May 31, 2020 /

When it comes to TV dramas, nobody does it better than the Brits. Nobody. This is a law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be altered. And so it came to pass, with a nudge from our daughter and a shared Netflix account to help welcome us home, that Barby and I discovered Shetland.  It…


lyrics for living 17 (lover of my soul)

May 9, 2020 /

There are times when worship can be a bit of a worry. Here is one example that came to mind this week, for reasons I’ll explain later. There are two songs ‘out there’ with the same first line: Jesus, lover of my soul. One, written in 1993, starts like this: Jesus, lover of my soul; Jesus, I…


mesmerizing jugalbandi

November 24, 2019 /

Mesmerizing. This clip was sent to me by a friend in Hyderabad. When I found it online, this was the word used in one of the comments. I can only agree. Mesmerizing. I’ve watched it so many times. I went for a little surf to learn a little more. The guy on the right, Shankar…


the best light

August 7, 2019 /

[Added, 23/05/23: a Parihaka update—see below] I picked it up from someone else. I don’t remember who it was, but I am so grateful. It is now one of the most frequent pieces of advice that I pass on to others willing to listen. With the view that opposes your own, always paint it in…


a crazy jealousy

October 16, 2018 /

I laughed. I would have laughed even more if the theatre had been filled with Singaporean-Chinese people, rather than Indians. That would have been great fun. Crazy Rich Asians is a comedy. We watched the sanitised version, with India’s censor adding bleeps/blobs and deleting scenes (probably – how am I to know, really?). Still, we…


youth and truth

October 11, 2018 /

I gasped. Yes, I did. On the morning of 20 August 2018, I unfolded The Times of India – and I gasped. Why? This is what extended across the full front page: The initial gasp was due to my instinctive response: ‘this would never happen in New Zealand’. The delayed gasp originated with the boldness of the…



August 12, 2018 /

Amos. First Peter. Two of my favourite biblical books through which to preach. Doing so, however, creates tension inside me. Amos is a sustained attack by God, through his prophet, on the presence of injustice among the nations of the world – and especially within His people, Israel. It is unrelenting. It is blistering. God…


page two

August 7, 2018 /

This morning. Sheer bliss. Why? Copies of The Times of India and The Hindu started being thrown up our stairs once again, complete with wrinkles. I did think about getting out the iron, but then decided against it… This morning. The second page in The Times of India. Look at it. Do you know another newspaper…


children of war

March 26, 2018 /

More than 1100 children were killed during the Siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1996. The city remembers the children in a couple of ways. Late one afternoon I trudged through the snow down Marshall Tito St from Pigeon Square for almost 2kms to find this memorial beside the road. It is a typical war…


white on green

February 19, 2018 /

I have this fascination with the history of cricket in South Asia. “WOW – way to go, Paul. Great opening line. You’ve just lost 99% of your readers.” “But doesn’t speaking from out of our passion tend to gain us an audience?” “Well, yes … but cricket? … and cricket in South Asia? That is asking…



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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.