May 13, 2024 /

With teaching preaching being a common denominator (almost) throughout my working life, building a library of books has been a serious endeavour. There was some serious joy that flowed last year when they were all brought together, finally—and in alphabetical order, of course… One of the key skills to nurture in preachers is an observation…


moving stories

April 17, 2024 /

This month I started my 16th year working with Langham Preaching. It still feels like a “pinch me” reality, as my brother described this work for me this past week. Or, in the words of the Apostle Paul, it has been “a grace given me”… In recent times each year’s highlight has remained unchanged and…


lyrics for living 23 (every hue)

March 12, 2023 /

Last month Barby and I went off on a little holiday. We stopped at Lake Taupō and walked into town along the lakefront. The day was drawing to a close. The toi toi waved to us as we passed by. Their beauty—ever resilient, yet fragile—always captivates me. Barely 30 minutes later, we were retracing our steps…


gentle and lowly

January 31, 2023 /

They are remembered for everything they aren’t.  That is a clumsy paraphrase of an observation JI Packer once made about the Puritans.  What comes to mind today with a word like ‘puritanical’ is such a long way from what the Puritans actually believed and how they lived—more than 400 years ago.  A long way?  From…


growth indicators

December 11, 2022 /

The paper was bright orange. The printing was faded, originating in pre-photocopier, Gestetner days. There were two sheets. I still have them, somewhere in those boxes two metres from me… As a young pastor these sheets of paper captivated me. Developed by what was called the Association of Church Missionary Committees (ACMC), they described a…


topical preaching

July 17, 2022 /

I’ve been working on my Introduction to Preaching course at Carey Baptist College (Auckland) in this coming semester.  It will be my 33rd consecutive year of teaching preaching at the seminary/college level.  It is hard to believe — and to keep me evolving I like to add something fresh each time… This year it is topical…


five books from africa

April 11, 2022 /

Not so long ago I failed an online Intercultural Competency quiz. Yikes.  That does not sound so good for someone in my line of work.  It is embarassing.  I resolved to broaden my reading and have set a summer goal of reading books originating from different continents.  This past summer it was Africa.  I made…


preaching being transformed

January 3, 2022 /

It seems to be becoming a trend.  If you don’t like an author in one area, you ditch the author in every area.  Yikes.  That sounds kinda silly to me.  None of us would like to be treated in this way. Tim Keller is one who receives this treatment.  I’ve heard people say that because…


on trees and books

December 14, 2021 /

I struggle to think of anything in the mission of God in the world today that enthuses me more than the work of Langham Literature. That day when my Africa Bible Commentary (ABC) arrived remains a vivid memory.  I was in a seminar in the dining room at Carey Baptist College (Auckland) and Rachel, with…


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…



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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.