I am not talking about Augustine’s tome on the Trinity of about 500 pages long. I spoke about 3 hours on the Trinity to a group of students between 18-20 years old school leavers waiting for their O and A levels results. There were 54 participants with 6 coordinators so I have a 60 strong audience. I thought we were having the talks in an air conditioned room at the Retreat Centre only about 12kms from where I am but it was under a shed open air, a good enough environment but a little tough on the speaker who has to endure the heat from 10am onwards. I felt comfortable in the first hour but 2nd hour and the final session were hard to get through. But I guess it was a cost savings measures so I had to endure it in order to get the message across.
Speaking on the Trinity is not easy on any day let alone among teenagers and those barely 20 years old from various denominations. I was introduced as the former lecturer of my College which is something I have to get used to since the College has been a big part of my life for the past 4 years. I did not once mention anything about my College except that when I used a bit of Greek I joked that in Singapore I taught Greek for 5 years but in Sabah or in my former College I had never been asked to teach the NT language except for one Semester when I was Acting Principal. In the whole of Malaysia one may get a handful of people who are qualified to teach Greek but in Sabah I am not needed. But the Secondary students were very good. I don’t know they understood most of my lectures but they were absolutely attentive and even asked me various questions before the actual Q & A session. I basically explained the texts that support the understanding of the Godhead and God as Trinity beginning with Jesus’s own confession of the Shema (Deut 6:4) from Mark 12:29. From the last hour of Q & A, I realised the biblical knowledge of most students was very weak. Most are Christians from young but they seemed to know so little of the Bible. I am not surprised because even theological students don’t do much Bible studies so what do you expect of ordinary church members. I have a burden to see in churches that a systematic learning of the Bible is carried out and this I will do in my church when I am appointed pastor in the future.
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