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…


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…


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…


mekdes haddis: embracing mutuality

November 1, 2023 /

In these pages Mekdes Haddis addresses “a broken mission system … (where) we hurt culture” (x). It is her conviction that “by laying down power we will gain the ability to embrace mutuality. It is not easy, yet it’s the necessary work we must do as Western Christians” (109). It is a confronting book. I…


powerful leaders?

February 7, 2023 /

“It is sad that the book had to be written”. This is how a friend responded when I mentioned that I was reading Marcus Honeysett’s Powerful Leaders? When Church Leadership Goes Wrong and How to Prevent It. Why did he respond in that manner?  While Honeysett avoids naming names, the book is prompted by the…


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…


images that teach (4): bubbles, bad air, blindspots

January 3, 2023 /

With the focus of my work remaining overseas, I have needed to find ways to re-engage with life here in New Zealand.  Thirty years ago, I developed a course at Laidlaw College, The Gospel in a Post-Christian Society—and so, when Greg Liston asked me to assist with a new course at Laidlaw covering similar terrain (Ngākau…


images that teach (2): the ladder

April 17, 2022 /

There is so much to like about God.  Right near the top of my list is the way he works in anyone and everyone, helping shape them into all they are designed to be.  Then he invites, or calls, them to join him in making the world all it is designed to be.  He is…



March 27, 2022 /

I rest my case before I even commence.   While I watched this movie not just once, but twice, in the theatres, Barby was just as keen to do so as I was — and it is a film about cricket!  What’s more, when I watched it a third time on Netflix yesterday — strictly…



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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.