Books by Eugene Peterson and Marva Dawn are greatly valued because they are often provocative, sound, and speak directly to the heart. They do not simply trot out cliches or "accepted" ideas. They often challenge assumptions and are written not with the urge to publish, adding more books to the plethora

of books on the market, but with an inner compulsion to tell the truth as transparently as possible. They are not looking for fans or people who can boost their ego by saying, "I agree with you." In fact they find disagreement, with valid and convincing reasons of course, to be a healthy stimulus to further productive thinking on a particular topic. All said, it is clear that their ideas sometimes make people uncomfortable and one either disagrees violently with them or embraces enthusiastically an insight gained from reading their books. So when Marva and Eugene combine to write a book, as they do in The Unnecessary Pastor. Rediscovering the Call (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 2000), this is a special event.
    A word of explanation needs to be made about the definition of "unnecessary". The authors are not saying that pastors are unimportant, as though anyone who fancies himself or herself in that position can arrogate to themselves that role. Basically they deal not only with the issue that pastors sometimes regard themselves or are regarded by others as indispensable, but also with the misconception that pastors must be the "paragons of goodness and niceness".  Indeed they are to be valued in the correct way that God calls them to serve. What that is is for you to read for yourself. I know that you will find food for thought in this stimulating book. Like myself, you may not find yourself in full agreement with everything in the book. But you will want to read it and consider seriously its message.

We are considering the feasibility of collecting all the "Good Books" reviews since the commencement of this feature on April 13, 1998, and making them available in CD format for those interested. Some have told us that they appreciate Good Books and are archiving them for their own use. We will do it for you as a service in return for a freewill offering to BGST for our Building Fund. Here are some features of Good Books:

  • They highlight books that are useful for the reading of lay persons, focusing not just on devotional books, but especially on important books from the various theological disciplines.
  • They are brief, easy to digest and are just right for those who are interested in expanding their biblical understanding and horizons; they are not lengthy, technical reviews, like those found in theological journals.
  • They highlight both the recent accessions as well as valuable out-of-print items in the holdings of BGST Library; this is part of our Mission to make our Library play an important role for the Christian community in Singapore.
  • They cover not only books, but also good journals, Bible software, etc.
  • They enable book buffs and bibliophiles to decide whether or not an item is something they wish to purchase for themselves so that they can build a personal library of "best books" in each theological discipline.
Those who are interested may order their copies of this "GOOD BOOKS CD" from Serene at                   and as a special bonus we shall also include archival copies of selected sections of "A Word from the Dean". Our deadline to issue this is Dec 31, 2001.

Chapel Speaker for this Wed. will be Dr John Lim, formerly Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.

Last Wednesday, 31 October,
Cecil and Sonali Peters, gave a slide presentation of their future ministry back home in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand (formerly part of Bihar State), India.  Let's pray for them as they return to the ministry of Grace Bible College where, in addition to their primary responsibility in lecturing they will also be involved with a social work, a child care programme, and with church planting. But first, both will need to complete unfinished BGST work and Cecil expects to be back in BGST for about two months from Jan 10th, 2002. We wish them a happy reunion with their families and a bon voyage home.

Closure of Office & Library
We will be closed on Tuesday, 6 November, for the big move of Faculty & Admin offices to the Library. If you need to contact any of the Faculty members or staff on that day, please leave a message in the voicemail and we will revert to you as soon as we can. Please note that the main phone line (3538071) will be non-functional for a few hours on Wednesday morning. If you need to contact us on Wednesday, please call 3538073 instead. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are grateful to Helping Hand for assistance with the move.

BGST Library Continues to Serve

Users of BGST Library may be wondering, with the changes they are seeing, what is happening as regards the usage of this library. We want to assure everyone that the Mission of BGST Library remains the same. We want to serve, not just our own students, but the general Christian public. Please note:

  • Everyone is welcome to come and browse. No membership fee is charged for this. There is limited space for sitting down at a table to read. So until we can have our own campus (please pray with us in this regard) we will need to make do with the present tight space in our Library. Do not be disappointed if you are unable to find a reading table.
  • We welcome all Christians to join as Members of BGST Library so that they can have borrowing privileges. (Members of our host church, Zion BPC, do not need to pay the membership fee of $50 per year, but they will need like others to pay the refundable deposit of $100 when joining our Library).  Currently we have about 200 members.
  • BGST students, please note that reading space is reserved for students doing their thesis or ministry project. All other regular users of the Library will use the general reading tables. We are trying to open up a reading room for QUIET study. Until this can be provided it may be best for students to inform the Librarian if you need to have table space for any substantial amount of time. 

"Walking with Jesus" - our Bible Lands Study Tour to Israel, Dec 5-14, is on! We have been asked whether or not it is too late to register. The answer is "no": we are able to extend the deadline to Friday, November 9. A copy of the itinerary, together the cost, may be requested from Serene Woon, (tel.3538071). It is also available at the BGST Library Notice Board. Dr Quek will be glad to answer any other queries (tel. 97865044).

BGST End-of-the-Year Appeal.  Praise God we have so far received one pledge gift of $5,000 and eleven pledges (or their equivalent) of $1,000. To meet our operational expenses for the remainder of this year we need you to pray for God to supply:

  • four more pledges of $5,000 each
  • fourteen more pledges of $1,000 each.

Mission Trip Experience. Anyone who wishes to accompany Dr Quek on a short overnight mission trip to Endau-Rompin area on Dec 21-22, Friday to Saturday, is welcome to do so. Request from him an itinerary ( The visit will be to three Chinese-speaking mission churches and two Malay-speaking orang asli churches. This should prove to be a welcome break from the routine for some of you.

Dr Douglas Milne and his wife Joan will be back in Singapore for a short time this month. They are the guests of the Evangelical Reformed Churches in Singapore. Hear Dr Milne speak on "The Reformed Family, Then and Now" at the First Evangelical Reformed Church, 263 Yio Chu Kang Road:

Thursday, 15 November, 7.30-9.30 pm, THE BIBLICAL FAMILY (1) - Its Revival During the Reformation. This will be a brief history of the Reformation and its influence on the family.

Friday, 16 November, 7.30-9.30 pm, THE BIBLICAL FAMILY (2). - Its Decline Today and an Urgent Call to Reform. This will be a brief survey of the deterioration of family values and a clarion call to return to the Bible.

Saturday, 17 November 10.00am - 4.00 pm, An Adjunct programme by Dr Milne and other speakers.

Wishing you God's richest blessings, Happy Birthday !

Alby Yip Kong Fai  11/05
Edith Quek Lee Kheng  11/07
Pang Sow Yoke  11/08
Wong Chee Boon  11/08
Lim May Kwun  11/10
Steven Brown  11/11
Tang Kok Fai  11/11

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Biblical Graduate School of Theology
4 Bishan Street 13
Singapore 579792
This page is updated on 5 Nov 2001
Oct 2000