• Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Entries in books (18)


So grateful! A celebration! Defending my PHD - sharing the experience with Megie!

Yesterday was a truly amazing day! At exactly 16.30 (11 October 2017) I defended my PHD (which you can read about here) at Radboud University, Nijmegen. It was a wonderful joy to share it with my wife Megan. At Dutch Universities the defence and graduation takes place at the same time. Your dissertation (once completed) gets examined, and then you have to publish it as a book (which I did - see the previous link for details). Then you defend it in public, and the degree gets awarded at the same event! It was exciting, but also rather scary at the same time! I am so grateful that it is done and the degree of ‘Doctor’ has been awarded (which means that I now hold two PHD’s, one in Systematic Theology and one in New Testament studies).

You can watch a little video about the build up to the defence below. And here are a few pictures from the event (with the ‘pedel’ / ‘beadle’) who was a great sport! My thanks to Radboud University, my supervisors, Prof Jan van der Watt and Prof Chris Hermans, to the communities that participated in the research (they matter most in this project!) and to my wonderful family for their love and support.



Recreational reading for 2015 – some of my favourite (fun) books

I am an avid reader – naturally I have to read for my work. When I say that I ‘have’ to read, I mean that I love to read. I read as much as I can, as often as I can. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge!

That being said, not everything that I read is of an academic nature. I particularly enjoy reading outside of my field of study in popular philosophy, science (especially neuroscience), economics, biography and fiction.

I own too many books. Megan is constantly trying to get me to take my books to my office at the University. Indeed, I do have three walls full of books in my office (my most used academic books are there). At home we have a few more book shelves with a far wider variety of subjects outside of theology. In recent years, however, since I received an iPad for work in April 2012 I have mostly bought my books in Kindle format. Amazingly I still have that same iPad and I have read hundreds of books on it. It took a little time to get used to the Kindle format (I still like paper, the feel and smell of it, its texture, and the ability to use a pencil to mark a page, underline a sentence or write a comment in the margin of a book). However, when I was traveling like crazy in 2012 and 2013 it was wonderful to have my library with me on a single device!

These days if I buy a very important book (like Charles Taylor’s A secular age or David Ford’s The modern theologians) I will get a copy on Kindle, and if my research funds allow it I will purchase a paper copy for my office to share with colleagues and students.

For books that are really just being read for fun, I may even get a copy on Audible. I don’t often drive my car to work (most days I commute on my Vespa), but when I am driving, or flying, somewhere it is great to have a book to listen to. I also listen when I cycle on my own. It is a great way to get two things done at once. The first every audiobook that I listened to was Umberto Ecko’s The name of the rose – after that I was hooked and have listened to many more.

So, here are a few books that I read or listened to in 2016 (this does not include the academic books that I have read this year – perhaps I will do a separate list on that at some point).

These books are not listed in any order other than my purchasing history on Amazon! My favorites for 2015 are Ben Lovejoy's 11/9 and Simon Winchester's three great books.

Dan Brown Inferno


I love the way Dan Brown writes. In particular I love reading how he describes the places his characters visit since I have been to many of these places. This was a great thriller - not as entertaining as entertaining as The Davinci Code or Angels and Demons, but a great suspense novel for anyone who likes to solve puzzles and riddles with a bit of history thrown in for good measure.

Max Barry Lexicon


This was a wonderful piece of science fiction. It is well written, has lots of twists and turns, and is very well researched (particularly if one has an interest in language, language theory, philosophy of language and the neuroscience of communication).

Kevin Mitnick and Steve Wozniak Ghost in the wires: My adventures as the world's most wanted hacker

I don't think this book will appeal to everyone's tastes. I have read one or two of Wozniak's books in the past and sadly he doesn't write well. Mitnick is a very interesting 'proto-hacker'. I read a lot about him when he was first arrested in alt.2600 and elsewhere. I also read his The art of deception many years ago. He is an interesting fellow and the pursuits of his hacking career are interesting and filled with adventure.

Mark Owen No Hero and No Easy day

I am certain that these two books will not appeal to a wide audience. Mark Owen is a former Navy Seal who was part of the team that apprehended (and killed) Osama Bin Laden. Since I had some specialist training during my national service I am always interested to read about the training of others, and also find it fascinating to see to what extremes people will push their bodies and minds. Most interesting for me is gaining some insight into the ethical decision making processes that go into war and warfare. I find it fascinating to see the conflict of values, and how ethical dilemma's are engaged and resolved in such settings. These books are full of bravado and are certainly not literary masterpieces. However, they were insightful.

Neal Stephenson Cryptonomicon


This is another exceptionally well researched and beautifully written action adventure. It spanned a few historical periods and geographical locations. I learnt quite a bit about cryptography (both contemporary and historically) and found the combination of espionage, mathematics and action so entertaining.

Clive Cussler The assassin

I am not a fan of westerns. I can't even remember how I came to read this book. I think it may have been recommended on Mac Break Weekly. It was interesting, but I don't think I will read any more in this series. If you like Westerns and period Americana this may appeal to you.

Simon Winchester The Professor and the Madman and The man who loved China and The men who united the states.

The Professor and the madman

Simon Winchester is my favorite author at the moment. I suppose he can be related in some way to Bill Bryson's genre of historical biography. He writes beautifully. Every detail in his books is carefully researched and he uses impeccable English grammar to construct his narratives. Every time I read one of his books I feel emotionally and intellectually enriched. They are wonderful! The Professor and the Madman is about the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary. That was my favorite 'fun book' in 2015.

Neal Stephenson Seveneaves


This was my second favorite book for 2015. It is science fiction at its best. Stephenson has a wonderful knack for telling stories. He clearly spends a great deal of time researching his subject and write beautifully. This book taught me all about the engineering of space flight. What it would take to survive in space if the earth were doomed, and the concept of genetic zygosity. Fascinating!

Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451

This book is a classic of science fiction. It sketches a picture of a world that attempts to reshape history through the destruction of knowledge and books. I read this during the time of the #Rhodesmustfall movement where statues were being removed in South Africa. It made me think a great deal about the totalitarian tendency to want to revise and sanitize history (not allowing memory a just and ethical allotment of the truth upon which to be judged). This is a must read!

Ben Lovejoy 11/9

This is an excellent cyber thriller. I was riveted from the first page to the last! It is another one of those books that is so well researched that one learns as you are entertained. I discovered so many things about the aviation industry, flight security and anti-terrorist initiatives through this wonderful thriller. This book is particularly special since Ben Lovejoy is a friend of mine who lives in the UK! I highly recommend this book!

Dave Eggers The Circle

Amazon voted this one of the best books of 2015. I agree. It is a very contemporary story about the power and influence of global surveillance and social networking (capitalist) enterprises like facebook and google. It reminded me a lot of Fahrenheit 451 (except for our time). It is a warning about privacy and greed and egotism. This is well worth reading!

Nicholas Nassim Taleb Antifragile

Taleb is one of my favorite authors. He is super smart. His books are always deeply challenging and creative. It is little wonder that The black swan is already a classic. Antifragile is sure to achieve the same hallowed status. It is philosophically sound and deeply challenging, even inspiring. It asks and answer the basic question 'what is the opposite of being fragile?' It is not being robust (i.e., mere surviving) it is being antifragile - that is learning to thrive in chaos and uncertainty, not just to weather the storm. This has been such a helpful book for me this year as so many things are changing rapidly in South Africa. It helps to offer a bit of perspective in uncertain times.

So, these are some of the fun books that I read this year. What have you been reading? I'd love your feedback on your favorite books of 2015, or comments on any of the books above! Please leave me a comment in the comments section below.


A chapter published in 'Restorative Readings The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity'

A new book for which I wrote a section has been published! The book is called ‘Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity’. It was edited by two wonderful friends, Professors Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch. This is a magnificent collection of chapters on issues related to reading the Old Testament text within the context of issues related to Christian Ethics and the Human Dignity discourse.  

You can order your copy of the book here (Wipf and Stock), or from here.

Congratulations Juile and Bruce! This is such an important book!  I have read the chapters a number of times and am so excited about the voices that will be added to the discourse.

The foreword was written by Walter Brueggemann.

Here is some additional information about the book:

The Bible has the unfortunate legacy of being associated with gross human rights violations as evident in the scriptural justification of apartheid in South Africa as well as slavery in the American South. What is more, the Hebrew Bible also contains numerous instances in which the worth or dignity of the female characters are threatened, violated or potentially violated, creating a situation of dehumanization in which women are viewed as less than fully human. 

And yet the Bible continues to serve as a source of inspiration for readers committed to justice and liberation for all. But in order for the Bible to speak a liberative word, what is necessary is to cultivate liberating Bible reading practices rooted in justice and compassion. Restorative Readings seeks to do exactly this when the authors in their respective readings seek to cultivate Bible reading practices that are committed to restoring the dignity of those whose dignity has been violated by means of racial, gender, and sexual discrimination, by the atrocities of apartheid, by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and by the dehumanizing reality of unemployment and poverty.


Another chapter published!

On Friday I received an email from Paul Chilcote to let me know that 'Making disciples in a world parish: Global perspectives on Mission and Evangelism' was published.

I was privileged to contribute one of the chapters that make up this book.  I wrote about the theology and ministry of Christians in Southern Africa in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  In my chapter I discussed issues such as the contextualisation of theological methodology, an insight into what it means to live with HIV/AIDS and what it could mean for Christians and the Church to respond appropriately in that context.  It is entitled 'Evangelism, mission and discipleship in Southern Africa: How hope is overcoming tragedy'.

I'd encourage you to check out the book at the following URL - you can purchase the book from Amazon here.


Buy 4 of my books for under $25 / R175

Yup, that is not a mistake. You read correctly - you can buy 4 of my books for under R175 (just US$25).

All that you need to do is download the free Kindle reader for your PC, Mac, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone. Then, purchase one or all of the following books for some holiday reading! They will be delivered to your computer or phone right away!

An uncommon path

A Prayer Guide for use during examinations

Christ at the centre

An introduction to Wesleyan Spirituality


The predictable irrationality of ethics - why we find it more difficult to steal money

I read Dan Ariely's fascinating book 'Predictably Irrational' last month.  It gave me a great deal of insight into how we make irrational decisions, but more importantly how we can understand (and perhaps even predict) such blunders.

In chapters 11 and 12 of the book Ariely deals with the matter of ethics and morals.  He shows through a series of experiments how we make unethical decisions because of the way in which our brains value different things of the same value...  Perhaps you should read that sentence again?

Simply stated, let's say a Coke costs US$1, what is more valuable to us, the Coke or a US$1 bill?  Well, he conducted an experiment where he placed 6 Cokes in some University dormitory fridges, and a plate of 6 US$1 bills in other fridges.  After 72 hours he returned to see which of the items (the money or the cokes) were stolen more easily.

It is not surprising that he discovered that in almost all the cases the Cokes were gone, but the plate of money was untouched in almost every case.  

In short this experiment (and a few others that he uses to verify his assumption) shows that people are less likely to 'steal money' than 'steal coke' - why?  Well, there seems to be a far greater social stigma attached to taking cash than there is to taking objects.

Here's another example.  Let's say you're at work and your wife phones you and tells you that your child needs a pencil for school.  Would you feel OK -> Not too bad -> Too guilty to take a pencil home for her? Most people answered that they would feel OK to take a pencil home.

Now, let's say that there are no pencils at work, but there is a shop downstairs that sells pencils for 60cents.  The company's pettycash box is in your possession and no one is checking.  How would you feel about taking 60cents from the pettycash box to buy a pencil for your daughter (the value of the pencil you would have taken from your company is 60cents)?  

Most people indicated that it would be much more difficult to steal the money than it would be to steal the pencil from their employer... 

Why?  Well, we have been socialized to think that money is 'worth more' than goods or time!  People go to jail for stealing money, but we seldom hear about people going to jail for 'stealing a pencil', or 'stealing time', or 'stealing private phone calls' from work...

I was fascinated by this (predictably) irrational element to my own ethical decision making.  What do you think?  Is Ariely's interpretation of his findings correct?  Is the value of goods and time the same as the value of money?  


Download the first few chapters of 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' for free

Struik Christian Books have very kindly put together an Adobe PDF document that contains the introduction and the first two chapters of 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'!

The account of Graham Power's conversion and discovery of his ministry role in the marketplace is extremely encouraging and makes for wonderful reading!  

You'll also get to hear about Dion's journey with this successful businessman, and how he came to discover his role as a minister in the corporate environment.

Please click here to download and read the first few chapters of this new book by Graham Power and Dion Forster.

Please repost, email, print out, and distribute this preview as widely as you would like.  If it can encourage a friend or family member please send it along to them.  

Even if you don't want to buy a copy of the book please consider joining our 'Transform your work life' facebook page to engage with other Christians in the work place.

'Transform your work life' can be purchased online internationally at and in South Africa from Christian Republic. In South Africa the book is also available in most book stores (Exclusive books, Wordsworth Books, CUM Books etc. if they do not have a copy in stock they can order it for you from Struik).  

If you live in Malaysia or Singapore you can order your copy here.

We'd love to hear your feedback!  Your perspective and testimony are important as we join together in raising up thousands of Christians to be God's instruments of healing and transformation in the marketplace!


Transform your work life selling for only R88! A great Father's Day gift!

'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' is on special for only R88.00 (just a little more than US$10) on Christian Republic for a limited time. It is also available in most book shops (Exclusive books, Wordsworth books etc. If they don't have it on the shelf simply give them the title, the publisher (Struik Christian Books) and the names of the authors (Graham Power and Dion Forster) and they will order it for you.

Why not bless someone with a copy today?  

It could be one of the most significant gifts that you give to a friend, family member or colleague - their work life could be transformed into a source of immeasurable blessing for them and others! Proceeds from sales go to fund the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical campaigns


Do meetings WORK!? What do you think?

Mmmmm... meetings for the sake of meetings, conference calls, powerpoints.... I've been reading rework by 37signals.  

We need to find a way to do work differently!  What do you think?


Some great advice for aspiring authors!

Since the launch of our book 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling', Graham Power and I have asked by numerous people how one 'gets published'.

Of course this question arises out of the reality that statistically only one in ever ten thousand manuscripts get published by a mainstream publisher.  First, let me say that this doesn't mean that those books that get published are better than the ones that don't.  Rather, it means that those manuscripts that make it through the process of being read, vetted, edited, published, distributed and sold have a reasonable business model!  Let us never forget that publishers are in business - they want books that have a good chance of selling and making them money!

A friend of mine recently wrote one of the most remarkable manuscripts that I've read in some time.  When he sent it to two of South Africa's major Christian publishers they didn't even read it, one simply said that they are not looking to bring any 'new titles' into their catalogue. I suggested that he self publish it - I know it will encourage and bless others, so it is too good to NOT be published because it doesn't make 'business sense'.

So, what do you do if you have a great story to tell or a ground breaking idea to share?

Well, there are various options to consider... My advice is don't wait for a publisher to give you 'permission' to be published!  

Some of the greatest success stories in recent publiciation come from self published books - have you heard about William P Young's book 'The shack'.  That great book started its life as a self published book. There are many other great examples! 

If you're interested in connecting with some great publishers who will help you to get your work in print then please leave a comment below, or send me a note via the contact section of this page, and I'll send you details for people that I've used in the past.  

Of course it is worth trying a publisher first, but if you hear nothing back, or if the reply is negative consider getting your manuscript proof read, get a nice cover designed, get an ISBN number (all of which are incredibly easy to do), and then get it printed!

You'll soon discover, as I have, that simply having a publisher doesn't mean that your book will sell!  Even published authors have to spend their time and energy getting their books into people's hands, on book shelves, and you still find that most of your 'sales' come from speaking engagements, book clubs, and personally sold copies.

We sell quote a few copies of 'Transform your work life' via stores and the web, but we sell far more copies at speaking engagements. Remember that your publisher has hundreds of authors and titles to promote!  They have limited staff, time and budgets to keep their business running!  So, unless you make the effort to set up speaking engagements, tell others about your book, and sell copies yourself you may just get forgotten.

This section from Seth Godin's post below seems to agree with my ideas:

...the fledgling author, the one who has been turned down by ten agents and then copies his manuscript and fedexes it to twenty large publishing houses--what is he hoping for, exactly? Perhaps he's hoping to win the magic lottery, to be the one piece of slush chosen out of a million (literally a million!) that goes on to be published and revered.

You deserve better than the dashed hopes of a magic lottery.

There's a hard work alternative to the magic lottery, one in which you can incrementally lay the groundwork and integrate into the system you say you want to work with. And yet instead of doing that work, our instinct is to demonize the person that wants to take away our ticket, to confuse the math of the situation (there are very few glass slippers available) with someone trying to slam the door in your faith/face.

You can either work yourself to point where you don't need the transom, or you can play a different game altogether, but throwing your stuff over the transom isn't worthy of the work you've done so far.

Starbucks didn't become Starbucks by getting discovered by Oprah Winfrey or being blessed by Warren Buffet when they only had a few stores. No, they plugged along. They raised bits of money here and there, flirted with disaster, added one store and then another, tweaked and measured and improved and repeated. Day by day, they dripped their way to success. No magic lottery.

A great story (or idea), hard work, and self determination are certain to get you published and read! I've been reading 'Rework' over the last few days (written by the guys at 37signals).  They have some incredible advice for entrepreneurs, much of it can be related to writing.  I'd encourage you to buy a copy of it.  In particular they encourage one to get your product or service to market as soon as it can meet a need.  If you get caught in the cycle of trying to get it perfect (or published) it may never make it into people's hands!

Feel free to drop me a line with a comment, question or some advice of your own.


Reader feedback on 'Transform your work life'

I am pleased to say that 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' is moving off the shelves (and from the internet) at a good pace!  This is great news for the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical campaigns since the proceeds from all of the sales are donated to these two wonderful organisations! But, it is even better news since it means that the message of being a blessing, and finding great blessing, in the 9 to 5 window is getting out there! The feedback is starting to pour in at a steady pace as more and more people share their insights, testimonies, and experiences of discovering what it means to be a minister in the marketplace!  Here are a few little lines from some of our readers:
This powerful book has great potential to do what the title sugests: Transform your work life - turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. You will discover Biblical perspectives, practical knowledege, and very usable tools to be a kingdom ambassador and change-agent in the marketplace. Through this book you will also be connected to a network of experiences and insights of this new move of God to transform our world in our life time. May you be equiped to be part of that and become a history-maker where you are everyday. (Dr. Johann Oostenbrink, Associate at Camino Consultancy Practitioning Coach & Mentor and Consultant in Organisational Development)
Johann is a wonderful leader who is doing a great deal to activate leaders for to reach their God given potential in their work life - his endorsement is an incredible affirmation for the book.  Thank you Johann!
I want to congratulate Graham and Dion for an excellent resource. Their new book ‘Transform your work life’ is a must for every working person and also for Pastors seeking to minister effectively to people struggling to turn their working hours into ‘worship.’ Well done guys!
This feedback comes from Rev Delme Linscott, the author of two great books 'Now' and 'Living Oceans Apart'.  Delme is a minister in a thriving Church in Pietermartizburg, it is such a blessing to have a pastor's perspective on the book!  Thanks Delme - you can read more about Delme's work at
Hi Dion. I've finished the first chapter - great reading - and a topic I've struggled with for several years and still don't have an answer. It's a flipping big question and I just wish God would write the answer on my bedroom wall!! If I didn't have to get up @ 5am I would have finished your book tonight!!
This wonderful bit of feedback comes from my friend Philip Collier - Philip did an MA in Psychology and is an expert in neuroscience (see his great blog at for more). He is currently developing a unique model to high level performance that helps athletes to surpass their current levels of achievement. I'd love to hear your feedback on the book as you read it!  You can either comment on this post below, or add a comment on the comments and discussion section of my blog, or leave us a comment on the 'Transform your work life' facebook page.

Spotted in the wild! Sharing some personal excitement (and fun).

Forgive me for one more post about my new book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'.  

I just wanted to share a little piece of personal excitement (and family fun) with you!

Before today I had not seen a copy of the book in print!  Yup, that's the truth!  Naturally I had seen the digital proofs, but I had not seen a 'hard cover' copy of the book before today.

I had a meeting with a friend with whom I do some coaching - after the meeting I was walking past Wordsworth bookshop in the Somerset Mall when I thought 'I wonder if they have copies of my book on the shelf'.  So, I walked up to the sales assistant and asked her.  She had a look in her catalogue and sure as you know it, they had a few copies that had arrived just this morning!

So, I picked one up.  I was grinning from ear to ear as she rung up my purchase.  I was looking over the cover, checking the print quality (which is very good by the way!  The book has a hard cover with a gloss colour printed interior!) I handed her my credit card and her eye caught my name, she looked at the book's cover and then asked 'Do you know the author?'  I just smiled and said, 'yup, I've met him before'!  ha ha!  It was very cool.

Well, this evening Megie, Courtney, Liam and I went out for a burger to celebrate the new book and so we stopped in at another book shop (Exclusive Books in the Somerset Mall).  I walked over to the Christian Books section and there it was!  'Transform your work life' spotted in the wild!  So I quickly asked Courtney and Liam to stand in front of the shelf and I snuck a photo with my iPhone.  Another cool memory - take a look at the blue cover just above Courtney's head in the attached photo.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that if you order a copy of the book from Christian Republic you will receive a free leather bound journal!  I'm not sure how long this promotion lasts, so don't miss out!  The price is the same (R109.00, plus R20 counter to counter overnight shipping).

Once you've bought your copy please leave me some feedback on the book.  You can either do so on the discussion section on this blog, or you can join the 'Transform your work life' facebook page.

God bless you!  Please join me in praying that this book will offer encouragement, inspiration and fresh perspectives to Christians in their work life.