Syrian Conflict 101

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany0 Comments

Syrian Conflict

Since the start of the current Syrian conflict in 2011 there are a number of times when I have been asked to appear on Christian radio stations that I am connected to in order to provide a basic understanding of what is happening in Syria, along with some thoughts on why it might be happening. Through my work with Tearfund … Read More

Evangelicals and The Mother of God

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany4 Comments

Mother of God

For a while now I have been contemplating the title given to Mary (the mother of Jesus) that causes many of us evangelicals to break out in a cold sweat. It’s a title that makes us nervous, yet calling Mary the ‘Mother of God’ has been a mainstay for the majority of Christianity since the very early days of the faith, … Read More

The Seduction of Power

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines0 Comments


This is written in The Message as the opening to the introduction for Nahum: The stage of history is large. Larger-then-life figures appear on this stage from time to time, swaggering about, brandishing weapons and money, terrorizing and bullying. These figures are not, as they suppose themselves to be, at the center of the stage – not, in fact, anywhere … Read More

Penal Substitution and the Trinity

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany13 Comments

Penal Substitution

Recently I was part of a conversation that related to an avoidance of the orthodox Christian understanding of God as Trinity, yet maintained an affirmation of penal substitution, an idea that fits within the wider umbrella of substitutionary atonement. I won’t go into lengthy explanations of these things, so feel free to use the link to find out more. At first glance a denial … Read More

What Church Success Looks Like for Me

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines0 Comments


Recently I was asked why I was working on gathering a faith community, Commoners, in Hamilton when it’s obvious to some that if I did the same thing in Auckland I could probably have something that would fit the traditional definitions of reasonable success fairly quickly. It’s probably true. I’m sure that if I did in a central Auckland space, … Read More

Their Fear

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany2 Comments


The other morning I got up before sunrise to go for a walk/jog (mostly walk). Being up before sunrise isn’t unusual for me, but it’s the first time I had ever got up so early for that purpose. I put my cap on to soak up the sweat that I knew was coming once my heart-rate got up, strapped my phone … Read More