Tell us a little about you
Married to Natalie, who is one of the ministers where I go to church. Four children, one son-in-law, two grandchildren. Brought up in western Sydney. Studied and worked overseas for sixteen years. Principal at Ridley College in Melbourne since 2012.
What's your favourite bible passage & why?
The one I read this morning. Just kidding. Maybe Colossians 3. Deeply profound – my life is hidden with Christ in God – and also down-to-earth practical. I’m stunned by the startling comparison of greed with idolatry.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
Always a struggle. The pure in heart will see God (Matt 5:8). So, dealing with my pride, greed and lust is essential. Staying grounded, by keeping in touch with friends who know me outside my ministry role. Reading the Gospels. Thinking about Christians who make me glad that I am a follower of Jesus.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women and men to know?
I think we could all do well to remember the wisdom of the cross. See 1 Corinthians 1-4. God saved the world not through some act of human brilliance or strength but by something humans regard as foolish and weak, a shameful and painful execution. Yet, the foolishness and weakness of God has overpowered and outsmarted the world. Worldliness is a constant temptation and the cross reminds us that God has turned the world’s values upside down.
What’s one thing that you love about your local church?
Apart from Nat? I love that it’s a place where I am an ordinary Christian who needs to be encouraged and rebuked like everybody else. A place where I am not there to critique what is going on.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
Some years back I had a crisis of identity of sorts. Knowing God had always been a big driver in my life. But suddenly it didn’t cut it. Discovering that I was known by God intimately and personally as his child made a huge difference and was a great comfort. “The Lord is good. A stronghold in the day of trouble. He knows those who take refuge in him” (Nahum 1:8). I explored the subject in full in my book, Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about theological education that trains women and men to be part of God’s mission in our rapidly changing and increasingly complex world. I’m a both/and person. So, I want training that is both academic and practical, missional and pastoral, stretching and supportive. All in a context of a warm and cheerful gospel-infused culture and setting. In terms of my own research and writing, I love exploring how the grace of God teaches us to live.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
Walking, slow jogging, beach holidays, dates (not the edible ones), coffee, reading fiction and biographies, dad jokes.