theological education

images that teach (5): the lid

February 21, 2024 /

A curious thing happens in our society today. A person who asserts that death is the end and that there is no heaven can still be heard longing that a loved one be ‘looking down from above’. For those with ears to hear, this kind of thing happens quite a lot. What is going on?…


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…



January 27, 2023 /

Maria lived through the Nazi occupation of Holland.  At one point, at 11 years of age, she pushed her pram down a road lined with soldiers, transporting a forbidden radio hidden under her dolly.  Imagine it.  Suddenly, I have this inner stirring to be a movie director.  That is not all.  Her family hid two…


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…


a day in addis

October 13, 2022 /

Ethiopia and its people have such a long history with God.  Whether it be all those references to Cush and Nubia in the Old Testament, or the visit of the Queen of Sheba to the court of King Solomon, or that story of Philip with the Ethiopian (a favourite, reminding us that the gospel reached…


images that teach (3): the sun

July 10, 2022 /

After several days of cloudy skies, the evening sun returned to suggest a spectacular view.  So we drove to the car park and walked up to Latrigg View — to be greeted by this vista of Keswick, Derwentwater and the mountains beyond… With this post already taking shape in my mind, I just had to…


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…


images that teach (1): the playground

March 13, 2022 /

They don’t make them like they used to do.   It is not just that gravel and mud have given way to rubber and chips.  Nor is it just that Occupational Safety & Health seems intent on ridding the world of every hint of dangerous play.  What catches my eye are these playground monstrosities.  They…


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.