In thinking about whether to read an article or a book people inevitably want to know something about the author, so here is a bit of personal bio. I am, though, conscious that Paul twice quoted:
“but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”Jeremiah 9:24
It is a sobering thought that, at the end of time, all that we have done to build up the church will be tested by the fire of the absolute love of God, and anything not built in love will be burned up like wood, hay, and stubble.
So what are the most important things to say in self-introduction?
One of the most exciting things ever to happen to us was that in a church in South China a young person we knew introduced us to a friend by spontaneously saying: ‘This is Janice and Paul, who taught us the meaning of unconditional love.”
Probably, though, readers want to know a bit more, so here is a bit more detail.
I was brought up in a family which attended Baptist and Open Brethren Churches, and occasionally a Pentecostal church, and have a lifelong evangelical faith. I am thankful for all the godly people in my upbringing who helped me in the Christian path. I believe, though, that we should all be prepared to reconsider any aspect of what we have been taught in the light of detailed examination of what Scripture actually says. Of course Christians do not always agree on theology, but each of us should try as best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit to better understand and know God.
I married my wonderful wife Janice in 1970, and we have been blessed to have an adult son and daughter, both married, with two of their own children each, and who are presently going on in Christian faith.
I studied originally in London University’s LSE, including courses under philosophers like Karl Popper, and have had a lifelong interest in philosophy and theology. Along the way I collected masters in the history and philosophy of science (London) and in holiness theology (Manchester). My PhD concerned the interaction of science, methodology and christian faith in the development of geological science.
I started writing Christian books in 1973, with an internationally known teacher and evangelist Roger Forster, and we had early publications in the UK, USA, Germany, Croatia and Hong Kong. Our aim has been to use good principles of biblical interpretation to explain what Scripture teaches on some key topics, and how this relates to modern life and thought. In some places this has moved me away from things taught in my background, and at times in a difference from some fellow Christians, but we should seek to maintain fellowship across as wider group as possible whilst wanting always to follow Scripture.
My wife and I joined the (evangelical) Free Methodist worldwide group of churches (currently with a worldwide membership of some 1.5 million Christians) in 1979 soon after this started in the UK, and have been a Lay Minister in the Free Methodist Church UK for over forty years.
I have long been a member in the UK group Christians in Science, and served for a while on the committee. This was a benefit in bringing me into contact with a wide group of scientists and theologians, some of whom were renowned in both fields.
I remain a (formerly full-time, now part-time) Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.
I wish I had something fascinating to pass on like athletic prowess or musical talents – but alas the best I can manage is to have long ago played chess for the London University team in a tour of Russia. Mostly I lost or drew! My guitar playing was even less inspiring..
I can be contacted if anyone has comments or questions here