2005 header for issue 32


How To Combat Modern Heresies?

2 Peter 1:3-11

Dr Aquila Lee on 9 Nov 2005


2 Peter 1:3-11 functions as a summary of the whole book of 2 Peter. In these verses Peter emphasizes two things: knowing God and Jesus Christ and living a holy life. With these emphases, he gives the impression that Christians are almost automatically in a position to live holy lives. But do we match his high expectations in our daily walk with God?


If we want to listen to the message of Peter in a more direct and compelling way, it is important to know about the occasion and purpose of the letter, and one major problem these Christians were facing in those days was the problem of false teachers. In Chapter 2, Peter gives a warning against certain false teachers. That these false teachers ‘will secretly introduce destructive heresies’ (v.1) suggests that they were not those who entered the churches from outside but members of those churches. They were themselves Christians who uncritically accepted popular contemporary ideas.


Heresies are not only related to our church doctrines, but also our practical application of the biblical truth. We may find a powerful connection between the heresies of Peter's day and our contemporary popular culture, philosophy, lifestyle and worldview that are introduced into the churches, e.g., today’s materialistic worldview and consumerism, today’s moral values and ethical teachings, ‘health and wealth theology,’ etc.


How, then, to combat these ‘modern heresies’? The recipe is found in the twofold emphasis in today's passage: the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ and a holy living. If we want to stay away from ‘modern heresies,’ we need to maintain a deeper knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. Notice his repetitive use of the expression 'the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ' (1:2, 3, 6, 8; 3:18). Peter is repudiating the claims of the false teachers to superior knowledge by showing them what true Christian knowledge is all about. He counterclaims that true Christian knowledge comes from the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, which enables us and provides us everything that we need for a godly life!


Chapel speaker on 23 November will be Mr Yue Fah Yong.


Editor's Note:

We apologise for the absence of a ‘Good Book’ column this week. Our reviewer was unable to complete a review owing to a combination of illness and a particular pressing engagement. This is, however, a good opportunity for me to tell you that I will be acting as editor of BTW until the end of June 2006. If you have any suggestions as to how BTW may be improved (made more useful, informative, readable, etc.), please send them to me at philipbgst@yahoo.com.sg (my preferred email address). You may also contact me if you are interested in submitting a piece for publication in BGST: I don't guarantee publication, but I would be glad to discuss the possibility with you. Does anyone, for example, feel inspired to write a short Christmas devotional over the next few weeks? Please get in touch. 

Philip Satterthwaite

Visit of Paul and Gail Stevens
Paul Stevens, Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College, Vancouver, will be visiting Singapore from 15th to 30th November. His wife Gail will also be with us from 26th to 30th November. Paul, will be teaching two courses at BGST. Details about these courses can be found in this week's 'New Bits' section. If you wish to meet up with Paul and/or Gail during their visits here, there are a number of free slots still available in the schedule. Please contact Dr. Satterthwaite or Admin to arrange an appointment.  

Lunchtime Talks: Marriage and Family

Rev. John Ting, Dean of Discipleship Training Centre,
has kindly agreed to give the last two lunchtime talks for 2005. On Friday November 18th he will be speaking on the topic 'Wives submit, Husbands love', and on November 25th his topic will be 'Marriage Growth: Six Diagrams'. Rev. Ting is an experienced speaker who brings to the topic of family life a wealth of experience, both personal and pastoral. We urge you to come to these talks if at all possible (and please let us know in advance if you are intending to come). Both talks will begin at 12.45 and end at 1.30 p.m.  

Convocation 2006: Second Announcement
The 15th Annual Convocation and Thanksgiving service of BGST will be held on Saturday 14th January 2006. If you are intending to graduate at the Convocation in January, or if you think it is possible that you will be graduating, please contact the Registrar as soon as possible. He would be glad to hear from you. Please either send him an email (at philipbgst@yahoo.com.sg) or submit an Application to Graduate (forms available from Admin).


  1. A warm welcome to  Prof. & Mrs Paul Stevens. Prof. Stevens will be conducting two courses at BGST :

  • Vocation, Work & Ministry (MM101, 3 credits). Dates: November 17, 19 (Sat. 2.30-9.30pm), 22, 24, 26 (Sat. 2.30-9.30pm) & 29. Time: 7.15-10.15pm.

  • Everyday Spirituality (AT104, 1.5 credits) Dates: November 18, 21, 23, 25 & 28. Time: 7.15-10.15pm.

Registration is still open. Please call 6227 6815 or email: bgst@pacific.net.sg

  1. We are happy to inform you that we are able to conduct a special course entitled, An Introduction to Apologetics (TS230, 3 credits). The Lecturer is Dr Douglas Milne (on VCD) and our newly apppointed Tutor, Mr Brian Thomas, will meet students face to face to assist with the training.  The first session has been scheduled on 22 November, 7.15-9.15pm, at 31 Tanjong Pagar Rd (2nd floor). This course is ideal for teachers or others who are free during the end-of-the-year to take in some training to improve themselves. It is compulsory for our Master in Divinity.

  2. Away from Office. Dr Quek is in Indonesia from November 14-15. Serene Woon will be on leave from 21-24 November.

  3. Course schedule for the year 2006 is out. You can  access it on our website [www.bgst.edu.sg]. Course description also available for The Educational Ministry of the Church (CE101, 3 credits) by Dr Ng Peh Cheng and Strong Marriages for Today (CE252, 3 credits) by Dr Danny Goh.  Others will be announced in BTW when they are ready.

  4. Bible Lands Study Tour. A reminder to BLST participants. The final briefing will be held this Saturday, 19 November, 7-9pm, at 4 Bishan St 13, Room 308 (3rd floor, entry via #3-01). 

A Blessed Birthday to…


Ms Sherry Hua  23/11

Ms Joyce Tay  23/11

Ms Amy Teo  23/11

Ms Koh May Fern  24/11

Ms Carol Cheang  24/11

Ms Hukali Aye  25/11

Ms Chia Meow Hah  27/11

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