Assignments-The way to dealing with personal and theological issues

I was introduced to BGST by a friend who had attended some courses here before. Having sold off my business, and being unsure of my plans going forward, the idea of attending evening classes appealed to me immediately. As it turned out, that made little difference anyway, because very soon I was studying full time. 

While I wanted to have some theological training, it was not so much a preparation for some specific ministry, as one of personal enrichment. I suspect that I have been led here for more mundane reasons, namely to think through some personal and theological questions that have been nagging me for some time. 

As some essay topics in BGST are sufficiently flexible, we can use these opportunities to work through our personal issues, and maybe exorcise a demon or two along the way. For example, I found myself writing about unfulfilled prayers, and God’s will and sovereignty for NT101. Why for example, does God say he will give us whatever we ask (Lk 11:9), tell us that even with a mustard seed faith, we can uproot a tree (17:6) and to pray with perseverance (18:7), when the harsh reality is that He sometimes does not seem to deliver on those promises? Perhaps the answer lies in Lk 11:2, which the apostle puts ahead of all these other verses, as if making it peremptory that we seek the Father’s will first in all our prayers. This may be elementary to many people, but having seen some prayers for healing among Christian friends and relatives gone unfulfilled, it has certainly cleared up my vision dramatically. 

On another occasion, I found myself writing the eulogy of my father as part of an assignment for a class on communication skills. As I had been away from home (in Malaysia) either studying overseas or working in Singapore for much of the time that my dad was sick, I felt I had not said a proper goodbye to him. Thus, writing the eulogy was a way of remembering him and in the process, finding some closure for this chapter of my life. 

Boon Thian with wife, Kathlyn. 
Boon Thian used to be a businessman but is currently pursuing full-time studies with BGST. 
He worships at Wesley Methodist Church and serves in the
audio video library. 

In Christian Faith class, we were given a scriptural perspective for the Trinity and on death and hell. There were a lot of things, picked up from studying with Jehovah Witnesses years ago, that I had to discard when I became a Christian. Now, I know why. At other times, I was left wondering if the Holy Spirit was perhaps saying things to me through the textbooks and class discussions. Believe it or not, He even seems to be speaking through lecture notes at times. It makes you wonder if that is the norm, or if it is just me. 

While I still do not know where these studies will lead eventually, I believe that I am finding answers, even if partial and not entirely conclusive, to some difficult questions. So, yes my wholehearted endorsement to study at BGST, even for someone without any specific ‘ministry’ plan after graduation. For ministry, as defined by P. Stevens, is putting ourselves at God’s disposal and for His purposes, whether in the church or marketplace. 

Ng Boon Thian 


A patient about to leave the clinic,
Looked terribly worried and sick,
"Doctor, I'm afraid to die," he cried,
"Pray tell what lies on the other side."

They heard whining and scratching of the floor,
So the doctor went to open the door,
His doggie sprang in and he tenderly lifted it up,
The patient had never seen a more delighted pup!

Little Roxie had never been in this room before,
Nor had she seen what's on this side of the door,
Yet she knew that her master would be right here,
Once the door opened, she jumped in without fear.

"When my moment comes," the doctor explained,
"One thing I'll know for sure," he maintained,
"Like Roxie, I'll step confidently into the unknown,
For my Master will be waiting to welcome His own!"

Leong Chun Nam 
(Chun Nam is from Calvary Baptist church, and teaches in the Sunday School as well as directs the choir. He went on a Bible Lands Tour of Israel and Turkey with Dr Quek in 1992, and has taken Biblical Archaeology modules at BGST.)

Daniel (left) and Joylyn (centre) are seated with Boon Thian (right)

A group of BGST students gathered at Boon Thian’s place on 24th March 2007 to catch up with 

Daniel and Joylyn 

before they left on 8th April for Japan as Associate Missionaries with OMF, where they will be involved in supporting existing missionary teams in the Kanto region around Tokyo with their youth outreach and church planting. 

Please encourage and pray for them …

  • Their growth in their spiritual walk. To find time to pray and read God’s Word amidst hectic schedules

  • Good health and strengthening of their relationship as husband and wife

  • To adapt well to the culture and people. Good progress in their language studies during their two months in Sapporo, so that they can communicate well with the Japanese

  • That they will establish good rapport with the local church leaders, Christians and other missionaries

  • That God will empower them with courage and sensitivity as they serve among the church and youths

  • That hearts and minds of the people will be open to the gospel

Daniel and Joylyn can be contacted at

Introducing ... 

We continue with our review of journals currently received by BGST Library. This week we highlight


‘The Expository Times’ (ExT), published monthly, has a long and illustrious history since 1889 as a journal that bridges the gap between church and academy. Being trustworthy both academically and pastorally ExT inhabits a unique niche position. Each edition contains a central section which offers resources for the month for those conducting worship: a sermon by a preacher of distinction, exegetical notes and reports of group readings of the texts for the month, prayers and material for children's worship. Being a ‘monthly’, it publishes notices of new books more rapidly than any other journal which enables even the hard pressed minister or interested pew person to keep up with current scholarship on a wide range of exegetical and theological issues of continuing importance. If a working pastor/teacher is to subscribe to any single journal, this is probably the wisest choice. (Dr Augustine Pagolu)

Chapel Notes

Chapel on May 16. 2007

Wong Choon Yew (Grad. Dip.CS student) spoke on what Jesus meant when He said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). Choon Yew testified the blessings he and his wife have received serving Him as "blue-collar workers" in the marketplace.

Chapel on May 23, 2007

Pastor Song Young Hak is our MCS student. His sermon text was taken from Mark 2: 1-12. He focused on the valuable lessons we could learn from the beliefs and values of the four men "who made a hole in the roof." 


  1. Tentmakers Equipping ‘N’ Training (TENT)
    The TENT course will be commencing on Jun 12, time: 7.20-10pm. If you are interested in attending, please register online or call us at 6227-6815. Visit our website for course details & fees. The various sessions would be as follows:

  • Biblical Basis for Tentmaking Mission – Jun 12, 19, 26, Jul 3

  • Country/People Profile Studies – Jul 10, Nov 2

  • Theology of Work – Jul 17, 24, 31 

  • Religions of Asia – Aug 7, 14, 21

  • Understanding Culture – Sept 4, 11, 18

  • Tentmakers and Ethical Issues – Sept 25, Oct 2, 9

  • Personal Ministry Skills – Oct 16, 23, 30

  • Coping with Stress – Nov 6, 13, 20

  1. Away from Office. Jolene Tan (Jun 6-8), Leong Kok Weng (Jun 11-13), Dr Aquila Lee (Jun 11-15), Dr Quek Swee Hwa (June 11-21, 27-29).

  2. BGST library will be closed at 1pm on 30 June 2007 for staff and students to participate in the 16th Convocation.

A Blessed 
Birthday to ...

Mdm Tong Mee On 6/6
Mr Peter Yee 7/6
Mr Albert Lim 7/6
Mr Lawrence Por 7/6
Ms Judith Lim 7/6
Mr Lionel Chan 8/6
Ms Tan Li Chuang 9/6
Mr Wong Kam Weng 9/6

  | Top | Archives |
Last update : Friday, June 01, 2007  
 © 2007