Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My main regret is not giving more quality time to our two eldest children; another is my sometimes taking my beautiful wife for granted; another is my occasional one-sentence 'boo-boos' which ruined the whole presentation to a few groups/churches (to which I was not ever since invited back!).

How do people describe me? I don't get much negative feedback about myself, because I think I have very few enemies - and maybe not sufficient close friends (the only two groups who'll tell you the truth about yourself). A Bible College principal where I taught recently smilingly said I'm commonly described as the Australian church's 'Paul Hogan' (the larrikin you saw in the movie Crocodile Dundee). 

During the 1980s when editor of World Vision's GRID leadership letter I was apparently read more than any other Australian Christian (we had a quarterly circulation of 23,000 at one stage). They were heady years in terms of changing the thinking of the church. During the 1970s - 1990s I may have spoken to more clergy face to face individually and in conferences than anyone else I know in Australia. That baton has now passed to others... 

I enjoy being undefined, personally and theologically! If that is to be idiosyncratic, so be it. I'm conservative (believing in the reality of Satan, the Devil, for example); progressive (I don't like the way creeds and constitutions constrict belief and behavior); radical (read my articles on social justice on the JMM website); catholic (God wasn't dead or asleep for the 1000 years prior to the Protestant Reformation); evangelical (I'm wary of a system which supplants the authority of the scriptures with 'other/higher' authorities, like church/tradition, experience or reason); liberal (I'm not an inerrantist: having a belief about the Bible which the Bible doesn't have for itself is odd); charismatic (I'm mostly comfortable in Pentecostal/Charismatic praise settings, except for their smaltzy music, and believe all the Spiritual gifts are available for all time).

I regard others - everyone - as a miracle. Professionally, the idea that drives my thinking is the prevailing clericalism of the church-as-institution, which when expounded people agree is a problem, but they also feel there's not much that can be done by way of cure.

Rowland Croucher

July 2001, Updated May 2007

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