Monday, October 29, 2012

"The Lord will magnify his instruction..." (Isa 42:21)

I conducted an 10-hour seminar on the book of Revelation in Kuala Lumpur during the long week-end. More than 200 people attended the seminar over 2 days. The participants had such a hunger for God's Word that I seldom see elsewhere. I was given no rest with questions coming in hard and fast even during the breaks. My voice was barely holding when we finished at 5pm on Saturday. My hosts were most hospitable and we had wonderful fellowship over meals around Petaling Jaya.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Teaching John's Gospel in Jan 2013

I shall be teaching a course on the Gospel of John as part of the Master of Ministry and Master of Divinity programmes. It will be held on Wednesday afternoons beginning the 9th January 2013. A synopsis is provided below:

John’s Gospel remains the favourite Gospel for many Christians since its reception in the Early Church to the present day. The Gospel’s appeal lies in its simplicity in conveying profound truths about God and the knowledge of God through His Son in the Holy Spirit. We will attempt to answer the question addressed by Pilate to Jesus: “What is Truth? (John 18:38). The course will look at the Gospel’s literary and theological aims in presenting Jesus as the Logos made flesh. It will look at how John fulfils his stated purpose that “these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31) through his arrangement of the Gospel narrative, the use of symbolism and multi-layered language and the nuanced use of the Old Testament. We will examine a main concern of John’s Gospel – on how spirituality is developed and sustained for believers through communion with the Father and the Son and living in community with one another in love. We will also discuss how homilies/sermons could be crafted from John’s Gospel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Purple Patch

It has been an amazing week. On Monday I participated in a seminar on Rev 11 at Singapore Bible College. I met old friends and the former Dean was kind to make time to greet me at the end of the seminar. There was a number of faculty present including the Dean, an OT professor, and others. Altogether there must about 40 postgraduate students and members of the public who came for the Seminar. The Q & A lasted 45 minutes and we ended at 12 noon sharp. The 2 hour-seminar went very quickly. The Director of the Ichthus Research Centre of SBC was friendly and expressed interest in my research into the book of Revelation.

On Tuesday I taught 3 hours of Greek to 17 students and we have reached the Aorists and then the Perfect tense. It was hard going because students have many things on their minds including deadlines for essays. At night, I went to the other side of Singapore in the east coast at Changi and taught 2 hours on the Book of Zechariah to a group of about 35 participants at SACC. The feedback was excellent as I probably pitched it right and felt the Lord's strength and wisdom to communicate the truths from Zech 3-6. It was a long Tuesday as I finished work at 5:30pm preparing for the Open House and my friend came and picked me up at 6:30pm and by the time I reached home, it was 11pm and bed-time was 1am.

I rose early this morning because of the Open House which went incredibly well. A total of 130 people turned up, 85 for the English and 45 for the Chinese Department. As Acting Dean of Students ad charged to write a full report for Trumpet I attended all the sessions. The Chapel service was packed for the first time except for annual graduation service when parents of graduating students attend and overseas visitors. My colleague preached a wonderful sermon on Prayer of Moses and a Korean student sang solo in Mandarin. We finished on time and lunch was next on the schedule. Due to the unexpected turn-out of 28 people walked without registering earlier, the food was gone in no time but the caterer somewhat managed to conjure something in quick time and there was even seconds for those who wanted more. The rain poured down hard and the dining hall was packed to the brim and we could not hardly hear one another though we sat at the same table.

I rushed off earlier before the visitors were taken to tour the Campus as another event was unfolding at MPH - Blood Donation Drive. I talked to several people about to donate blood and at the end 27 people successfully gave their blood for a good cause. Thanks to the staff of Red Cross who came and left late at about 6:30pm. In between I managed to prepare my lectures for John's Gospel tomorrow as I decided to completely revise my notes for this year's class which has an interesting mix of students compared to previous years.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Preaching Marriage, Divorce & Children's Welfare

This must be one of the toughest weeks since I joined TTC as lecturer. After 3 hours of teaching Greek yesterday morning I had to rush to make last-minute revisions to my notes for an evening Seminar at SACC on the book of Zechariah. I slept at 1am in the morning with my Chapel's sermon on my bedside (literally). So this morning at TTC Chapel I duly preached one of the toughest messages I ever embarked on from Mark 10:2-16. It took almost 45 minutes with Chinese translation. It's slightly longer than usual as I would preach for about 40 minutes maximum on a Wednesday. Several things came up last minutes. Thankfully I was in the zone since early morning and I started praying earnest praying for the 11:30am service from 9:15am onwards. Late yesterday I received news that my interpreter fell ill and there was a last minute replacement. I normally would meet up my interpreter a day or two before to pray and go over the script to make sure there was no problems with the translation. I also normally summarized my sermon if I see the time is running away from me and it means the translator has to be on his or her toes and not stick with the prepared text. Unfortunately, I could not do that this morning because of the last-minute replacement and it was already good of her to take up this difficult task of translating into Chinese without worrying about me changing and chopping the text. After the opening hymn and call to worship I sang a Greek song (Luke 18:13) with half my Greek class. Those who stood with me were brave men and an encouragement to their lecturer. More than the sermon, the song received positive feedback - several students told me that it made Greek came alive to them - singing Greek and reading Greek is a totally different experience!

Monday, October 1, 2012

TTC Open House 2012

If you are thinking of theological education, you may want to come to our TTC Open House next Wednesday, 10th Oct 2012 (register here). There are already 91 prospective students registered for the event. The Faculty will be more than happy to meet with participants after community lunch. Those outside Singapore who come are welcome to stay overnight at the College, free of charge. See you there.