Good booksCommunicating Jesus' Way
Revised Edition by Charles H. Kraft, Pasadena, 
CA: William Carey Library, 1999. 140 pages.

     This is the new and enlarged edition of Kraft's third book on communication. It is a revision of the 1979 edition of the same title. Dr Charles H. Kraft is Professor of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission in Pasadena, California.
     I have always been very interested in learning the art of effective communication. So when someone gave me this book I took an immediate interest to it.
     This is what one reviewer of the book has to say about the book: "Kraft's combination of missionary experience, anthropological studies, and theological background enables him to bring together unique insights into the task of communicating the Gospel. Every homiletics professor should assign the book and every teacher and preacher should read it carefully" (Paul E. Pierson, Fuller Theological Seminary).
     "Communicating Jesus' Way" is short, straightforward, and easy to read. It gives basic thoughts on communication theory and relates them to the specific context of Christian teaching and preaching. It is a valuable resource of essential communication theory for pastors, students and teachers. At the heart of Dr Kraft's message of communication in the Christian context is the relational nature of communication. He writes about the incarnational nature of God's communication to the world through Jesus Christ and concludes that his intention in the book was "to advocate incarnational, life involvement communication to Christian communicators ... from the perspective of communication theory ... and from the example of God through Christ" (p.137). As the title of the book suggests cleverly, Jesus stands out as a model of a truly effective communicator; also just as God's truths were proclaimed and conveyed clearly to mankind through a person, the Incarnate Christ, so we too can be the channels through all may both hear and see concretely in our lives what it means to follow Jesus and be righteous.
     The author addresses communication from a practical information-processing viewpoint. The strength of the book lies in the author's treatment of the process of communication and meaning-making. Here, he goes beyond most treatments of communication information-processing models and addresses the relationship between language, culture and the individual's process of meaning-making. He concludes this section with a list of specific implications for Christian communication. The brevity of the book was intentional. It addresses the whole people of God to ponder carefully over how every Christian can and must communicate the Gospel effectively through following Jesus' example.
     If you want to imitate Jesus in your attempt to communicate then read "Communicating Jesus' Way". You will not regret spending time reading it. The book is available at BGST Library (LC261.52 KRA).

(Review by Dr John Lim)

bird thinking pointsby Mickey Chiang

Let's March
Around Jericho
(Part 2)

     When we think of Jericho, we tend to think of its walls tumbling down.  What a wondrous sight!  What a miracle!  When the Israelites left Egypt the number of able-bodied men of war was a staggering 603,550 (Numbers 1:46; Exodus 38:26). Give the high attrition rate -  all but two from this number, Joshua and Caleb, survived the 40 years of wilderness wanderings - we know that the numbers were replenished in such a way that the arrival of the Israelites struck fear in hearts of the Canaanites. We hardly think of the several hundred thousand Israelite soldiers marching in the hot sun, round and round the city-fortress of Jericho.  What a wondrous sight that was!  And what a miracle was worked among them!
     Picture in your mind over this mighty army all lined up with their weapons.  Wouldn't that have been about the largest military parade in the history of the world? That would be about several hundred times more troops than in our National Day Parade.
     If they were all on one side of Jericho, the military column would be about one kilometer long.  Let's give an average of one metre between each row of men.  That makes about 1,000 rows.  How many men would there be in each row? 500? 500? 600? Wow…..In most military parades the men march three to ten abreast only. Can you imagine 600 abreast?
     By the lefttttt, (or perhaps it was the right?) quickkk march!  The only sounds from the Israelites were the thud of feet on the ground and the plaintive, lonely sounds of seven ram's horn trumpets [Joshua 6:4 & 9].  Why were these the only sounds? Because Joshua had commanded the people: "Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until I tell you to shout!" [Joshua 6:10]  Isn't it eerie to see several hundred men marching around in the hot sun, not grumbling, not joking, not singing marching songs, not chanting like we do in the army, but maintaining a steely silence?
     Now picture the Jericho forces waiting on the fortress walls.  What would they be doing ….. if not jeering and shouting taunts and insults?  "Hey, stupid! Why are you walking in the sun?  Hope you get sunstroke!",  "Hey!  Too scared to attack us, huh?", "Eh, crazy!" these are some of the kinder things men are liable to shout at enemies who are just marching around their military position. 
     Now imagine you are an Israelite soldier marching around Jericho, sweating in the hot sun and hearing all kinds of insults, AND NOT BEING ALLOWED TO REPLY.  Arggh!  You can hardly stand it!  The only way you can stop yourself shouting back insults is by …….. what?  By great self-control, by keeping a cool head, right?  And that means discipline.  After one week of marching around Jericho a total of 13 times, without saying a word, without raising their voices, without shouting war cries, and without yelling back hot-headed insults, the ragged, desert-trained Israelite soldiers had turned into disciplined troops able to keep a cool head under severe provocation. 
     And after marching about four to five kilometers a day around Jericho each day for six days, and 30 to 35 kilometres on the seventh day, weren't the Israelite soldiers physically very fit? 
And after a 30 kilometre hike, don't troops tend to straggle and spread out, so that instead of a one or two kilometer column, they now completely surrounded Jericho?  Didn't God already know this when he said at the beginning, "then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in"? [Joshua 6:5]
     If the Israelites had broken through the city gate or one part of the wall and charged in through the narrow breach, then only the troops in front would see action.  Most of the troops would not be "blooded", would not be fighting and killing.  But if every man went straight in, every man stood a strong likelihood of doing actual fighting.  Every Israelite soldier would then be experienced and hardened by actual combat.  Would an army experienced and hardened in combat not be ready to take over the whole of Canaan after that?  Did the all-wise God not use the Marches Around Jericho and the Battle of Jericho to turn the whole Israelite army into experienced and battle hardened fighters, in preparation for the conquest of the Promised Land?
     All praise to Yahweh our God!  By wisdom and a miracle he made the walls of Jericho collapse.  And by his wisdom and a few words he prepared the whole Israelite army to take over the Promised Land!

chapel notes

Last Wednesday was Labour Day and there was no Chapel.

Chapel speaker for this Wednesday (8 May) will be alumnus, Mr Andrew Chua (Dip CS, 1999), who will be sharing with us on "Crucified with Jesus". Come & join us at Rm 302, 12 noon.

  1. UPDATING OUR READER DATABASE. If your personal particulars have changed over the last 6 months, kindly let us know.

  2. THANK YOU, DONORS. Gifts have been trickling in. We thank all who remembered BGST in their giving to God. Maintaining a graduate school dedicated to excellence and bringing the best to the Body of Christ in Singapore is not an easy thing to do. Together with other Bible Schools in Singapore we hope to lift up the level of ministry in the churches and para-church groups. And we are confident that in the years to come the fruit of our combined endeavours will bring glory to God as we remain faithful to the Word and to our calling and Mission.

  3. GOOD NEWS! We are planning more courses for Second Semester (from July 2002). If you are interested in signing up for the following courses, please call and inform our Admin Office: BG214, BH214, TS101, CH101, NT354, HE101 (check Prospectus).

flower pot

Wishing you God's blessings 
on your Birthday!

Mrs Susan Jenkins  8/5
Mr Daniel Jew  8/5
Dr Atomic Leow  8/5
Mr Joshua Cheng Eng Huat  9/5
Ms Marietta Randolph  9/5
Ms Tamilarasi  9/5
Mr Richard Lim Beng Heng  10/5
Mr Daniel Wang  10/5
Dr Chan Kit Yee  12/5
Mr Lim Tanguy Yuteck  12/5
Rev Bernard Low Bun Leong  12/5
Mr Loy Chin Fen  12/5

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This page is updated on 7 May 2002 by Leong Kok Weng.
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