You have probably often come across the
terms ‘postmodernism’, ‘postmodern’ and ‘postmodernist’ in the last decade,
and you may be aware, if only slightly, of the contemporary debate lying
behind those terms. If you have been tempted to ignore this debate as something
irrelevant to you, or as too technical to come to grips with, this week’s
Good Book may be for you.
|Have you encountered the claim that how one expresses one’s
sexuality is simply a matter of choice, with no (or very few) forbidden
options? What about the view that spiritual experience is as important
as biblical truth (‘head-knowledge’)? Veith shows how postmodern ways of
thinking can be found in many areas of society: views of reality; views
of what it means to be human; art; architecture; literature and films;
politics; religion. He writes clearly and attractively, and has obviously
reflected deeply about the issues he discusses. While some of what he says
focuses on American culture, there is much that is relevant to the Singapore
This is not a one-sided presentation. Veith is perfectly prepared to give credit where credit is due. He notes that postmodernism has been effective in undermining some aspects of modernism, for instance modernism’s claim to offer an ‘objective’ and ‘scientific’ approach to truth. (There were many hidden assumptions in the modernist enterprise, often deeply anti-Christian ones.) For some people, therefore, postmodernism may have removed obstacles to Christian belief. But in many of its forms it is itself hostile to Christianity. Above all, it is a trend with which most of us will have to come to grips in one form or another in our attempts to communicate the gospel. This stimulating and well-focussed book will help you to do that. (PES)
Mrs. Peck (to whom we say ‘Welcome
back’) has provided the following summary of her sharing at Chapel last
_____ 2 - 8
|How then do you grow a vineyard in the desert? The ground was planted
with wild grapes, which are able to survive in such soil with brackish
water. Later on, choice grapevines were grafted onto these wild-grape trunks.
The branches ensuing take the nourishing sap from the wild-grape trunk
but the fruit produced is choice grapes for the production of specific
wines. I invite you to read Rom. 11:17-24 and see how this ancient agricultural
practice was used by Paul to illustrate a vital point for us Gentile Christians.
Another lesson I learned was from Nazareth Village. What was a first century village house like - the kind that our Lord probably lived and grew up in? In a project called Nazareth Village Project, a re-construction of a first century village house has been erected. It was exciting to see what we only read about in books.
When Joseph and his wife Mary journeyed to Bethlehem for the census (Lk. 2), they must have had a fantastic reunion with relatives who had come from all over. They probably spent the nights in the guest-room (an upper chamber above the family room called kataluma in Greek). This word occurs three times in the New Testament. In the other two instances, it has been translated ‘guestroom’, but here in Luke 2:7, it has traditionally been rendered ‘inn’. But did Joseph and Mary leave their family home when delivery time was near and go out to look for an inn? And did they find ‘no room for them in the inn’? It seems more appropriate to render kataluma in this verse too as ‘guestroom’. There were too many relatives crowding in there and so it was decided that Mary should use the lower ‘storage’ chamber to give birth to her firstborn son in greater privacy. Not that we should throw out cherished Christmas carols. But it’s good to learn a little more about the world of the Bible, and thus come to understand the biblical text itself better.
Join us this Wednesday at 12 pm for prayer and worship. Dr Philip Satterthwaite will lead chapel.
Courses still Open: Last Call
During Semester 2 Dr. Satterthwaite will be giving a series of occasional lectures on subjects relating to Biblical Studies. They are offered to all BGST students free of charge, and are designed to cover topics which are not easily included in our regular courses. Topics will include: Text and Canon of OT and NT; The World of the Bible; The Fulfilment of Prophecy.
The first of these lectures will take place on Friday 6th July, 7.30-9.30 pm, at BGST (Room 302). It will be on the topic ‘Where did our Bibles come from? Text of the Old Testament’. It will survey the manuscript evidence on which our OT is based, and attempt to answer questions such as ‘How reliable are our contemporary translations?’ ‘What about textual corruptions?’ It will be illustrated by some slides.
All are welcome to attend this lecture. If you are thinking of attending, could you inform the BGST Office? (353 8071)
(Please note: if you took OT 102 in 1999 or OT/NT 102 in 2000, you will already have sat through an earlier form of this lecture.)