naming neoliberalism

November 14, 2021 /

I hear the word often enough, but I haven’t known what it means.  To this uncertainty is added confusion because the only time I’ve used the word in the past, it is has been as a theological description — rather than a cultural one. So when Rodney Clapp’s Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of the…


to right every wrong

April 6, 2021 /

At any point in time I have this little stack of books I want to read. Usually there is a certain (sequential) order in mind, but when I am in peak form with my reading, books tend to be assigned to different chairs in the house … and I read them all at the same…


sanneh speaks: vernacular

August 31, 2019 /

“One in six people in the world is Chinese, while one in six languages in the world is Melanesian.” This statement has always intrigued me. While it may not be strictly accurate, it certainly infers something surprising about Melanesia. It is a place that gathers an astonishing number of mother-tongue, or vernacular, languages. With this…


one faith, three languages

June 30, 2019 /

I feel blessed, having just spent three different weeks doing three different things in three different parts of the M-world which speak three different languages. Given the concerns around security in these places, I’ll follow that grand tradition for people like me and express some dependency on images of sunrises and sunsets… Sunrise over Lake…


scenes along the way

April 21, 2019 /

“Well, Well, Well. I thought you had disappeared from the blogosphere.”  “Yes, I know. It’s been the longest gap between posts in 15 years. With changes in regulations, my own blog had become inaccessible to me. Rather awkward! But then I’ve been on the road (almost) since the last post. But now I’m back home…


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…


penang roaming

August 5, 2018 /

It is a favourite question. No one has ever given me the right answer. What is the only country in the world where the four global religions (Islam-Buddhism-Hinduism-Christianity) are each represented by at least 10% of the population? Yes, I know the official statistics suggest a different story (this happens in many countries, for good reason),…


destroyer of the gods

December 25, 2017 /

Amateur sociologists and historians (like me) tend to be aware of two contrasting realities, spread two millennia apart. In the Western world of the twenty-first century, study after study demonstrates that it is difficult to distinguish the behaviour of a Christian from the behaviour of one who is not a Christian. It is not easy…


white mughals

December 18, 2016 /

Sixty-two. It was an impressive effort. Once I finished William Dalrymple’s White Mughals I turned to the Glossary and gave Barby the test. A bit of Hindustani here. A bit of Urdu and Persian over there. A lot of Koranic-Mosque terminology everywhere. But out of almost 140 words, she got 62 correct. Very impressive, don’t you…



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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.