| In his convocation address
on Jan 20th, Dr J.W. Maris gave us a brilliant insight into Ďsanctificationí
from a reformed theological point of view. I found his historical perspective
very interesting. While I myself could identify with his observations,
having been brought up spiritually in such a reformed traditon, I could
not help wondering how other Christians experience this most crucial aspect
of their converted status as a child of God.
Dr Maris reminded us that sancitification is a matter
between the Lord Jesus and us and warned against undue preoccupation with
assessing our spiriutal /holiness level. However, the fact of the matter
is that throughout church history Christians have searched for and lived
out different expressions of the sanctified life. James Houston, through
his course, The Christian Spirit, gave us ample food for thought on this
issue. I wonder if you have any thoughts on cultivating the inner life
of personal sanctification? Where are you on the journey to greater intimacy
with God? What have you found helpful or distracting, uplifting or dangerous
(weíre talking The Pilgrimís Progress, no less)? Or have you some viewpoints
on this subject in general? Can we hear from you? Do drop us a line or
two for mutual edification. God bless your week. (PK)
Letter from London .....
(Alumnus, Ahn Tae Yoon, class of 95, updates us about his new
situation at the London Bible College in his endearing Korean-English.
Let us keep him and his family in our prayers and thoughts as he returns
once more to theological studies. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tae Yoon served as a lecturer
at the Bible College of East Africa for 4 years after graduating from BGST.
He describes how his original intention after graduation was to continue
studies in UK but then allowed God to direct him as He willed to Africa.
"One of the reasons which made me sure of His will was that the Lord had
always shown me only one step at a time. When I finish a particular job,
He would instruct me as to the next thing to do. I did not go to Singapore
for theological education but to work as an engineer. But later He led
me step by step, and in the end I started my studies at BGST. So it was
when I came to London to study at London Bible College. My plans, desires
and ideas have sometimes been different from His, but He never fails to
show and convince me that His way is the best for my life. Whenever I obeyed,
I realized that He had prepared the way.
When I did my ministry among the local people in the outskirts of Nairobi,
I realized why the Lord had sent me into that area. They were poor people
living in the slums. They were uneducated and neglected by the rest of
society. They were physically weak due to malnutrition. They had no vision
for the future because they couldnít think of the future.
When I was young, my family was very poor. My father ran a big business
before I was born. But he failed totally in his business, and lost everything
he had. I still remember that my house had no electricity. When it rained
at night, the family could not sleep because there were many holes in the
roof, and we had to collect the water in a bowl and throw it out. But I
had never felt miserable for myself, because I had faith in Jesus. Rather,
I had always been joyful. In my heart there was a vision that I would go
to the U.S. (at that time I believed that the U.S. was the greatest country
in the world) and study in the best theological school in the world. Even
though my family was very poor, I harboured that dream in my heart, and
never lost it. And now I am studying at London Bible College. I canít say
that LBC is the best theological school in the world. But I can say that
what I want to learn, I can learn here at LBC - good facility, excellent
faculty, and a satisfactory atmosphere...
I used to preach in Kenya to the young boys and girls, "Have a great vision
in Christ! He will accomplish it." And to our adult members I used to emphasize
the importance of their prayer for the children. Quite often I visited
our church members' homes and prayed for them and their children. I mixed
with these poor people, having meals and tea with them (ignoring hygiene)
as I myself was brought up in a poor family. I really thank the Lord for
the privilege of serving the poor whom God loves so much. What I learned
from this experience is that when we obey and follow im it and will realise
that it is the best way for us."
Do consider registering for any of these courses...
Due to low students numbers, OT Foundations II (OT 102) has been rescheduled
for Semester 2, and will be taught between July and November.The course
Prophecy and Fulfilment, on the fulfilment of OT prophecy, will be brought
earlier in the year, and will be taught in Term 2 , starting on April 6th
Mon, 29 Jan, 7:30pm: The Art of Critical Analysis (1.5 credits) by Dr P
Wed, 31 Jan, 7pm: Biblical Hermeneutics & Interpretation (3 credits),
video class by Dr Mark Chan
Thu, 1 Feb, 7pm: Appreciating Adults Learning (3 credits) by Dr Moira Lee
Sat, 3 Feb, 2pm: NT Greek I (3 credits) video class by Dr Quek SH
Tue, 6 Feb, 7pm: Homiletics (3 credits) by Rev Edmund Chan
The following course books have arrived :
You may reserve a copy and collect them at the library counter.
Academic writing for graduate students (pb) @ $38 - 10 copies
Paul : apostle of the heart set free (hb) @ $54 - 2 copies
Paul : apostle of the heart set free (pb) @ $37 - 5 copies
Chapel Next Week
Pastor Sim Kay Tee will be chapel speaker next Wednesday, 31 January. Time:
We wish all these who celebrate their birthdays this week Godís richest
Mr Chua Kheng Nee Paul 01/29
Mr Wong Weng Yin Raymond 02/02
Mr Siew Kim Siang 02/03
Mr Tan Teck Hian Wilson 02/03
Mrs Lim Sai Choo Susan 02/04
Mr Teo Lak Kwang William 02/04
Ms Toh Im Huat Anna 02/04
Dr Wong Lea Choung 02/04
A Time for Everything
By Mickey Chiang
When Solomon wrote his famous
poem on time he wrote something that few people want to argue about. Who
in his right mind will argue about there being "A time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven" (Eccl 3:1)?
It is interesting to check
in a lexicon the meaning of the Hebrew word zeman that is translated in
the New International Version as "time". The authoritative "New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius
Hebrew and English Lexicon" (which theological students call BDB) says
zeman means (not simply) a time but an "appointed time". The question is:
Who appointed the time? Who is powerful enough to appoint "a time to be
born and a time to die"?
In case we miss this, Solomon
repeats his lesson. According to the BDB, the Hebrew word translated "season"
actually means "appointed season". Again, we have to ask: Who appointed
the season? So what is this passage talking about? Is it about time, or
is it about the Almighty God who controls time?
Now, which sane person dares
dispute that there is:
"a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot"?
But even if everything Solomon says about time is true, why did he
have to give us 14 lines of a time of this and a time of that? Wonít we
get the idea after, say, only five lines? Did he think we are all morons?
But did we get the wrong
idea after all? Havenít we overlooked something in the first verse? Like
the words "under heaven"? Is Solomon not the guy who loves to say "under
the sun"? Why is he suddenly saying "under heaven"? Does he mean that all
the times he mentions apply under Heaven only, but not in Heaven? Is he
saying that in Heaven there is no appointed time to be born, because no
one is going to be born there? And there will not be an appointed time
to die because no one will die in Heaven? There will not be a time to plant
because everything has already been planted, like God planted a garden
in Eden? Wow, is the passage telling us in a creative way what Heaven will