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Dr Lai Pak Wah

Principal and Lecturer, Church History and Marketplace Theology


Pak-Wah is BGST’s Principal and Lecturer of Church History and Historical Theology. He also serves as an elder at Mt Carmel Bible Presbyterian Church where he worships and oversees the church’s Hybrid Church Initiative. His interest is the very heart of BGST’s mission: which is to help Christians make sense of their faith at work, church and society. Previously, Pak Wah engaged in investment promotion work with the Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB) and was a full-time lecturer at the School of Business, Singapore Polytechnic. He is the author of The Dao of Healing: Christian Perspective of Chinese Medicine, and a certified Belbin coach. Pak-Wah holds a PhD from Durham University, UK. He enjoys engaging in Chinese culture and playing the cello.


International Association of Patristic Studies (Singapore and Malaysia Correspondent)


  1. “John Chrysostom’s Theology of Christian Transformation.” Th.M Thesis, Regent College, 2007 (unpublished).
  2.  “John Chrysostom and the Hermeneutics of Exemplar Portraits.”  Ph. D Thesis, Durham University, 2010. (unpublished)

Courses taught

  1. CH101, CH102: History of Christianity, I, II
  2. CH/ TS260: The Roots of Christianity (Introduction to Patristics)
  3. TS/IS230: Cultural Apologetics Through Conversations 
  4. TS/ ID281: Dao of Healing: Christian Perspectives on Chinese Medicine (Seminar)
  5. CS211: Ancient Wisdom for Everyday Christianity: Reading the Spiritual Classics of Christianity  
  6. CS101: Christian Spirituality I: Foundations for Everyday Life  
  7. CS102: Christian Spirituality II: Practices for Discernment and Discipleship  
  8. BGST Church History Tour (Italy, 1st to 15th centuries) (2014, 2015)
  9. BGST Church History Tour: Reformation to 20th Century (2017)
  10. MM103, Christians in a Disruptive and Digital World (2021)
  11. MM100, THe Discerning Life (2023)
  12. Christian Leadership (in ENGAGE Certificates of Lay Leadership and Pastoral Leadership)

Published Works

  1. Books
    Journal Articles
    1. “John Calvin’s Use of the Church Fathers.”CRUX43 (2007): 14-22.
    2. “The Monk as Saint and Exemplar in John Chrysostom’s Writings.” In Studies in Church History. Vol. 47. Suffolk: Boydell, 2011.
    3. “Dialogue and Ideology in the Martyrdom of Polycarp: A Bakhtinian Analysis.” Studia Patristica 52 (2012): 37-45.
    4. “The Imago Dei and Salvation among the Antiochenes: A Comparison of John Chrysostom with Theodore of Mopseustia.” Studia Patristica 67, Vol. 15 (2013).
    5. “Comparing Patristic and Chinese Medical Anthropologies: Insights for Chinese Contextual Theology.” Studia Patristica 91, No. 17 (2017): 213-24
    6. “The Eusebian and Meletian Roots of John Chrysostom’s Trinitarian Theology,” Scrinium 14 (2018): 1–26.
    7. “John Chrysostom’s Reception of Basil of Caesarea’s Trinitarian Theology,” Sriinum 15 (2019): 62–79.
    8. Rhetoric and Therapy in John Chrysostom’s Trinitarian Discourse.” Studia Patristica 128, Vol. 25 (2021): 283-94.
    Book Chapters
    1. “Preaching Salvation in Early Christianity: The Example of John the ‘Golden-Mouth’ Preacher,” in The Joy of the Lord: Essays in Honour of Quek Swee Hwa. Edited by Philip E. Satterthwaite and David W. F. Wong. Singapore: Finishing Well Ministries, 2012.
    2. “Reading On the Priesthood as Dialogue: Perspectives on John Chrysostom’s Ascetic Vision,” in John Chrysostom: Past, Present, Future. Edited by Doru Costache and Mario Baghos. Sydney: AIOCS, 2017.
    3. “John Chrysostom: Vision of the Angelic Life,” in Sources of the Christian Self: A Cultural History of Christian Identity. Edited by James M. Houston and Jens Zimmermann. MI: Eerdmans, 2018.
    4. “Reformed Theology and Tradition,” in Heritage & Legacy of the Bible-Presbyterian Church in Singapore. SG: Finishing Well Ministries, 2018.
    5. “The Legacy of the Church Fathers for the Bible Presbyterians,” in An Owl’s Journey: Essays to commemorate the 70th birthday of David W. F. Wong. SG: Graceworks, 2019.
    6. “Exemplar Portraits and the Interpretation of John Chrysostom’s Doctrine of Recapitulation,” in Revisioning John Chrysostom. Edited by Chris de Wit and Wendy Mayer. Leiden: Brill, 2019
    Unpublished Articles / Conference Presentations
    1. Metaphysical Metaphors East and West: Implications for Chinese & Biomedical Dialogue.Presented at the 20thInternational Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy 2017 (unpublished)
    2. Harmonious Unity: Chinese Medicine and Meditative Well-Being. Presented at the Australian Meditation Conference 2018 (unpublished)
    3. “Digital Pedagogies in Theological Education,” Oxford Handbook in Digital Theology. Edited by Alexander Chow and Jonas Kurlberg, Oxford: OUP, To be Published)
    Book Reviews/ Popular Literature
    1. “Book Review – Christianities in Asia.” Review of Christianities in Asia, ed. Peter C. Phan. West-Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. Mission Round Table: The Occasional Bulletin of OMF Mission Research Vol. 7 (2012).
    2. “Ask Salt&Light: How Do I Share My Beliefs with Colleagues of Other Faiths?” Salt & Light, June 1, 2018. 
    3. “How Do We Deal with the Pagan Roots of Christmas?” Salt & Light, December 13, 2018.
    4. “Demystifying Chinese Medicine,” Salt & Light, July 8, 2018. 
    5. “Why Church History Matters in the Internet Age,” Salt & Light, May 16, 2018.
    6. Qing Ming Rituals: What’s Appropriate for a Christian | Salt&Light,” accessed March 23, 2023, .

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