Dr Tan Kang-San spoke on the topic, “Re-envisioning Christian Hope.” Although his sermon was based on Romans 8:22-32, it was not confined to this passage but traversed a wide terrain of Biblical texts and pressing theological issues. There were three main divisions in his sermon: the concept of heaven; how it is tied to Christian hope in Romans 8; and its implications for Christian missions.
He noted that there is a popular conception of heaven among evangelicals which is based upon Biblical terms and phrases such as “kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 3:4; 4:17), “eternal life” (Lk. 10:25); “inheritance … kept in heaven” (1 Pet. 1:4), “citizenship…in heaven” (Phil. 3:20), and “heirs of God” (Rom. 8:17). This popular conception sees heaven as having nothing or very little to do with this world. However, as Dr Tan went on to show, these Biblical terms and phrases convey a more wholesome view of heaven when understood in the context in which they are employed. He pointed out, for instance, that the idea of God’s kingdom in Matthew’s Gospel is more about the active rule or kingship of God than about territorial space. Two other examples are the concept of “eternal life” (Lk. 10:25) and the language of Christian citizenship (Phi. 3:20). Both examples, when understood in context, suggest a far more integrated view of heaven’s relationship with our present earthly reality than is commonly allowed.
For Paul’s view of Christian hope, Dr Tan observed the intimate connection that exists between the groaning of creation (Rom. 8:22), the groaning of Christians (Rom.
8:23), and the groaning of the Spirit (Rom. 8:26). As Christians live out their faith in society and encounter a world stricken with poverty, sufferings, injustices, etc. (the groaning of creation), there is often an inability to express ourselves to God in light of the gravity of these issues (the groaning of Christians). The ministry of the Spirit is, therefore, critical in the intercessory work of Christians as they seek to impact society (the groaning of the Spirit). Paul’s vision of Christian hope thus embraces the whole of creation and looks forward to its ultimate renewal. It is not a triumphalistic position (e.g. I possess an eternal inheritance now so let’s conquer the land!), nor is it one that is disengaged from the world (e.g. since heaven is not on earth, I’ll have nothing to do with what goes on in the world). Rather, in the words of Dr Tan, heaven is “God’s dimension of the present reality”.
Dr Tan concluded his sermon with some implications for Christian missions. He challenged us to examine the extent to which the Church has imbibed the unbiblical, deistic view of God and the world that results in disengagement from the world in which we live. He also emphasized the need for the Church to care for the whole of creation, to be involved in the public sphere, and to worship God who is present with His people.
Courses commencing this week
Biblical Hermeneutics & Interpretation (HE101, 3 cr); Aug 26, Sep 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4, 11, 18, 25 (Wed 7.30-9.30pm)
(14 sessions); Lecturer : Dr Philip Satterthwaite
Old Testament Foundations I
(OT101, 3 cr); Aug 28, Sep 4, 11, 18, 25, Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov 6, 13, 20 Dec 4, 11, 18 (Fri 7.30-9.30pm) Lectuer : Dr Philip Satterthwaite
Coping with Stress, Aug 25, Sep 1, 8 (Tue 7.20-10pm) Lecturer : Mr Yam Keng Mun
For more details click on this link: http://bgst.edu.sg.
We regret to inform that the following two courses originally scheduled for Semester 1, 2009-2010 have now been postponed:
The Lamb, the Dragon and the Holy City: A Study of the Book of Revelation (NT363, 1.5 credits)
Jesus on the Silver Screen: Portrayals of Jesus & Christ Figures in Film (TS282/MM280, 1.5 credits)
The lecturer for both courses, Mr Quek Tze-Ming is on leave and will resume teaching in Semester 2, 2009-2010 (beginning in January), when the courses will be offered.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Rev Lim-Sim Swee Kee will be speaking on “The Cross - A paradigm for Christian Ministry in Wisdom and Servanthood “ (1 Cor 1: 18-31) on 2nd Sep . She is the Senior Pastor of New Life Baptist Church Ltd. Chapel begins at 12 pm every Wednesday. You are welcome to join us.
How should we response to the impact & challenges of Globalization & Postmodernity? Mr Ben Pwee’ course on Globalization & Postmodernity: A Christian Response will commence on Aug 27 (Thur). For details on dates & course syllabus, click http://bgst.edu.sg/courses/pdf/mm258-09.pdf
The Dead Sea Scrolls are coming to Singapore in a rare exhibition featuring archaeological findings that capture the image of biblical times and speak of the persistence of God's Word.
Biblical Graduate School of Theology is pleased to display our collections as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Ancient World Exhibit.
Venue: The Art House, 1 Old Parliament Lane
Dates: August 27 to September 20, 2009
Time: 10.00am to 9pm daily
Admission by tickets.
For more information, visit website: http://www.livinglegacy2009.com
Quote of the week:
“The church today should be getting ready and talking about issues of tomorrow and not issues of 20 and 30 years ago, because the church is going to be squeezed in a wringer. If we found it tough in these last few years, what are we going to do when we are faced with the real changes that are ahead?”
(Francis Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, 1970, pp. 81-82).
BGST Family Day
Dear friends, join us for a casual gathering among lecturers, staff, students and alumni for a wonderful time of fellowship, music & games. Get to learn interesting trivia about our BGST lecturers!
Experience a variety of cultural games from our many international students. We are looking
forward to seeing you there!
Date: 5th September 2009,
Time : 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Venue: 33 Mount Sinai Rise
(The Marbella Function Room)
For catering purpose please RSVP to Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 Aug 2009
Please click for more details: http://bgst.edu.sg/family_day/family_day.pdf
BGST 2nd Fundraising Golf Tournament, Friday 25 September 2009
Your support is much needed! Get your friends to form a flight of 4 players or help us get items for our goodie bags (souvenirs like caps or towels, products/product samples) and prizes for the winners. If you own a company, place an ad with us in the souvenir magazine. Feel free to contact Serene at Tel: 62276815 or Email: email@example.com if you have a contact to refer or if you have any inquiries. We look forward to hear from you!
Lost & Found Items
If you have lost a pendant at BGST last week, please contact Serene at 62276815