Since its foundation in 1989, Dr Quek Swee Hwa has guided the work of BGST, first as Dean and then as Principal. Everyone who has studied and worked at BGST in the 21 years of its history, or who has in any way been blessed by the ministry of BGST, owes Dr Quek a great debt of gratitude. Without his vision, commitment and extraordinarily hard work, there would be no BGST, nor would BGST have progressed as far as it has.
As of 1st January 2011, Dr Quek will be retiring from his position as Principal of BGST. On that same date, he will assume the position of Founding Principal Emeritus of BGST. In his new role he will continue to be involved in the work of BGST, promoting the cause of BGST among the Christian public of Singapore, leading Bible Lands Study Tours, and teaching courses at BGST.
The new Principal of BGST will be Dr Philip Satterthwaite. He takes up his duties on 1st January 2011. Dr Satterthwaite has been a lecturer at BGST since 1998, specializing in Old Testament and Hebrew. He will continue to teach some courses though his teaching load will be reduced as he takes up his role as Principal.
Please pray for both Dr Quek and Dr Satterthwaite as they adjust to their new responsibilities. Please pray also for the Faculty and Staff of BGST and the continuing work of the School. The aim of the School continues to be that set out in its Mission Statement: “BGST engages the whole people of God in a trans-denominational community that promotes excellence in learning. Together we seek to grow in Christ-likeness and develop an integrated biblical worldview for effective service in the Church and the Marketplace.”
Old Testament and Hebrew Teaching Next Semester (Semester II, 2010-2011)
Dr Philip Satterthwaite was scheduled to teach Old Testament Foundations II (OT 102) next semester, starting on 10th February 2011. Because of his appointment as Principal, he has for the moment to reduce his teaching responsibilities. OT 102 will, therefore, not be offered as scheduled next semester. It will next be offered live in the first half of 2012. We apologise for the late announcement of this news: Dr Satterthwaite’s appointment as Principal was only confirmed last week. Anyone who needs to take OT 102 next semester in order to graduate at the next convocation (May 2011) should contact Dr Satterthwaite. Biblical Hebrew Exegesis II (BH 212) will be taught next semester as scheduled, beginning 10th January 2011.
Mr Quek Tze Ming, will be speaking at the Emmanuel BP Church service on Dec 19 at 3.00 pm. The topic is "Paul's Shipwreck (Acts 27.1-28.10)."
Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies
Mr Ng Zhi-Wen is a member and active leader at Zion Bishan BP Church. His ministry involvement includes Youth work, Worship ministry and Prison ministry. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and has served as a captain in MINDEF. At BGST, Zhi-Wen wishes to gain a strong theological foundation for effective ministry as a lay leader and to sense the Lord’s leading toward full-time ministry.
Ms Seah Chiew Hong is a member of Covenant Evangelical Free Church and an active lay leader in the ladies’ ministry and a covenant group. She is an alumna of the National University of Singapore and Cranfield Institute of Technology (MBA). Chiew Hong’s wish is to gain a sound theological foundation for effective ministry in the transformation of lives among ladies.
Miss Cher Weiling Joan worships at the Hope Singapore Church and serving in the cell group and discipling ministry. She is a Research Officer and an alumna of University of Queensland. Her desire to study at BGST is to gain a better understanding of the Christian faith for personal growth and maturity.
Our Chapel speaker on Dec 8 was Dr Edwin Tay, Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology.
Dr Tay preached from Hebrews 11:1-12:2 on the topic of faith. He began by indicating that the main theme of the passage is the necessity of faith, as stated plainly in verse 6: “without faith it is impossible to please God” (11:6a). Christians are people whose aim in life is to please God. For this reason, faith is inextricably tied to the Christian’s purpose in life. Consequently, faith is a central issue in the Christian faith. He then went on to expound this subject under two headings: the nature of faith, and the evidence of faith.
Faith is defined in the book of Hebrews as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1) Since the unbeliever may well be assured and convicted of his/her hopes, is there any difference between the hopes of the unbeliever and that of the Christian? Dr Tay pointed out that there is indeed a difference. It lies in the sources from which one’s hopes are derived and defined. The Christian’s hope is defined by what God has said in his Word. This is not the case for the unbeliever. Ample illustration of this point was drawn from the lives of the Old Testament patriarchs, such as Noah, Abraham, and Sarah.
Two kinds of evidence for the life of faith were then identified. The first has to do with obedience. Dr Tay argued that the case of Cain’s sacrifice being rejected by God has more to do with his disobedience than the nature of the sacrificial offering (cf. Gen 4:6-7; 1 Jn 3:12). This would imply that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because he obeyed God, thus giving evidence of his faith. Abraham also demonstrated his faith by his obedience as seen in his unquestioning departure from his homeland to the land of promise (11:8).
The second kind of evidence for the life of faith is living as “strangers and exiles” (11:13). What marks the life of strangers and exiles is the fact that they do not feel at home in a foreign land. Their hearts are longing for home. It was this longing, and therefore unease with the pleasures of Egypt, that led to Moses’ departure from a life of power and wealth to a life of suffering (11:24-26). Moses belonged to the people of promise. He believed God’s promise of land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and acted accordingly by faith.
Throughout his exposition, Dr Tay challenged us to think seriously on the extent to which we have become too comfortable with the values, culture, and norms of life in our nation, and the extent to which we have allowed them to subvert the norms of God. Nevertheless, the concluding note is one of encouragement. He reminded us of the grace of Christ that is available for us, directed our attention to Jesus, the pioneer and finisher of our faith (12:2), and urged us to press on in the faith.
Christmas at BGST
Come and join us on 22nd Dec at 12pm for a special chapel to be led by
Mr Quek Tze-Ming
and a time of fellowship over potluck lunch.
If you are joining us, do call
May Fern at 62276815 ext 223 or
so that she can coordinate the dishes for lunch.