Biblical Graduate School of Theology

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29 JAN - 4 FEB 2001
WEEK NO. 4

Quote for the Week
"Ambition can be redirected... Instead of having an ambition to be powerful through the rank or office one occupies, one may have an ambition to be powerful in oneself, through oneís person, through the spontaneous and infectious quality that emanates from what one is in oneself.." 
- Paul Tournier
    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 tyahn@hotmail.com).
        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." 

News Bits

Do consider registering for any of these courses...
 
  • Mon, 29 Jan, 7:30pm: The Art of Critical Analysis (1.5 credits) by Dr P Satterthwaite 
  • 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
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 .


The following course books have arrived :
  • 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
You may reserve a copy and collect them at the library counter.

Chapel Next Week

Pastor Sim Kay Tee will be chapel speaker next Wednesday, 31 January. Time: 12 p.m.

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

  • 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
We wish all these who celebrate their birthdays this week Godís richest blessings!

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 be like? 


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