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Issue No. 27 4-10 July 2011

From the Principal: Reflections on a Railway Line

 

satterthwaiteAs BTW readers will know, Tanjong Pagar railway station closed last week, after 79 years of operation. Trains to Malaysia will now run from Woodlands. For the next two weeks the Singapore public, in what I think is an imaginative and generous gesture on the part of the government, will be allowed to trek along the line between Tanjong Pager and Woodlands (details in Straits Times for July 2nd). I have always been keen on trains and railways, something which has to some extent rubbed off on my wife. So yesterday Eileen and I did something we had never done before (and which would until July 1st have been both illegal and dangerous): we walked much of the track between the Bukit Timah Road bridge and Tanjong Pagar station.

It was quite hard going, and we were glad that we had walking shoes, but it was a fascinating experience to see a railway line close up from an unfamiliar perspective, and to walk through parts of Singapore which we had never seen before (or not from this angle). Many others were clearly just as fascinated: we kept meeting groups of people as we walked along, and there was a crowd at Bukit Timah Road bridge! As we followed the line, we passed close to many houses and HDB flats. It was clear that the line has been a part of many people’s lives, and that many wished to say goodbye by walking along at least a small stretch of it. Perhaps some simply wanted to take advantage of a ‘special offer’ which was ‘for a limited period only’! Certainly I want to walk as much as possible of the line before the ‘offer’ ends.

Going along the line gave a sense of the passing of time. Built in the 1930s, and now running through a landscape very different from that of the 1930s, the line is a survival from an earlier era and feels like it: most of the bridges and buildings it goes past were built after it was laid. One can see why the decision has been taken to close Tanjong Pagar station: it makes sense to have the line from Malaysia terminate at the modern transport hub of Woodlands. And yet, I hope that the track between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands, a living slice of Singaporean history, is retained in some form, just as Tanjong Pagar station itself is to become a national monument. I hear that one possibility is to turn the track bed into a Park Connector, which seems to me a great idea: it would make for lovely cycling.

Three paragraphs and a not a reference to the Bible or to BGST! Well, is that a problem? Hasn’t BGST always encouraged Christians to reflect on contemporary events in our society as well as on biblical truth? And if the earth is the Lord’s, and still testifies to its Creator, doesn’t that include the section between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands railway stations? (It is not a valid counter-argument that a railway track is a human artefact: see Gen. 1:26–28.)

But let me in this final paragraph bend my reflections in a more familiar direction. History, tradition and the modern world; seeing things from new perspectives; the need to change and adapt, while retaining what is of value. These things may apply to railway lines; they also apply to BGST. We have a noble vision, and much in our 22 years of history to give thanks for. But the issues faced by the church are changing, and the kind of theological education we offer must change with them. A continuing challenge, given BGST’s commitment to equipping Christians in the marketplace, is to devise courses whose content and form will make them accessible to working Christians, while not compromising as regards biblical content, and while continuing to draw on the resources of 2000 years of church history. This is an issue that will occupy us much in coming months as we consider revisions to our curriculum and teaching formats.

Will you pray with us that BGST may remain ‘on track’?

Philip Satterthwaite.

Chapel News
Mr Peter Jamir, Field Director of Zion Bishan BP Church’s work in India will be speaking in our chapel on 13 July 2011. Chapel begins at 12 pm. You are welcome to join us.
Courses Commencing in Term 1 & 2, 2011-2012

APPLIED THEOLOGY
Christian Biography (AT151, 1.5cr);
Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4; 7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Zion Bishan BP Church
Lecturer: Dr David Wong

Marketplace Theology (MM255, 1.5cr); (Group Tutorial) by Prof Paul Stevens / Tutor: Mr Ben Pwee; Oct 20, 27; 7.15-9.45pm;
Venue: Clarus Centre

BIBLICAL STUDIES
*Biblical Hebrew (BH111, 3cr);
Jul 12, 19, 26, Aug 2, 16, 23, Sep 6, 13, 20, Oct 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, 22, 29, Dec 6; 7.30-9.30pm
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC
Lecturer: Dr Andrew Lee

Biblical Hermeneutics & Interpretation (HE101, 3cr);
Jul 18, 25, Aug 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Sep 12, 19, Oct 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov 14, 21; 7.30-9.35pm
Venue: Thomson Rd Baptist Church
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

*Greek Exegesis I (BG 211, 3cr);
Zion Bishan BP Church: Jul 21, 28, Aug 4, 11, 18, 25, Sep 1, 8, 15, 22, Oct 13, 20, 27,
Clarus Centre: Nov 3, 10, 17; 7.30-9.30pm
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming (PhD candidate, Uni of Cambridge)

New Testament Foundations I (NT101, 3cr);
Aug 16, 23, Sep 6, 13, 20, Oct 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, 8, 15, 22; 7.15-9.50pm;
Venue: Thomson Rd Baptist Church
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming (PhD candidate, Uni of Cambridge)

Understanding Galatians (NT312, 1.5cr);
Aug 5, 12, 19, 26, Sep 2; 7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Oh Boon Leong

Old Testament Foundations I (OT101, 3cr);
Aug 5, 12, 19, 26, Sep 2, 9, 16, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4; 7.15-9.50pm
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church
Lecturer: Dr Andrew Lee

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION & SPIRITUAL FORMATION
*Counselling Skills: Working with Adolescents
(ECF516/CO236, 3cr);
(New Dates) Jul 18, 25, Aug 1, 8, 22, 29, Sep 5, 12, 19, 26;
7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Rev Song Cheng Hock

The Educational Ministry of the Church (ECF500/CE101, 3cr);
July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug 4, 11, 18, 25, Sep 1, 8;
7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

*The Counselling’s Skills: Working with Children (ECF515/CO235, 3cr);
(New Dates) July 21, 28, Aug 4, 11, 18, 25, Sep 1, 8, 15, 22; 7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun

Children’s Spirituality & Ministry Formation (ECF502, 3cr);
Aug 16, 23, Sep 6, 13, 20, Oct 11, 18, 25, Nov 8, 15; 7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

*Scripture Recitation & Story Telling (ECF514, 1.5cr);
Oct 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4; 7.15-10.15pm
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Rev Ng Seng Chuan

Spiritual Retreat Experience: Nature, Purpose, Dynamics (ECF504, 3cr);
Oct 18, 25, Nov 1, 8, 15, 7.15-9.45pm;
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC
Lecturer: Mr John Chong Ser Choon;
Residential Retreat Nov 17-20 (Additional Cost)

THEOLOGICAL STUDIES
Introduction to Church History I: From Jerusalem to Chang’An (CH101, 3cr);
Jul 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 17, 24, 31, Sep 7, 14, 21, 28; 7.15-9.50pm
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church
Lecturer: Dr Lai Pak Wah
[Required for MDiv]

Wesley Then & Now: Introduction to the Theology of John Wesley (TS240/CH254, 3cr);
(Group Tutorial);
by Prof Victor Shepherd/Tutor: Dr Edwin Tay;
July 12, 19, 26, Aug 2; 16; 7.15-9.45pm;
Venue: Telok Ayer CMC

Theological Foundations I (TS211, 3cr);
Zion Bishan BP Church: Aug 25, Sep 1, 8,
Clarus Centre: 15, 22, Oct 13, 20, 27, Nov 3, 10, 17, 24;
7.15-9.50pm;
Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay

The Roots of Christianity: The Wisdom of the Church Fathers for the 21st Century
(CH260/TS281, 3cr);
Zion Bishan BP Church: Sep 12, 19,
Clarus Centre: Oct 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov 14, 21, 28, Dec 5, 12, 19;
7.15- 9.50pm;
Lecturer: Dr Lai Pak Wah

Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.

The course schedule for Semester I, year 2011-2012 is now available. For more information, please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events

Coming Event

3rd annual conference

Read More ...

TENT 2011 Modules
TENT
Tentmakers Equipping 'N' Training

Understanding Culture & Country Profile Studies
Tues. Jul 5, 12, 19 & 26; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitators: Dr Ng Peh Cheng & Miss Valerie Lim

Religions of Asia
Tues. Aug 2, 16 & 23; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Dr Jeanette Hui

Personal Ministry Skills: Practical Considerations for a Tentmaker’s Ministry
Tues. Sept 6, 13 & 20; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mr Toh Kai Hua

Tentmakers & Ethical Issues
Sat. Oct 8 & 15; 2011 (9.30-11.30am; 12.00-2.00pm)
Facilitator: A Former Singaporean Tentmaker

Coping with Stress
Tues. Oct 11, 18 & 25; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mr Yam Keng Mun

All TENT courses will be held at 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Blk B Clarus Centre (former Union Industrial Building)

For more information on TENT courses, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/tent

Church-Based Lay Training Modules
2011 Modules offered at
Yishun Christian Church (Anglican)

The Message of the Song of Songs
Wed. Sep 7, 14, 21, 28 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

2011 Modules offered at
Mt Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church

The Message of the Song of Songs
Thu. Jul 7, 21, 28, Aug 4 (New Dates)
(7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

Beginnings: Opening the Gospels
Thu. Sep 1, 8, 15, 22 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming

For details about the modules & registrations, please visit:
http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/church-based-lay-training
or contact
 Biblical Graduate School of Theology
Tel: 6227 6815 Fax: 6255 3686

Email: cblt-ycca@bgst.edu.sg (Yishun Christian Church)
cblt-mcbpc@bgst.edu.sg (Mt Carmel BP Church)

37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg
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