laapataa ladies

May 7, 2024 /

Barby and I took a quick trip back to India last week. We watched the new Bollywood movie, Laapataa Ladies—which translates as Lost Ladies. It is as authentic and immersive an experience of India, in just two hours, that you could wish to have. Well, make that four hours because we watched it twice, with…


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…


the beauty in going nowhere

May 6, 2023 /

In my travels with Langham, it is not that unusual never to leave the venue for the event for which I have come.  On this occasion, in Lima, not only did I go nowhere, the venue itself was barely ten minutes from the airport!  So, four nights in beautiful Peru and never moving further than…


wayfinding leadership

January 9, 2023 /

Like many of you, I am always ready to engage with new insights on leadership. This book draws on ‘the great wayfinding tradition of the Polynesian navigators’ (xiii). Most of you live far from Polynesia, so please stick with me through unfamiliar surroundings! It will be worth it… Drawing near to it There is a…


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…


vince bantu: a multitude of all peoples

August 30, 2022 /

  There can be no doubt about what is on Vince Bantu’s mind with his book, A Multitude of All Peoples.  It is sitting there, blunt and bald, in the opening two sentences of his Introduction: “Christianity is and always has been a global religion.  For this reason, it is important never to think of…


sergei and arijit

July 31, 2022 /

One thing life has shown me is that ‘post-romantic’ works better as a descriptor for music, than it does for marriage.  While I have little background, and less ability, in music [NB: I find it hard to clap and sing at the same time], my soul seems to recognise a post-romantic composer when it hears…


the siege of kohima

July 3, 2022 /

“Oops!… I did it again.”   Yep — reading a book while pursuing every imaginable Wikipedia, Google Maps and YouTube distraction.  Why is the story so compelling? It’s been called the ‘Stalingrad of the East’. ‘Britain’s Thermopylae’. More significantly, ‘in 2013, it was voted as Britain’s greatest battle after a debate at the National Army…



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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.