The Orange Bull

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany0 Comments


That orange bull rages Out of control Havoc in the china shop Panicked shoppers dive Antiques smash and crash He snorts and stomps and bucks Flatterers dodge and duck and weave and cry Who let him in? How to get him out? Chaos Flatterers Snug in their room out back They were Eating toffee cake Laughing noses in the air Pompous sniggering … Read More

Surround Yourself with the Right People

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines2 Comments


Do you want to be happy, wealthy, healthy, smart, wise, ‘lifted higher,’ encouraged, and free to reach the heights of your potential? Then according to quite a number of people who seem to know how to get there, the key is to surround yourself with the people you want to be like, making sure that they’re people who are looking … Read More

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