Entries by peteportal

The Church Needs to Know its Place

“To be human is to be placed.” (Gorringe, Theology of the Built Environment) “To be at all – to exist in any way – is to be somewhere, and to be somewhere is to be in some kind of place… Nothing we do is unplaced. How could it be otherwise?” (Casey, Fate of Place)   […]

Why ‘New Normal’ is the Most Annoying Phrase – and it’s not what you’d think!

Ah click bait. Tops the chart of Things-We-Are-Officially-Done-With-But-Well-Just-Kind-Of-Can’t-Help-Ourselves. We may as well bond over it to generate a wistful smirk while we sit at home looking at another screen. You’ll have heard ‘new normal’ discussed about as much as you’ve heard the words ‘unprecedented’ and ‘times’ next to each other, and as frequently as your […]

Broken Glass and Door Handles

In February Sarah and I were able to visit Jackie Pullinger in Hong Kong for a week. [Those of you who haven’t heard of Jackie, google her – in short, she’s a British woman and hero of the faith who has been living in Hong Kong for the last 55 years, living and working with […]

Can We Turn a Pandemic into a Revival?

The moment Sarah and I heard about South Africa entering a three week COVID lockdown, we began to come up with ideas of how we could share the extra space we have in our home with those who: 1. Live in overcrowded home environments unconducive to social distancing; 2. We’ve grown to know and love; […]

On Being Mentored by Those Society Hates

“Stories have been used to dispossess and malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people but stories can also repair that broken dignity.” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) It’s easy to become obsessed with ‘issues’ – from war in the middle east and the ensuing […]

Gangs and Drugs – a Very Cape Town Problem

To what extent could society at large be held responsible for issues of gangsterism, drugs and crime in Manenberg and similar communities? The Academic and the Elephant in the Room One evening last week, Sarah and I, some friends visiting from the USA, and the Cru62 boys all went to a talk by a well-known […]

A Post-apartheid Incarnational Theology

The phrase ‘post-apartheid incarnational theology’ sounds a bit fancy. But actually it’s really simple. It basically entails those who currently have lots of power and privilege giving it up in order to bring about reconciliation and equality. I see it consisting of five foundational values: (1) it is multi-racial and builds bridges across divides, (2) […]