Issue No. 4

26 Jan - 1 Feb 2009

Chapel Notes

Many years ago Rev. Dr. Steven Tan lectured for BGST. Then he was pastor of a church in Philadelphia for over ten years. Last year he returned to Singapore to become pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church (Upper Changi Road East). This Wednesday at Chapel, it was a pleasure to welcome him back.

Dr. Tan’s text was Exodus 25:1–9, the beginning of the account of the construction of the tabernacle. He spoke on God’s pattern, purpose and provision for the tabernacle.

Pattern: People want a vision, and Christian leaders are often keen to ‘come up’ with a vision which meets people’s desires, but they must make sure that it is genuinely God’s vision that they give the people. Leaders must spend time in God’s presence and cultivate their relationship with God, or they may be in danger of leading the people in a direction that God does not intend.

Purpose: The sanctuary expresses both God’s holiness and his desire to be close to his people: in the narrative in Exodus God dwells in the midst of his people, but access to his presence is highly restricted. The challenge to us is: how can we live in a way that expresses both God’s holiness and his desire for fellowship with human beings? How are we to be ‘in the world but not of the world’? We must be indwelt by God’s Spirit.

Provision: Did God depend upon the Israelites to provide the materials and the labour for the construction of the tabernacle? No: he could have dropped it down ready-made from heaven. But instead he wanted the Israelites to be involved in his work. Today in a similar way God wants us to offer him ourselves and our talents. If we do so, we will find that it is an opportunity for growth; and if we do not, we may find that later we regret our decision.

Our fulltime MCS student Mr Venusa Tinyi will be sharing at Chapel on 28 Jan (Wed).

The Chapel speaker for 4 Feb is Prof Paul Stevens. Do come to join us.

Weekly Highlights

Visiting Adjunct Faculty
We would like to extend a warm welcome to Prof Paul Stevens who will be with us from 29 Jan - 7 Feb to teach Liberating the Laity: Empowering the Whole People of God for Service in the Church and World, commencing 29 Jan 2009.

If you wish to register for the course, please call Ms Christine Chan of Admin Office.

News Bits

Notice: Hebrew Classes (BH 111/BH 214) on Saturdays?
Any reader of BTW who is interested in the possibility of attending an introductory course in Biblical Hebrew to be held on Saturday mornings (11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.) should contact Dr. Philip Satterthwaite at one of his email addresses ( or As with the Hebrew teaching in 2008, the course will have the joint course code BH 111/BH 214. Students can stop after eight lectures (the requirement for BH 214, 1.5 credits) or go on for the full sixteen projected lectures (the requirement for BH 111, 3 credits). The aim is to start this course (not previously advertised) after Chinese New Year, and to proceed at a rate which students find comfortable, meeting every week or sometimes after a gap of two weeks. For further details contact Dr. Satterthwaite as soon as possible. These courses are offered for credit only, and normal fees apply.

The School is closed for Chinese New Year on 26 & 27 Jan and will resume operations on 28 Jan (Wed).

With effect from February 2009, BGST This Week (BTW) will be published weekly as an e-bulletin. Print copies will only be produced on the second and fourth week of the month.

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