Brian Harris

Brian Harris1

Principal; Head of Department of Ministry and Practice

BSoc Sc, BTh (Hons), MTh, PhD (University of Auckland) Cert IV TAE

Since 2004 I have served as the Principal of Vose, as well as the Head of the Department of Ministry and Practice.  I have been married to Rosemary since 1980, and we have three adult children and one grandchild. I was born in South Africa and  first embarked upon ministry there. Later I was invited to pastor Mt Roskill Baptist Church in Auckland, New Zealand, and spent 9 years as its senior pastor. During that time I also lectured at both Carey Theological College and Laidlaw College (then known as the Bible College of New Zealand) – which reflects my love of both teaching and being a pastor. I continue to be able to serve in both capacities in that in addition to my work at Vose, I am also the pastor at large for the Carey group of churches and schools.  My PhD interacts with the thought of Stanley Grenz and explores the nature and future of evangelical theology.

I have published several books, including The Tortoise Usually Wins: Biblical Reflections on Quiet Leadership for Reluctant Leaders (Paternoster, 2013), The Big Picture: Building Blocks of a Christian World View (Paternoster, 2015), When Faith Turns Ugly: Toxic Faith and How to Avoid It (Paternoster, 2016) and being released soon; Could it be God: Bumping into God in the Everyday (BRF, 2016). I also write a regular blog which can be accessed at


1977, Bachelor of Social Science (Social Work) – University of Natal

1980, Bachelor of Theology – University of South Africa

1982, Bachelor of Theology (Honours) – University of South Africa

1987, Master of Theology – University of South Africa

2001, Certificate IV in AWT, ACAS

2007, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Auckland


Research Interests

Theological Method, Evangelicalism, Models of Quiet Leadership and the future of preaching.

  • PE420-620 – Christian Apologetics
  • PC416i-616i-762i – Denominational Distinctives
  • PC301D-501D – Ministry Formation


The Big Picture. Building Blocks of a Christian World View. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2015.

(with Tidball, Derek J. and Jason S. Sexton, eds.) Revisioning, Renewing, Rediscovering the Triune Center: Essays in Honor of Stanley J. Grenz. Eugene: Cascade, 2014.

The Tortoise Usually Wins: Biblical Reflections on Quiet Leadership for Reluctant Leaders. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2013.

The Theological Method of Stanley Grenz : Constructing Evangelical Theology From Scripture, Tradition, and Culture. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2011.

Chapters and articles

“Education as a Community Creating Missional Platform: The Carey Story.” In New Wineskins: Congregational Transformation in Australian Baptist Church Life, edited by Darren Cronshaw and Darrell Jackson, 20-28. Sydney: Morling Press, 2015.

“Whither Preaching?”. Ministry Today, no. 61, August 2014.

(with Jason S. Sexton, and Jay T. Smith.) “Stanley J. Grenz: A Theological Biography.” Chap. 1 In Revisioning, Renewing, Rediscovering the Triune Center: Essays in Honor of Stanley J. Grenz, edited by Derek J. Tidball, Brian S. Harris and Jason S. Sexton. 3-27. Eugene: Cascade, 2014.

“Faithful Thinking: The Role of the Seminary in Promoting a Thoughtful Christian Faith.” The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research volume 8, no. 1, 2013: 27-35.

“Thinking Faith and Faithful Thinking: A Response to Robyn Horner and Steven Tucker.” Colloquium volume 45, no. 2 2013: 185-192.

“Remembering What Matters: Ethics and Exodus 1 in the 21st Century.” Carson Newman Studies volume 12, no. 2 2011: 91-102.

“Stanley Grenz’ Theological Method: Revisioning Evangelical Theology or Business as Usual?” In Gospel, Truth and Interpretation: Evangelical Identity in Aotearoa New Zealand, edited by Tim Meadowcroft and Myk Habets, 241-265: Archer Press, 2011.

(with Nigel Wright). “The Emerging Portrait: A Response.” In Beyond 400: Exploring Baptist Futures, edited by Michael Parsons and David Cohen, 236-250. Eugene: Pickwick, 2011.

“On Baptist Identity in the Southern Hemisphere: Narrative Reflections on Similarity and Diversity within the Baptist Vision.” In Baptists and the World: Renewing the Vision, edited by John H.Y. Briggs and Anthony R. Cross, 8, 193-202. Oxford: Regent’s Park College, 2011.

“Beyond Individualism: Stanley Grenz’s Contribution to Baptist Theology.” The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research volume 6, no. 1 (2010): 5-19.

“Worship and the Quest for Justice.” In In Praise of Worship: An Exploration of Text and Practice, edited by David Cohen and Michael Parsons, 250-261. Eugene: Pickwick, 2010.

‘Can Evangelical Theology Move Beyond Foundationalism?: Some Insights from the Theological Method of Stanley J. Grenz’, Crucible (2008).

‘Preaching in Weakness: Reflections on the Self in Preaching’ in M. Parsons & D. J. Cohen (eds), On Eagles’ Wings. An Exploration of Strength in the Midst of Weakness (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2008) 190– 202.

‘Straddling the Tasman: The Relevance of Grenz’s Revisioned Evangelical Theology in the Australasian Context’, Princeton Theological Review 12 (2006) 5–10.

‘Colliding Truths: Embracing Paradox in Ministry’, Ministry Today 38 (2006) 17–21.

‘Culture, Context and Women in Ministry: A Snapshot of South African Baptists at the End of the Apartheid Era’, South African Baptist Journal of Theology 14 (2005) 213–219.

‘From “Behave, Believe, Belong” to “Belong, Believe, Behave” – a Missional Journey for the 21 st Century’ in M. Parsons (ed.), Text and Task. Scripture and Mission (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2004) 204–217.

‘Poverty: Some Basic Concepts, Statistics and Insights’, South African Baptist Journal of Theology (1993) 1–9.

Book reviews

Review of Sexton, Jason S. The Trinitarian Theology of Stanley J Grenz (London: Bloombury T and T Clark, 2013) Published in Journal of Reformed Theology 9.4 (2015) p 401-403.

“Book Review: Van Niekerk, A.(Ed) Aidsi