hear about) have tended to…


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…


a church—some churches

December 23, 2023 /

Barby and I are making our first visit back to India since our rushed departure with the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, almost four years ago. A Church We were keen to linger long enough in Bangalore to make it possible to visit the church we attended. We had loved our routine. Being…


a love eclipsed

November 28, 2023 /

Many years ago my mother gave me a picture for my birthday. It is a sketch of that quintessential English scene—a towering medieval cathedral overlooking a tree-ringed cricket field. As she gave it to me, she announced, “Your two loves”. I could tell she was very pleased with herself! Church. Cricket. It’s true. They are…


a day in addis

October 13, 2022 /

Ethiopia and its people have such a long history with God.  Whether it be all those references to Cush and Nubia in the Old Testament, or the visit of the Queen of Sheba to the court of King Solomon, or that story of Philip with the Ethiopian (a favourite, reminding us that the gospel reached…


five books from africa

April 11, 2022 /

Not so long ago I failed an online Intercultural Competency quiz. Yikes.  That does not sound so good for someone in my line of work.  It is embarassing.  I resolved to broaden my reading and have set a summer goal of reading books originating from different continents.  This past summer it was Africa.  I made…


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…


five books on mission

February 21, 2022 /

It took me a bit by surprise, but there has been just the whiff of exile about living back in Aotearoa New Zealand.  ‘Exile’ is a rich biblical metaphor and I’ve been helped by leaning into it.  It seems to capture many of my reflections, attitudes and emotions.    How do you live well in…


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.