A Peace Less Experienced in Singapore - Sabbatical Reflections

GIVE AN UNFORGETTABLE GIFT!

Vouchers for our courses, books and biblical memorabilia are available at the BGST Bookshop.

 

Gift vouchers come in denominations of $10 and $50. Course vouchers carry a value of $75 and may be combined in multiples to make up course fees.

BGST Council, Principal,

Faculty & Staff Invite

Alumni, Students, Supporters and Friends of BGST to our

Inaugural Chapel Service

for the New Academic Year Dedication

on Wednesday, 9 July 2008 at 7.15 pm

at Telok Ayer Chinese

Methodist Church,

235 Telok Ayer Street

 

You are also invited to a reception following the service

(RSVP by 4 July 2008: 62276815 or tanch@bgst.edu.sg)

(No parking in the Church)

Congratulations and every blessing to our graduates from the Class of 2008! We shall be introducing them in the coming issues of BTW.

 

MDiv                                                                     Grad DipCS      

Dr Ng Liang Wei (magna cum laude)                   Dr Tony K Y Chan (cum laude)

Mr Alby Yip Kong Fai                                            Mr Koh Chin Kok

Mr Yoong Yuen Soo (magna cum laude)            Ms Wong Ee Kian (cum laude)

                                                                             Ms Tricia Yeo Keem Luang

MCS                                                                                  

Mr Bernard Chaing Boon Twee                            TENT                                                        

Mr Govindaram s/o SV                                         Ms Crystl Foong Chooi Yee

Mr Lam Yuen Foong                                             Mr Koh Chin Kok

Mr Ng Boon Thian                                                Ms Doreen Yeo Hwee Keng

Mr Siew Kim Siang                                               Dr Ong Lay Siang (in absentia)

Ms Tan Siew Goh

Mr Yue Fah Yong

 

We congratulate also the following prize winners:

 

Principal’s Prize :

   For the Grad Dip CS  : Dr Tony K Y Chan        Old Testament Prize                : Mr Lam Yuen Foong

   For the MCS              : Mr Ng Boon Thian         New Testament Prize               : Mr Yue Fah Yong

   For the M Div             : Mr Yoong Yuen Soo     Applied theology Prize            : Mr Alby Yip Kong Fai

Hebrew Prize               : Mr Ng Liang Wei           Christian Education Prize       : Mr Govindaram s/o SV

Greek Prize                  : Mr Yoong Yuen Soo     Counselling Prize                     : Mr Siew Kim Siang

Field Education Prize  : Mr Ng Liang Wei          Missions & Evangelism Prize : Mr Govindaram s/o SV

Text Box: The Christian As Salt and Light in Politics by Dr Toh See Kiat 

Singaporeans live in a peaceful and prosperous 
society. There is religious freedom, with the 
rights to propagate and practice religion enshrined 
in the Constitution. Nevertheless, the political system is 
secular. Religion is not a factor in policy making and 
public governance, though religious views are considered. Hence Singapore Christians, by and large, see no need for them to be actively involved in politics. Many others see politics as either something unpalatable or something they should not be involved in.

Are these correct attitudes for Christians to adopt? What does the Bible say about politics and Christian involvement? What would Jesus have done if He was a Singaporean?

Date: 11 July 2008 (Friday), 7.30-9.30pm
Venue: Singapore Thomson Road Baptist Church, Sanctuary, 
45 Thomson Road.

Admission is free. Look forward to see you there!
Text Box: Please note that BGST Library will close at 6pm 
instead of 9pm on 
both 9 & 11 July, 2008.

All vouchers are valid for 1 year from date of issue and you can personalize them with your very own message. The library staff will be happy to help.

 

So the next time someone special comes to mind or an occasion arises, remember, there's a BGST blessing you can give!

31 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088454   Tel: 62276815   Fax: 62276816   Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg

 

To access previous issues of BTW  click archives | To access BGST website click HOME

30 June - 6 July 2008

Issue No. 24          

Biblical GRADUATE school of theology

BGST This Week

    The view was exhilarating. I enjoyed especially the colours! Miles and miles of peaceful lush green pastures flew past on both sides of the high-speed British Rail train we were travelling. Punctuating all this greenery were entire crops of mustard with their delicate tiny yellow flowers forming large swathes of yellow splashed on an appealing, inviting landscape. Clumps of bushes covered totally  with brilliant yellow blossoms    outlined the edges of fields demarcated by either stone walls or  hedgerows teeming with bird and insect life. Occasionally the scenery became deep brown exposing the rich soil of fields ploughed and ready for the next season’s crops. Above us were clear blue, sunny skies with patches of white clouds. This mixture of colours, the work of an Unseen Artist, God Himself, quite took away my breath away as I leaned back on the comfortable sofa seats taking in eagerly every bit of this precious and exciting scenery.

    What impressed me most was a deep sense of peace. Inside the train was a hushed quietness. This lasted many hours as our train pushed northward relentlessly from London to Edinburgh. Outside in the fields were dairy cows munching away endlessly at the juicy spring grass. Separately in other fields were sheep. It was easy to spot the sheep ‘families’. The sight of tiny new-born lambs seated on the grass around their mothers or gamboling around them on their shaky legs was intriguing to me. Occasionally I saw farmhouses. From their chimneystacks wisps of smoke could be seen curling upward into the air. There was an eerie stillness. No human beings nor any moving vehicles were in sight. A few horses could be spotted enjoying the openness of the rural scenery with blankets covering their body because of the cold. There were many varieties of birds, large and small, all creatures of our God and King who has made everything beautiful in its time.

    Soon we reached  Durham. The magnificent steeple of the thousand year-old Cathedral and the Castle dominated and dwarfed everything else around them. We were glad to meet Lai Pak Wah, BGST’s Faculty-in-Development. We spent a few days bonding with him and his family. My meeting with Pak Wah’s supervisor confirmed for me the significance of the preaching and writings of the Greek Church Father, John Chrysostom (the “golden-mouth”). I was pleased with the progress Pak Wah has made in his dissertation.

    We continued on our journey and reached Newcastle. Factories could be seen with tall chimneys belching out smoke high into the sky. The North Sea was on our right. What a contrast with the countryside. Attractive bridges, curious boat-houses, and a sluggish river accentuated the mood of tranquility. Lining both sides of the river were hundreds of slender white-barked poplars standing erect like sentries.

Edinburgh was ablaze with spring flowers, especially tulips. We enjoyed a few precious days with another BGST’s Faculty-in-Development, Edwin Tay. We enjoyed precious moments with him and his family. We saw the place  where the Scottish Covenanters were killed as they stood firm on their Protestant faith. St Giles Cathedral, the seat of Presbyterian-ism, was breath-taking. John Knox was a Minister at this Cathedral Church whose beautiful stain-glass windows soar eight stories above the pews below. It was our joy to have attended evensong at four churches, including Ely near Cam-bridge. Esther and I enjoyed the choirs, awed especially by the high level of musicianship of the young choir boys and the captivating grandeur of the pipe organs played by the cathedral organists. All too soon we had to leave Edinburgh, glad for the opportunity to see Edwin and note that he is also progressing well in his doctoral work on the Puritan leader, John Owen.

    Our next stop was Gloucester where Andrew Lee, another BGST Faculty-in-Development was working on his doctoral dissertation in Old Testament. We took leisurely walks and chatted as we discussed Andrew’s work and visited the historic Gloucester Cathedral  and saw its link with Oliver Cromwell.    We saw the place where Bishop John Hooper died a martyr at the  stake. We were glad to be with Andrew especially since his family was not with him. He shuttles between Singapore and Gloucester and is well into his research.

    Our final visit was with our son-in-law, Quek Tze Ming, a research fellow at St John’s College, University of Cambridge. He  spends most of his time at the excellent library of Tyndale House. Tze Ming will soon be back in Singapore to put the finishing touches to his doctoral work. He will be the first Faculty-in-Development to return. Thank God for a wonderful time spent with all four of our alumni in the UK. We are glad for the renewal of our Faculty as younger members who began their theological studies with us will eventually return to strengthen BGST’s faculty. Together we will work for the glory of God.

We sometimes forget that Sabbath rest is not so much things we do when we are at rest (like worship, etc.) but in a very important  sense Sabbath is a place where God wants us to be when we observe the Sabbath or, as in my  case  this year, when I am on sabbatical leave. For an enlightening article on this, see Loren Wilkinson’s comments on Wendell Berry, a Kentucky poet and farmer, in Regent World, Spring 2008. I write about a very special kind of  peace which is so elusive for Singaporeans. My wife and I found this peace in the UK recently but sadly we lost it   when we returned to Singapore (Dr Quek Swee Hwa).