||I must declare
a personal interest: I am one of the many contributors to this week's Good
Book, the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. T.D. Alexander
and B.S. Rosner (IVP, 2000), to be found in the reference section of BGST
Library. Nonetheless, I have no hesitation in commending it for your perusal.
can be approached via a study of the individual books of the Bible or via
a study of the themes which link the biblical books with each other. This
dictionary caters for both approaches. There are articles on of every book
of the Bible, a number of introductory articles which helpfully survey
the field of Biblical Theology, and a large number of articles on theological
themes (Adam and Eve, Apostasy, Blessing/Curse, Covenantů all the way to
Wisdom, Word, World, Worship). If you are doing an essay on a particular
book of the Bible, or if you want to pursue a theological theme across
the Testaments and thereby get a better sense of the unity of Scripture,
this book could well be your first port of call. Dip into it! (PES)
were pleased to welcome to Chapel, Dr. Douglas Milne, who has been visiting
BGST for the past week.
Dr. Milne spoke from four verses in
Paul's letters, all of which focus on God's deep personal involvement in
the work of our salvation. He began with Rom. 5:8: 'God demonstrates his
own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us'.
The cross is a full and open display of God's love. Whatever may be said
in other contexts about the unknowability of God, on the cross God has
shown us the depths of his unspeakable love.
Rom. 8:3 continues this idea: 'What
the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,
God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin
offering.' We see from this verse the reality and finality of what God
has done for us in Jesus. Jesus was not simply another man like those through
whom God spoke to his people previously, on a par with John the Baptist
or one of the prophets. Rather, he is God's unique, only-begotten Son (John
3:16). For that reason God has no more to say to us than what he has said
to us in Jesus (Heb. 1:1-2), and he can do no more for us than what he
has done in Jesus.
Rom. 8:32 continues this thought:
'He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will
he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?' Our salvation
was not accomplished by the sending of God's Son (the Incarnation), but
by the Son's death on the cross (the Crucifixion). This astonishing event,
in which the Father gave up the Son to death, was not an act of betrayal,
or an act unwillingly entered into, but a 'perfect act of collaboration'
in which Father and Son brought about our salvation. We do not know what
it meant for Jesus to bear our sins on the cross, but we can share his
story in another sense, by enjoying the benefits he has brought us by his
death. As Matthew Henry puts it, 'now we may know that God loves us' -
when we look at the cross.
Lastly, 1 Thess. 2:12 speaks of God
as calling us 'into his own kingdom and glory'. In the Gospel God, so to
speak, invites us into his own house of many mansions. He offers us the
hospitality of his heavenly home and calls us to dwell with him for ever.
Human hospitality can be wonderful thing: shall we, then, not rejoice in
this divine hospitality, graciously extended to us?
How should we respond
to God's awesome love for us? Dr. Milne pointed to two verses in Romans
12. Firstly, 'love must be sincere' (Rom 12:9). God has loved us sincerely
in the Lord Jesus, and we must respond by showing genuine and open love
to one another as believers. Secondly, we must practise hospitality (Rom.
12:13): as believers we should be willing to share ourselves, our time,
our resources with fellow-believers. The church urgnetly needs men and
women of love, who will live lives that reflect God's own love.
This is a brief
summary of a rich and heart-warming address. You are urged to hear the
this Wednesday (18th July) Mrs.
Peck will be speaking about her recent sabbatical in Israel. She will be
showing us some pictures of Israel and sharing with us some lessons from
her time there. Come along for worship and enjoy what is sure to be a lively
20th July (7.30-9.15 p.m.) Dr.
Satterthwaite will give the second of his occasional lectures on Biblical
Where did our Bibles come from? Text of the New
Testament. The lecture will deal with questions such as: What are
the texts on which our translations of the New Testament are based? How
reliable are they? How do scholars deal with cases where different NT texts
contain different readings? What is the 'Received Text' of the Greek New
Testament which underlies the King James Version, and what authority does
it have? The lecture is offered to all who are interested, free of charge.
If you are intending to come, please phone the Office (353 8071) to let
us know or email us.
Dr Douglas Milne's Public
Lecture was well appreciated. A report will be given next week.
We welcome two new Faculty
Ng Seng Chuan returns to BGST after a break of four years. He was a
part-time lecturer and Director of Field Education from 1995-97. We welcome
Rev. Ng as lecturer in Applied Theology. He comes to us with a rich background
of pastoral work and a passion for speech communications. Dr Ng Peh
Cheng taught at Singapore Bible College and was an Adjunct Lecturer
at BGST. She holds degrees in Theology from SBC, in Christian Education
and Cross-cultural Communications / Missions from Wheaton College / Graduate
School, in Education from Michigan State University and recently completed
a graduate diploma in Social Research from the National University of Singapore.
She is also a member of the Commission in Accreditation and Educational
Development of the Asia Theological Association. She has a burden for integrating
social science with a biblically-oriented educational ministry of the Church.