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…


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…


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…


beyond betrayal

May 11, 2022 /

Over the years I have enjoyed taking two pilgrimages… One is to Rangihoua Bay, about 200km north of Auckland — and Marsden Cross, the site of the first preaching of the gospel here in Aotearoa New Zealand, in 1814. On one occasion, as a way to celebrate my 50th birthday, 30 friends joined me in…


cathedral reflections

December 28, 2021 /

Last week I sat in a cathedral thinking about mission… It was Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Auckland.  We were there for the ordination into the priesthood of a close friend.  It is a newer building, but still a cavernous space, providing a place where people gather. Down the sides are all these glass doors, enabling…


the poor at christmas

December 19, 2021 /

Covid has turned my heart towards the poor once again.  Poverty is not just a material issue.  It is a choice issue.  The wealthy have options, by definition.  They can choose to be vaccinated, or not to be — while so many among the poor just keep waiting for a vaccine, a second vaccine and…


oecd: four letter acronym

November 23, 2021 /

If you are attentive to the news, there is a lot of pain to feel in the world today. Income Gaps. Loneliness. Housing Affordability. Health Care Availability. Unemployment. Child Poverty. Gross Domestic Product. Tax Rates. Youth Suicide. Refugees. Homelessness. Fossil Fuels. Vaccination Rates. Broadband Speed. Mathematics Literacy. It goes on and on.  The data is…


a solidarity index

January 31, 2021 /

In January each year two lists are published. 1. List One is the Open Doors’ World Watch List (WWL), identifying the countries where it is ‘most dangerous to follow Jesus’. Persecution is ‘any hostility experienced as a result of one’s identification with Christ’. Although people will quibble, the methodology looks pretty sophisticated, with a simple summary here. Every year…


lifesong with wiesel and stott

June 28, 2020 /

Earlier this month, in the space of 24 hours, two video clips arrived in my in-box. One is nine minutes in length. The other is six minutes. Both were recorded a long time ago and are rather limited, technically. Both feature men who were born in the same decade and then who died in the…


2020 is sick

June 15, 2020 /

20/20 has always been associated with a clarity of vision, one that enables a certainty of purpose and a strength of step. But when 2020 finally arrived among us, it has brought confusion, uncertainty – and sickness.  The irony is that those of us who have trumpeted our ‘wisdom, wealth and power’ down the decades,…



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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.