Ritchemar, one of our full time MDiv students, shared his understanding of 1 Corinthians 8 at Chapel. He observed that the church at Corinth had more problems than any other churches planted by Paul in Asia Minor. One of the problems was eating food offered to idols, an issue that is addressed by Paul in the passage to which we have just referred. Instead of placing the emphasis on the issue described, Ritchemar tried to show that Paul’s primary concern was with the twin issues of Christian knowledge and love. He showed us an interesting exegetical diagram that charted the flow and logic of Paul’s argument. Some of his observations are as follows:
Although Paul introduced a new subject with the phrase, “concerning food offered to idols” (v1), however, his flow of thought in the chapter suggests that he was far more concerned about shaping the Corinthian’s “attitudes” towards the “weak brothers” on account of their acquired “sound theology” (vv 4-6) than merely about food offered to idols. Paul’s use of the strong adversative, “however” (v7), not only serves
to call into question the view of the Corinthians on eating food offered to idols, but also connects the argument with verse one in which the issues of knowledge and love are significant. In other words, Paul brings in the issue of food offered to idols as a spring-board to achieve his ultimate goal: loving the brethren by being considerate to the “weak brothers” (v13).
What motivated the Corinthians to eat food offered to idols is their knowledge of sound theology: that there is one God “from whom are all things” (v6), including the meat offered to idols. This knowledge frees them to eat the sacrificed meat. Furthermore, they asserted that “food will not commend us to God” (v8), and possibly also, that eating meat offered to idols is not a sin (v12). However, Paul argued that “not all possess this knowledge” (v7) and strongly urged them to be considerate in dealing with the “weak brothers”. The Corinthians are to “take care” of how they exercised their rights (v9) so as not to stumble or “destroy” the faith of fellow believers (v9, 11, 13). Thus, Paul was deeply concerned about love for the brethren.
Children’s Spirituality & Ministry Formation (ECF502, 3cr); Sep 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27; 7.15-10.15pm Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng
Contextual Hermeneutics: Reading the Bible in an Asian Context (HE210,1.5cr);Sep 14, 28, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2, 9; 7.30-9.30pm Lecturer: Dr Augustine Pagolu
Business & Ethics (MM257, 1.5cr);
Sep 23, 30, Oct 5 (Mon), 14; 7.15-10.15pm Lecturer: Mr Ben Pwee
Leadership Essentials (AT254, 1.5cr);
Oct 1, 8, 15, 22; 7.15-10.15pm Lecturer: Dr Tan Soo-Inn
History of the Doctrine of Atonement,(TS283, 1.5cr); Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 5, 12; (7 sessions) 7.30-9.30pm Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay
Letters from Paul to a Young Pastor: A Primer on Church Order & Leadership (NT262, 1.5cr); Oct 9, 16, 23, 30; 7.15-10.15pm
Lecturer: Dr Oh Boon Leong
*Spiritual Retreat Experience: Nature, Purpose & Experience (ECF504, 3cr); Oct 20, 27, Nov 3, 10, 17; 7.15-10.15pm. #Residential Retreat Nov 27-29 (Additional Cost) Lecturer: Mr John Chong Ser Choon
Vocation, Work & Ministry (MM101; 3 cr) Nov 19, 23, 25, 30, (Weekdays, 7.15-10.15pm); Nov 21, 28 (Saturday, 9.30-4.30pm)
Lecturers: Prof Paul Stevens & Mr Clive Lim (D. Min candidate, Gordon-Cornwell Theo. Sem)
*Scripture Recitation & Storytelling (ECF514, 1.5cr); Oct 28, Nov 4, 11,18, 25 (Exam); 7.15-10.15pm Lecturer: Rev Ng Seng Chuan
The Craft of Teaching (ECF511, 1.5cr);
Oct 29, Nov 5, 12, 19; 7.15-10.15pm
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng
Tentmakers & Ethical Issues, Sep 29, Oct 13, 20 (Tue 7.20 - 10pm)
Facilitator: A Singaporean Tentmaker
Personal Ministry Skills, Nov 3, 10, 17 (Tue 7.20-10pm) Lecturer: Mr Toh Kai Hua
* Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis. Registration is open for all courses. Visit www.bgst.edu.sg for course description and registration (under Course & Events/Course Schedules).
One of our Council members, Mr Lim Chin Keng, was called home to be with the Lord on 28 August 2009. According to the obituary, he was a “loving husband, wonderful father, kind brother, devoted friend to all.” His devotion is seen in the fact that he is one of our longest serving Council members. We thank God for his life and faithfulness in the service of Christ. In his eulogy, Mr Siew Kim Siang, a current Council member, spoke warmly of Chin Keng as an encourager, one who models servant-leadership, and a consistent prayer warrior. He spoke on behalf of the BGST family when he said: “Now that Chin Keng goes home to be with the Lord – quietly and without much fanfare, he leaves behind a rich legacy of love, faith and hope in the Lord. Goodbye, brother Chin Keng, till we meet again.” The BGST Council, Faculty, Staff, and students, send our deepest condolences to all members of the bereaved family. May you know the comfort of our Lord and the confidence of our eternal hope in Him.