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Issue No. 50 20 Dec - 26 Dec 2010
Chapel Notes  

Christian Spirituality for the Technological Age

At this week’s chapel, Dr Lai reflected on how we might develop a Christian perspective for the use of technology in our lives. Chaos, begins Dr Lai, emerges in different ways in our lives, such as a basin full of unwashed dishes, the crashing of our hard disk drives or flood in one’s country. In Dr Lai’s case, it is his mother’s debilitating illness, which has also sent her to the hospital several times. It was during her recent stay in the hospital that Dr Lai saw how the modern healthcare system could be an excellent illustration of how Modern Man triumphs over his environmental chaos, i.e., by bombarding the monstrous sickness with a sophisticated diagnostics system and a cocktail of drugs. This efficient healthcare system, however, is sometimes achieved at a cost, namely, the simplification of the idea of a human being, which, in turn, may lead to a dehumanisation of the patient.

It is for this reason that Dr Lai sees it pertinent to develop a Christian perspective on the use of technological products and systems in our lives. He began by considering the biblical instructions on this subject. Firstly, while technological development can be contrary to biblical spirituality (as in the case of the Tower of Babel), it can also be put to use for the service of God (such as the musical instruments used by the Psalmists). Secondly, just as God created the birds, animals and other complex systems in Creation (e.g., the weather systems!) out of chaotic disorder, so also can human beings, as images of God, participate in this creative ordering process.

Having considered the Scriptural views of technology, Dr Lai moved on to argue that technology is an ‘ideologically loaded thing’, whose creation is bound up with a specific ideology. Thus, the hammer is bound up with the idea of hammering nails, while IT systems must adopt an efficient and, therefore, a simplified view of human beings. While such technologies can be immensely helpful for humankind, they can also be misused potentially, to the detrimental of human lives. For this reason, it is important to remember the distinctions that Augustine makes for the ‘things’ we pursue in life. For Augustine, all that we desire may be divided into “the things to be used” (uti) and the “things to be enjoyed” (frui), which is also the love of the Triune God. In the case of technology, it is always an uti and a means by which human beings can be aided to enjoy our frui, which is the love of God and our neighbour.

Having said this, Dr Lai recognised that both the creators and users of technological products are limited in their understanding of the potential benefits and costs of such products. Consequently, a technological product will often achieve both more than and less than what its designers intend. Such are the dangers for the modern healthcare system. Intended to make healthcare more affordable, its bent towards productivity can potentially render efficiency the all-important goal and reduce the patient to simply a problem to be solved. For this reason, it is important for both creators and users to adopt a humble stance towards technological usage, and be prepared to rectify any unexpected applications or developments arising from technological usage. To be sure, these reflections are preliminary and much more work must be done on this subject. Nonetheless, Dr Lai hoped the principles suggested may at least become a starting point for others to reflect further on the role of technology in our lives.

Announcements

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 and have not liaised with May Fern, just bring a food item
when you come this Wednesday.

We will also be conducting a gift exchange on the day of the special chapel
and potluck lunch (Dec 22). Please bring a gift for someone else when you come.
These are the rules of the exchange:

1. The gift must be wrapped.
2. The gift must NOT be over $5 in value.
3. The gift must begin with the letter "B" (next year, we will have an exchange for gifts beginning with
the letter "G," then "S," then "T.")
4. Please bring gifts according the number of your party (e.g., if you are coming with your wife and one child, you bring 3 gifts, each of which must meet rules 1-3).

  • The School will be closed at 1pm on Fri, 24th Dec and will resume operation on Mon, 27th Dec. On 31st Dec, BGST Library will be opened from 9am to 6pm in view of New Year’s eve.
  • The Book Corner will be closed on 27th and 28th Dec for stock taking.
New Admission

Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies

Bernard Chng is a member of Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church and an active Lay Leader serving in the youth ministry, worship and church school teaching ministry. He is an Engineer and graduate of Nanyang Techological University.  At BGST, Bernard desires to acquire skills for sound bible study, to know God and a better understanding of himself to apply teachings of the Christian faith in his life.

Courses Commencing in Term 3 & 4, 2010-2011

Applied Theology
The Christian Mind (AT361, 1.5cr);(Group Tutorial)
by Dr David Wong/Tutor: Dr Lai Pak Wah;
Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1; (Tue 7.30-9.30pm)
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC, 235 Telok Ayer Street

Discerning God’s Will: Biblical Principles of Christian Decision-making (AT353, 1.5cr);
Feb 21, 28, Mar 14, 21, 28; (Mon 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13
Lecturer: Dr Tan Soo-Inn

Biblical Languages
*New Testament Greek II (BG112, 3cr);
Jan 6, 13, 20, 27, Feb 10, 17, 24, Mar 3, 17, 24, 31, Apr 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5; (Thu 7.30-9.15pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming (PhD candidate, Uni of Cambridge)

*Biblical Hebrew Exegesis II (BH212, 3cr);
Jan 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 28, Mar 14, 21, 28, Apr 4, 11; (Mon 7.30-9.45pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

Biblical Studies
New Testament Foundations II (NT102, 3cr);
Jan 14, 21, 28, Feb 11, 18, 25, Mar 18, 25, Apr 1, 8;
(Fri 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Oh Boon Leong
 
Reading Revelation Ethically: the last word on Empire, Economics, Ecology (NT364, 3cr);
Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3;
(Tue 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC, 235 Telok Ayer Street
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming (PhD candidate, Uni of Cambridge)

Interpreting Ezekiel (OT367, 1.5cr);(Group Tutorial)
by Dr Daniel Block/Tutor: Mr Andrew Lee (PhD candidate, Uni of Gloucestershire);
Mar  4, 11, 18, 25; (Fri 7.30-9.30pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep Street 

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION & SPIRITUAL FORMATION
Spirituality for Christian Formation (ECF503, 3cr);
Jan 5, 12, 19, 26, Feb 9, 16, 23, Mar 2, 9, 23, 30, Apr 6;
(Wed 7.15-9.30pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep Street
Lecturer: Mr Chong Ser Choon

*Research Methods & Ministry: Qualitative (ECF520, 3cr); Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15;
(Tue 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Chen Ai Yen

Educational Planning & Management (ECF510, 3cr);
Mar 17, 24, 31, Apr 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19;
(Thu 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

Counselling & Applied Theology
*The Counsellor’s Skills: Developing Micro-Skills in Counselling (CO213, 3cr); 
Feb 9, 16, 23, Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr 6, 13;
(Wed  7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep Street
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun

Contemporary Issues Facing Counsellors Today
(CO241, 1.5cr);
Mar 28, Apr 4, 11, 18, 25; (Mon 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13
Lecturer: Dr Danny Goh

Counselling & Community (CO240, 1.5cr);
Jun 11(Sat 10am-12pm, 12.45pm-3pm),
Jun 21, 22, 23; (7.20pm-10.10pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Rod Wilson (President of Regent College)

HISTORICAL STUDIES
Introduction to Church History II:
Six-Continent Christianities (CH102, 3cr);
 Mar 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 24;
(Tue 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Lai Pak Wah

Marketplace ministries
Liberating the Laity: Empowering the Whole People of God for Service in the Church & World (MM251, 3cr); (Group Tutorial) by  Prof Paul Stevens/ Tutor: Dr Ng Peh Cheng;
Jan 13, 27, Feb 10, 24, Mar 3; (Thu 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13

Globalization & Postmodernity: A Christian Response (MM258, 3cr);  Feb 9, 23, Mar 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr 6, 13; 
(Wed 7.15-10.15pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Mr Ben Pwee

Theology of Work (MM261, 3cr);
May 23, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, June 1, 2; 7.15-10.15pm, 
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturers: Prof Paul Stevens & Dr Clive Lim.

Mission & evangelism
Christianity Comes to Asia (ME325, 1.5cr);
(Group Tutorial) byDr Bobby Sng/Tutor: Dr Lai Pak Wah;
Feb 8, 15, 22, Mar 1; (Tue 7.30-9.30pm)
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC, 235 Telok Ayer Street

Introduction to Evangelism & World Mission
(ME101, 3cr); Mar 5 &12 (Sat 10am - 1pm, 2 - 5pm), 
Mar  4, 7, 10, 11; 7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Tan Kang San

Theological STUDIES
The Christian Faith (TS101, 3cr);
Jan 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28, Mar 14, 21;
(Mon 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church, 4 Bishan St 13
Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay

Teaching the Westminster Confession of Faith
(TS216, 3cr);(Group Tutorial) by Dr Douglas Milne/
Tutor: Dr Edwin Tay;
Mar 25, Apr 1, 8, 15, 29, May 6, 13, 20;
(Fri 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep Street

The Christian Spirit (TS251, 3cr);
(Group Tutorial) by Prof James Houston/
Tutor: Mr John Chong Ser Choon;
Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 24, 31;
(Tue 7.30-9.30pm)
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC, 235 Telok Ayer Street 

For more information on courses for 2011 visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events
37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre (former Union Industrial Building, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg
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