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Issue No. 01 9 - 15 Jan 2012
From The Principal

the complete book of everyday ChristianityI would like to begin this year with a review of a book whose concerns are central to BGST. Towards the end of last year Graceworks, the Singapore-based consultancy committed (in the words of its own website) to ‘the promotion of spiritual friendship in church and society through publishing and training’ performed a signal service to the Christian community in Singapore and other parts of the world: they printed a revised edition of The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity, edited by Robert Banks and Paul Stevens (hereafter ‘CBET’).

When it was first published in 1997, CBET aimed to help Christians relate their faith to their lives. It brought together hundreds of short articles written by over one hundred contributors, with the aim of addressing as wide a spread of real-life issues as possible. The articles (average length 3-4 pages) aimed to provide a treatments of their chosen topics which, while they would be readable and concise, would go into more depth than is normally possible in other media of Christian instruction such as sermons or small-group discussions. The editors wanted to provide a ‘deposit of accumulated wisdom’, theological reflections informed by historical perspectives, which would give Christians a starting-point for their own thinking. Great care went into the choice of topics: theological and moral ‘hot potatoes’ were handled responsibly and forthrightly; but more than that, the sheer range of topics covered encouraged Christians to see that all sorts of issues which they might have thought of as theologically or morally neutral were, when more closely examined, real testing-grounds for discipleship. Each article ended with suggestions for further reading, and a variety of indexes aimed to make CBET as accessible as possible: a Life Activities, Interests & Concerns Index’; a Life Experiences Index; and a more conventional, but appropriately full, Subject Index.

The need for such a book has not gone away in the fourteen years since it first appeared. As the editors note in the Preface to this revised edition, ‘We thought the pace of change in 1997 was great. The pace of change has not slowed. If anything it is even faster and more complex.’ Some of the articles have been replaced or revised, and some new articles commissioned, but a large number have been left more or less unchanged, reflecting their continuing usefulness. Simply listing the titles of the first few articles gives a sense of the wide range of CBET and its refusal to duck awkward issues: Abortion; Abuse; Accountability, Relational; Accountability, Workplace; Addiction; Adolescence. Under ‘C’ we find: Calling/Vocation; Camping; Career; Chocolate; Chores; Christian Education; 9 articles covering different aspects of Church; and so on. (I have to say that I thought the article on Chocolate verged on the idolatrous.)

This is a book to skim in search of stimulating reflections, to turn to when an issue comes up in the course of preparing a sermon or Bible study, to consult when your own life moves on to a new stage and you are in need of wisdom to address matters you have not thought about before, and to work through if you want to enlarge your vision of the Christian life. (At one or two articles a day you would easily cover it in a year.)

When I teach on the book of Proverbs, I am fond of saying that Proverbs is more like a packet of seeds than a box of sticking plasters: it is not a book of ‘quick solutions to life’s problems’ but a collection of reflections designed to stimulate further reflection on the reader’s part; more a book of questions (things to go away and think about) than a book of answers. Proverbs, in short, aims to stimulate thought, not put an end to thought. I would encourage you to treat CBET in a similar spirit: it is not the final word on all the topics it covers (how could it be, given its size and the complexity of the topics addressed?), but a collection of essays which will provide a helpful orientation to the topics addressed and a starting point for your own thought.

Lastly, in one respect the 2011 edition is even more user-friendly than the 1997 edition: it will survive repeated handling without falling to pieces! The 2011 edition has a soft cover, is printed on good-quality paper (thinner than in the 1997 edition) and, most important of all, has a strong binding. Copies of CBET can be bought at BGST.

Dr Philip Satterthwaite
Principal, BGST

Upcoming Intensive Courses

Dr Burce WinterRev Dr Bruce Winter was Principal of Queensland Theological College, until his recent retirement. He is Director of the Institute for Early Christianity in the Greco-Roman World at the University of Queensland, Senior Research Fellow at Macquarie University, and Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.

He will be conducting two intensive courses in the months of January and February 2012.

  1. God Goes to the Office: Walking Around God’s World God’s Way
    Day / Time : Monday-Friday, 7.15-10.15pm
    Date : Jan 30, 31, Feb 1, 2, 3
    Venue : Community for Christ Church, 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #03-03A Blk A, Clarus Centre Singapore 577177

    Traditionally some theological discussion has been undertaken on the basis of the two kingdoms:
    God’s kingdom works according to His Word and the kingdoms of this world work according to their own value systems. This course begins by examining the Word of God to see how the commercial world of Israel operated and then how the first Christians operated in that world. The course will then proceed to explore the implications of the film Wall Street and recent Christian discussion on this critical issue.

    For more information on the courses and registration, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/258-god-goes-to-the-office

  2. Secular Culture Versus Culture of the Cross: 1st and 21st Century Challenges
    Day / Time : Monday-Friday, 7.15-10.15pm
    Date : Feb 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Venue : Community for Christ Church, 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #03-03A Blk A, Clarus Centre Singapore 577177

This course looks at the clash in five major spheres of first-century life for Christians. It examines what it would have been like for first-century Christians to be conformed to the world of their day and then confronted by the demands in Romans 12:2, that they were to be transformed by ethical reprogramming according to the will of God.
 
For more information on the courses and registration, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/259-secular-culture-vs-culture-of-the-cross

Chapel News
There will be no chapel on 11 Jan 2012. Chapel will resume on 18 Jan 2012.
Announcement

We are sorry to announce that, with effect from 1st February 2012, we will be losing the services of our Dean, Dr. Ng Peh Cheng as a full-time faculty. Peh Cheng will be leaving BGST to pursue a career with Asia Theological Association (ATA): she has been appointed as the Associate Secretary of CAED (Commission on Accreditation & Educational Development), a full-time position which will enable her to continue her involvement in theological education. We are pleased to say, however, that her relationship with BGST will not end on 1st February, as she will continue give courses for us as an adjunct lecturer.

Since joining BGST in 2001 Peh Cheng has contributed greatly to the work of BGST: over and above her teaching in the area of Christian Education, which has been appreciated by hundreds of students, she has helped to put in place many processes, particularly in the area of academic standards and admissions. We want to take this opportunity to thank her for all she has done for BGST since she joined us in 2001. We wish her God’s blessing in her new endeavour, and look forward to her continuing involvement in the work of BGST.

Biblical Graduate School of Theology
2012 Public Lecture & Course
by Dr Daniel Block

Dr Daniel BlockWe welcome Dr Daniel Block who will be in Singapore from March 10-16. He has taught a course on the book of Ezekiel in 2009 so it is a privilege to have him back at BGST.

Dr Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at the Graduate School of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. U.S.A.

Public Lecture
Date: March 12, 2012
Time: 7.15 – 8.15 pm
Topic: “Will the Real Moses Please Rise? An Exploration into the Role and Ministry of Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy”
Venue: 37 Jalan Pemimpin #06-05 Blk B, Clarus Centre. Singapore 577177

Admission is free
To register: registration@bgst.edu.sg

Course
Title: The Gospel According to Moses: A study of Deuteronomy
(OT 351, 1.5 credits)

for details, registration & group discount, please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/263-the-gospel-according-to-moses

Note: *Those who register for the course should attend the public lecture which is the first part of the class session on March 12.

Faculty News
Dr Edwin Tay will be preaching at the 8.00am, 10.00am services of Bethesda Chapel on Sunday, 15th January 2012 on the topic, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:24-2:5)
Prayer for Student
Please pray for our student, Makiko Okada, who has been warded for treatment on an eye condition caused by immune system disease. Makiko's studies have been proceeding well before this unexpected turn, so do pray for her to recover quickly, and for the doctors to have wisdom and skill to treat her.
She is currently back in Japan.
Courses Commencing in Terms 3, 2011-2012

BIBLICAL STUDIES

Foundational
Old Testament Foundations II (OT102, 3cr)
Date: Jan 16, 30, Feb 13, 20, 27, Mar 5, 19, 26, Apr 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7
(Mon, 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Thomson Road Baptist Church
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

New Testament Foundations II (NT102, 3cr)
Date: Mar 2, 9, 23, 30, Apr 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18 (Fri, 7.15-10.15pm )
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Oh Boon Leong


Old Testament
The Gospel According to Moses: A Study of Deuteronomy
(OT 351, 1.5cr)

Date: Mar 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; (7.15 – 10.15pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Overseas Guest Lecturer: Dr Daniel Block

Knowing Christ through Psalms
(OT216, 1.5cr)

Date: Feb 17, 24, Mar 2, 9, 23, 30;
(Fri, 7.15-9.50pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church
Lecturer: Dr Andrew Lee

Ezekiel (OT367, 1.5cr);(Group Tutorial)
by Dr Daniel Block/Tutor: Dr Andrew Lee
Date: Apr 13, 20, 27, May 4; (Fri, 7.15-9.15pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church


New Testament
Secular Culture Versus Culture of the Cross: 1st and 21st Century Challenges (NT110, 1.5cr)
Date: Feb 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; (7.15-10.15pm)
Venue: Community for Christ Church
(Block A Clarus Centre)

Overseas Guest Lecturer: Rev Dr Bruce Winter


CHURCH MINISTRY

Philosophy of Ministry (CM101, 3cr)
Date: Feb 4 and other dates; (Sat 2.00-3.30pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Quek Swee Hwa

Field Education (AT325 or AT326, 3cr each)
Date: Feb 4 (combined with CM101); (Sat 2.00-3.30pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Quek Swee Hwa

COUNSELLING, PREACHING & TEACHING

*The Counsellor as Person: Self-Awareness & Maturity in Christ (CO101, 3cr)
Date: Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, Mar 1, 8, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12; (Thu, 7.15-10.15pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun

MANAGEMENT & WORK FROM CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

Vocation, Work & Ministry (MM101, 3cr)
(Group Tutorial) by Prof. Paul Stevens/ Tutor: Dr Clive Lim
Date: Feb 1,15, 29, Mar 7; (Wed, 7.15-10.15pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre

God Goes to the Office: Walking Around God’s World God’s Way (MM262, 1.5cr)
Date: Jan 30, 31, Feb 1, 2, 3; (7.15-10.15pm)
Venue: Community for Christ Church (Block A Clarus Centre)
Overseas Guest Lecturer: Rev Dr Bruce Winter

SPIRITUAL FORMATION

Human Development & Spiritual Formation (ECF 501, 3cr)
Date: Feb 22, 29, Mar 7, 21, 28, Apr 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2; (Wed, 7.15-10.15pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng & Mr John Chong Ser Choon

THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

Theological Foundations II (TS212, 3cr)
[Prerequisite- TS101]
Date: Feb16, 23, Mar 1, 8, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10; (Thu, 7.15-9.50pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay


Ethics
Christian Ethics (TS252, 3cr); (Group Tutorial)
by Dr Douglas Milne
by Tutor: Rev Dr John Ting
Date: Feb 8, 22, Mar 21, 28, Apr 4
(Wed, 7.15-9.45pm)
Venue: Prinsep St Presbyterian Church


 

* Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.
The course schedule for Semester 2, year 2011-2012 is now available.
For more information, please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events

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