1. A Street Through Time, by Steve Noon (illustrator) & Dr Anne Millard. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1998.

  2. The Earth from the Air 365 days, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. London: Thames-Hudson, n.d.

  3. A Panorama of the Holy Land, by Jon Arnold and Stephen Sizer. Guilford, Surrey: 1998. 

  4. The Red Sea, by David Doubilet & Andrea Ghisotti. Vercelli, Itality: White Star, n.d.

There is something about “the big picture” that tells us something that ordinary photos can’t tell. This week’s Good Books make delightful reading, especially if your head is going round in circles with Greek or Hebrew vocabulary words, or you are tied up in knots trying to solve an ethical issue. 

The bibliophile in me - that’s another name for a book lover - tells me that I have found a treasure in the four books I am reviewing this week and I just want to curl up in a corner and read undisturbed. My first exposure to the book version of the Tolkien’s trilogy, Lord of the Rings, was on a ship travelling between New York and Southampton. I read non-stop for a good seven hours. The critic in me tells me that no book however good is flawless, except the Bible of course. 

A Street Through Time is a splendid, fascinating treatment of an imaginary riverine street in which the artist brings the onlooker through 12,000 years from neolithic (New Stone Age). A lot of care has been put in to bring out the details. I bought this at the British Library and as I looked at the small print, I notice with pride that it was printed in Singapore by Tien Wah Press! 

The Earth from the Air 365 days is another delightful book with stunning photos, one for each day of the year. It is a photo essay to be enjoyed a bit at a time. That way you would enjoy a kaleidoscope of planet earth, showing not just scenic photos but patterns on the ground seen from the air. Whether it is a monochromatic, mysterious patterns on icicles hanging from a branch, or the riot of colours of carpets drying out on the ground in Morocco, the point made is that we live in an exciting world, if only we can forget the harshness of life as man struggles to eke out a living. It’s a pity that this book is too small. Colour photos, especially panoramas require a wise expanse to show off their beauty.

The next two books do not disappoint. A Panorama of the Holy Land, also printed in Singapore (we must have a reputation for colour separation and quality printing) has got the right idea. When the book is spread open it gives one an IMAX feeling. Whether it is the vastness of the barren Judaen Desertscape, or the sprawling urban setting of Nazareth, or the massive summit of Mt Sinai, we are certain of this one thing - few photographers, even the best ones can beat the achievement of this book. 

The Red Sea, takes a unique approach. It was taken by two of the best underwater photographers whose works have won prestigious awards in the USA and in Italy. We are treated to page after page of sheer watery beauty as we look amazed at the works of our Almighty God under the sea. The underwater panorama displays the manifold beauty of one of the most famous waterways of the world. The Red Sea is the left fork ending at the Suez Canal of which the Gulf of Aqaba is the right fork, looking northward. It has one of the world richest collection of corals and exotic fishes, many of them not found anywhere else in the world. Because of the depth of the sea and its steep continental shelf, debris and decaying substances sink into the bottom and the water is most of the time crystal clear. This book is a treasure in BGST Library. Whether is a large school of surgeonfish (Naso Hexacanthus) captured in one still moment, or a similar shot of barracudas (Sphyraena Genie), their longish silvery bodies glistening against the dark blue water, or the unbelievably bold colours of sea anemones, and “all things bright and beautiful,” we are thankful to God that He gives to us the earth and its fulness therefore so that we can enjoy it and be assured that God is actively at work in our world and in our hearts. We cannot complain of the drabness of our life. It is man who makes life drab. 

So let us look upward and move forward, as God leads us on into the year 2005. To our readers, I hope that if you have not yet visited us in our new campus, you will pop by, especially if you work near No. 31 Tanjong Pagar Rd. We are not yet in full swing, but we are more or less completely. You will find these four books displayed and you may request from the Library counter to examine them more closely. God bless us all and let us praise our Almighty God.

Dr Quek Swee Hwa

Sneak Preview of 2005 Budget Tour!

This year I am planning, God willing, to take four tours instead of the usual one. But this is the first to materialize as we are busy chasing the airlines for the airfare, our land agent for his quotation. So I thought I will let you into what you may want to know. I hope to have an evening to talk at length to all those who are keen to go with me to the Bible Lands.

  • A Budget Tour - I have long been wanting to make an affordable tour so that those who are tight financially may be able to join me in a tour of Israel and Istanbul. Everything is going to be the same as in my past tours except on two counts: (1) Lunch will be light as often we have a Buffet Breakfast and a heavy Dinner. (2) Accommodation will be four to a room and that represents considerable saving for the tour fee, which will be under $3000 fullboard. If some of you want a more comfortable tour, you may have to wait till Nov-December. But the quotations are coming in for a cruise on the Greek Islands. These and another tour is still pending.

  • The Dates for the Spring Tour - the best time to travel to Israel is Spring - are April 4-14. 

  • The Itinerary. As usual we will be going to the Negev, Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Galilee, and Megiddo. There are many sights at each place and I will wait and see if any who have travelled with me in the pasyt are going again, in which case I will ensure that the tour will include new sites.

  • A Special Note. We are training others to assist in the guiding. It will take time and perhaps a word of reminder to you will be that there is strong possibility I may have to stop the Bible Lands Tours if my leg condition worsens. Right now I am confident that I can still guide all the tours this year.

  • More information will be given as soon as they are available. If you are interested please email your name, mailing address & contact number to Serene Woon at admin@bgst.edu.sg

INTRODUCING OUR RECENT GRADUATES

Andrew Lee Boon Hui, Dip CS (cum laude), MCS (cum laude), M Div (magna cum laude). 

Andrew is a member of Bukit Panjang Gospel Chapel. He was a staff worker with Singapore Youth For Christ before he started his theological education with BGST in 1999. He is grateful for the ministry of BGST and the way in which it has equipped him for his future ministry. He is seeking the Lord for further opportunities to advance his studies. His life verse is Ezra 7:10: ‘For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.’

Thesis Summary: An Eschatological Reading of Galatians 3 with the Postscript of Paul 
Paul’s eschatological perspective is fundamental to his theology. It is the centre of his thought, which is reflected in all his mission and proclamation, as the epistle to the Galatians illustrates. The epistle arises from Paul’s overriding concern over the Galatians’ failure to understand their true identity as Abraham’s offspring in Christ. This failure is tantamount to accepting a ‘different gospel’: one that emphasises the salvific necessity of circumcision and law-keeping over and above the apostolic gospel. Paul’s redemptive-historical viewpoint is reflected at every point in his arguments in Galatians, whose eschatological structure is climatically expressed through the classic pronouncement, ‘but when the fullness of the time came’, at 4:4. The thesis traces the coherence of Paul’s argument within the epistle along redemptive-historical lines. It identifies the motif of new creation in 6:11-18 as the interpretative key that elucidates Paul’s polemics in Galatian 3 concerning the legitimacy of the Galatians’ status as heirs of Abraham. This is the basis for his exhortation to them to live as new men in Christ.

We congratulate Andrew on his three awards:

  • Dean’s Prize (M Div) - established by Mount Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church

  • Greek Prize - in memory of the late Rev Quek Khee Swee

  • New Testament Prize - In memory of the late Dr Benjamin Chew. 

We hope to feature our other graduates next week. Praise the Lord with us for each one of these who worked hard and completed their studies.

NEWS BITS

  1. New Admission. Mr. Koh Chin Kok is a student in the Dip. CS. He is a member and active lay leader at the Church of Singapore. He is a chemical engineer and has obtained his Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

  2. BGST Offices and the Library will be closed on 21 January as it is a public holiday (Hari Raya Haji).

     

A Blessed Birthday to...

Dr Lee Shu Woan 17/1
Ms Sally Tee 19/1
Mr Lawrence Ong 20/1
Dr David Tan 21/1
Mr Peh Kok Hwa 21/1
Mr Toh Kai Hua 21/1
Mr Samuel Lee 21/1
Mr Alan Chia 21/1
Ms Pearl Chee 21/1
Ms Cheryl Chan 21/1
Mr Lam Wai Kay 22/1
Mrs Peck Siat Mui 22/1
Mr Joshua Goh 22/1
Mr Kim Hak Soo 23/1
Mr Tan Song Chua 23/1

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This page is updated on 26 Jan 2005. 
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