Focus on Origins - an Interview with Dr. Robert Newman
This video is one of the two gifts presented to BGST library by Dr. Robert Newman who delivered the lecture on Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth two Saturdays ago.  The other gift which is a book will be featured in BTW of 27th August.  Here is a brief write-up on the video presentation.

Twenty-five questions are covered in this interdisciplinary discussion.  Dr. Newman earned degrees in both astrophysics and theology and is the author of numerous articles in both scientific and theological journals.  He co-authored four books in similar fields.  In this interview, he deals with questions on both the theological and scientific implications on origins. Dr. Newman very ably brings wisdom and knowledge from both fields to bear on this intriguing topic.

Topics covered by the questions include the Big Bang, Intelligent Design, Multiple Universes, Hawking's Brief History of Time, and the strength and weakness of four popular views of origins: the Atheistic Evolution, Theistic Evolution, Progressive Creation, and Young-Earth Creation.

The tape is of 1 hour and 12 minutes in length and you may check it out at the end of this week.  Should you wish to find out more about similar resources visit the website of Access Research Network at www.arn.org.  (PSM)

We welcomed Quek Tze Ming and Sharon at chapel last week.  Sharon shared with us on three areas of her growth in the last year.  Bringing up Hannah has helped her to appreciate even more God's unconditional love.  Enjoying the amusement her daughter affords them, she felt that God too must take joy in us his children.  Being a parent now, she realised how much her parents must have gone through and how much they had done for their children.  On herself she shared that it was a time for discipline of another kind.  No longer is life lived according to her inclinations like getting up late when one feels like it.  She quoted someone who said "Children are given so that parents can grow up".  However, catering to Hannah's needs is a joy just as God never considers our need of Him as an interruption to Him.

Tze Ming then came on with the "heavy" stuff.  His sharing centred around the question "What was so fantastic about the centurion's faith?" based on Matt 8:5-13.  Of course he asked other questions along the way but this summary is too short to record all that he shared.

The Bible speaks about exercising faith.  What does it mean to us to day?  Firstly, faith is not magic or manipulation - whether of spiritistic or other forces.  The centurion believed that it didn't require the Lord's presence or any kind of ritual for healing to be effected.  How about us today?  Do we sometimes find ourselves practising the falsehood that God is "obligated" to hear our prayer or bless us because we ...?

God does not require complete knowledge either for us to exercise faith in Him.  Here was a Roman centurion who did not belong to the chosen race, was not brought up on the Torah, and had what would be considered by the Jews inadequate knowledge of God. Yet the Lord commended him on his faith.  So while we strive to know the Word better, it is both comforting and humbling to know that faith does not depend on knowledge - comforting because every person can have faith in God, and humbling because all our studies cannot increase our skills in faith.

Faith is recognising Jesus and putting our trust in Him.  It is a matter of recognising the authority behind the person.  The centurion evidently saw it as believing in the God whose authority Jesus exercised.  Tze Ming went on to show the analogy of Jesus re-constituting the nation of Israel around Himself.  You need to listen to the tape to get all of this.  The upshot of it is that the centurion was told by the Lord, "go your way, let it be done to you as you have believed".  The healing took place not just because of his faith or how much faith he had but according to what he expected the Lord to do.

The centurion's amazing faith is a lesson for us to think again about what it means to exercise faith in the Lord Jesus.

  • Last Wednesday evening was a rare occasion when the staff and faculty members and families, including would-be family members joined forces - to bring food, cook it and eat it together!  The slight rain did not dampen the determined spirit.  Two birthday cakes provided the round-up for the feast.  They  were for Daisy and Kok Wee.  The only failure I know of is that our arrangement for Kok Wee to meet with a "potential candidate" did not materialise.  Apart from that it was good to see all the children running around and the adults getting to know each other. We had a great time!

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  • At chapel this week we will hear from Rev. Lee Eun Moo who will share about the ministry of Partners for World Mission.  You are welcome.

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  • Registration for Personal Evangelism in the Workplace is trickling in.  How we wish people would decide earlier!  Registration for courses in BGST can be compared to waiting for wedding dinners to begin.  The course begins this Friday at 7 p.m.  So just turn up!
Ah, the mystery of knowing God and His grace ....

The richest man in the world, Croesus, once asked the wisest man in the world, Thales, "What is God?" The philosopher asked for a day in which to deliberate, and then for another, and then for another, and another, and another - and at length confessed that he was not able to answer, that the longer he deliberated, the more difficult it was for him to frame an answer. 
The fiery Tertullian, the early Church Father, eagerly seized upon this incident and said it was an example of the world's ignorance of God outside of Christ. "There," he exclaimed, "is the wisest man in the world, and he cannot tell you who God is. But the most ignorant mechanic among the Christians knows God, and is able to make him known unto others."

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In Stroudesburg, Pennsylvania, there is the grave of a Civil War soldier. The stone bears the date of his birth and death, and then these words: "Abraham Lincoln's substitute." In the woe and anguish of the war, realizing that thousand upon thousands were falling in his place on the field of battle, Lincoln chose to honour one particular soldier as his substitute and make him a symbol, as it were, of the fact that the soldiers who perished in battle were dying that others might live.

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When Hudson Taylor was staying in the home of a friend on one occasion, his host asked him, "But are you always conscious of abiding in Christ?"
"While sleeping last night," replied Mr Taylor, "did I cease to abide in your home because I was unconscious of the fact?"

(Taken from Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations )

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