Monday, July 31, 2017

Theologian on the Move

If there is a name or function of what I do I would reckon being a theologian fits the bill. Not that I think of it as a title or honorific as if one must be well-known person or published author to be known as a theologian. I would think every mature Christian is a theologian as he theologizes everyday in how to apply his knowledge of God and His Word to day to day living for himself, his family and his community. The very next day after my travels to Indonesia I drove back to College and taught Hebrews on Wednesday and Romans on Thursday. On Friday I drove to Kota Belud (KB) where I preached  Friday night and twice Saturday. Just before driving to KB, I spent about 30 minutes in our official Pastors' whatsapp group and gave a summary of the theology on the treatment of foreigners in Sabah especially the many illegal immigrants that had come into the State in the past 20 years. I trust my views helped the 150 or so pastors in this one group.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sayonara Singapore

When I was mid flight from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu last night I felt a new surge of energy and renewed purpose. The magnitude of what I did in the past 10 hours was just beginning to sink in. I told no one what I was about to do, not even my closest friends. By noon I had burned my bridges with Singapore except the ties of friendship. Only one friend knew I was stopping over and to find a honest friend is a rare treasure. By noon today I was speeding past Mount Kinabalu towards Ranau. I could have delayed my return to College on the excuse of needing rest from my 8-day travels in three countries.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Recent Past

If there is a way to escape our past one might just not return to our familiar ways or wish for the good old days. One can hardly escape the memory of recent past where I walked the streets of gold and my eyes and my mind feasted on books to my heart's content. Today I went past and went into my favourite bookstore Kinokuniya at Orchard Road. Only three years ago I would find myself on alternate weekends browsing what I could glean, pick and buy. Three hours could pass quickly if one reads a chapter here and there from politics, history and religion.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Preaching, Leading & Theological Training

When I was Acting Principal I preached every Tuesday for 20 mins and once a month in the Chapel's Sunday services. As a leader of any institution it is important to preach regularly just like a church pastor preaching to his flock. Jesus leads his people whether a church or seminary through His Word. God's leaders will preach God's Word to make His will known to those we lead in God's name. Yesterday I preached for 22 minutes in Chapel. It was not my turn but as I shall be away on 23rd July I decided to preach, having preached only once this Semester in the Opening Service exactly a month ago. The theme for July is taken from Eccles 3,1 "there is a time for everything". I started by explaining from Gen 1,14 where a Hebrew word, moedim means appointed times and it is used in regard to feasts of the Lord as God's appointed times for His people. I said that Jesus did not die on any day but on the 14th Nisan being the Day of the Passover and the Holy Spirit did not come down on any day but on the Feast of Pentecost. Likewise we must ask what God's appointed times are for us personally and for the College.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Teaching Resumes

The third year students came back yesterday and today first up they attended my Romans class. Eleven out of 16 made it back on time after some cajoling from me through the College whatsapp group. Three students informed me they could not come back in time but I am waiting to hear from the other 2 students. Admittedly they had to travel far to return to College one of whom would take 9 hours from his place of ministry. But others took just as long but they made it back to College last night in order to attend class today.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Misty Mountains

I don't remember for a long time having so much rain since the start of the year. If it keeps raining it will be one of the wettest years on record. Yesterday I started half an hour earlier for my drive back to Ranau from KK. On the horizon over the hills of Tamparuli I saw dark clouds menacing with heavy rains to follow. As soon as I started my ascent at Tamparuli it poured cats and dogs and it rained all the way to Kundasang before it let up with intermittent showers from Kundasang to Ranau.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Triple Sevens

Today is the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventeenth year of the third millennium. If we take the Jewish year of 5777 there are many sevens though the Hebrew calendar is only the fifth month. So according to our Western calendar that is used widely around the world today we have at least three sevens. In the book of Revelation the main visionary section of the book runs from ch. 6 to ch. 16 in a triple series of seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls. So John of Revelation certainly had a penchant for numbers especially the number 7 used more than 50 times in the book of Revelation.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Theological Conferences

It is exactly a year ago that I attended the SBL meeting in Seoul. I shall be attending another Conference in a fortnight's time. One of the highlights was certainly meeting biblical scholars around the world. I shared a taxi with a Korean American Professor who taught at Harvard Divinity School. As I paid for the taxi fare about 12,000 won he bought me a latte coffee at Yonsei University cafe and we chatted. He was in his early 40s and had already published 4 monographs.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Under Authority

One of the famous passages in the Gospels is the story of the Roman centurion who told Jesus not to come to his house but that Jesus would just speak the word. The reason given is that just as the Roman centurion exercises authority over his subordinates and they carry out his commands, he reasoned that Jesus as the Messiah and Lord also possesses authority that He could command and things shall be done accordingly. I have learned to serve under authority.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Second Half

It is time to reflect on the first half of the year. The second half has just begun. What have I done for the Lord? It is good to have a report card out. Even cars need to be checked every few months or at least 6 months interval. Has my ministry caused an impact to those I serve? Sometimes it is not easy to answer but some measurements and proof of fruitfulness is called for even as Paul said let each one take pride in his own work and not the work of another (Galatians). Then how can one judge one's own work except to offer some reflections and personal assessment?