21—27 April 2008

Issue No. 16          

BGST will hold its 17th Convocation and Thanksgiving Service on Saturday, 28 June 2008.


This is one of BGST’s most significant yearly events. It is a big occasion for all of us who belong to BGST (whether you are a programme student or special study student, an alumnus, donor, faculty, staff or Council member). We come together as one big family (so the name ‘Convocation’) to give thanks to the Lord for the successful conclusion of an academic year (not for the award of a diploma or degree) and His blessings bestowed upon each one of us individually and the school corporately (so the name ‘Thanksgiving Service’).


This event is a wonderful opportunity for the BGST community to gather together. Since the majority of students and alumni do courses part-time they are unable to enjoy the intensity of interaction experienced in traditional schools. So we invite all students to come for the occasion. After the ceremony there will be a Tea Reception. Come and get to know other students who take courses different from you.


Let us not regard the Convocation and Thanksgiving Service as an event meant only for those “hardworking” students who were able to complete a designated number of credits and are now able to get their diplomas or degrees. I noted this attitude when I was a student myself in 1995 -97 and now as one of the faculty.  So I am concerned and I believe that such an attitude must be changed. There are at the moment 13-15 possible candidates for graduation, some of whom are still working hard to complete their assignments before the deadline. We are proud of them because they had to juggle their studies with work and family commitments and have finally reached their goal. I’m sure their church members, friends and relatives will want to encourage them through their presence at their convocation.


Our “oldest” student tells us what it’s all about

It all started one day in late February 1988. I opened a letter which bore the heading, “Zion Bible-Presbyterian Church.” Curious to know what it was I found a personal note from Dr Quek inviting me to join his class on Romans. This letter was all the more unexpected because I had not been in contact with him for quite a while. That was the reason I was very pleased that a busy man like him could remember to include me in his class and to take time out to write to me. So I immediately rang up his secretary to enrol for the class.


The original name suggested for BGST was Biblical School of Theology (BST) but was changed to Biblical Graduate School of Theology to reflect its graduate school status.


January 2, 1989 was the day of my first lecture. It was New Testament Foundations conducted by Rev David Wong, our then deputy dean, at Mount Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church. Another course on New Testament Greek was taken by Dr Quek at another location.


This was the humble beginning of BGST. One more course was offered during that inaugural year and I took it together with many more in the years following. After what seemed like a short while I was told that I had enough credits to graduate and I duly applied for graduation with the Dip C. S. Then I signed up for the M Div programme and continued my studies.


To me studying at BGST is not just about chasing after a piece of paper. My interest is a theological education. Since I was often seen around in BGST many asked if I was a full time student. I replied that I was a full time part time student. And this is what I am to this day—studying to be approved of God and hopefully to be able to handle accurately the word of truth.


BGST has a wide selection of courses and there will be one that will serve your need. The Psalmist says in Psalm 90 Verse 10 that “The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Now at three score and twelve years of age, I do find myself having to struggle at times but I’m not about to give up. There is still much that has to be done.


I claim two qualifications in BGST which no one has or will possibly have. I am the oldest student in terms of the number of years there and also the oldest in age. There is one staff member who has been with BGST for more than ten years. Yet I can say, even before he was, I am.



The appointment is 28th June 2008 at 3pm at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church. The speaker is Rev Dr Chris Chia of Adam Road Presbyterian Centre


Please mark this date in your calendar.  Your presence will make a difference  and you will be glad you came.


(Dr Aquila Lee)


I believe that if we write today’s chapter well, future chapters will be easier to write. This will hold true for us as servants of the Lord. So I invite you to join me in this journey of learning and service and perhaps twenty, thirty, or forty years later, you too may be able to reflect on your association with BGST.


(This is part of a  speech given by Benny Fang at  BGST Convocation 2007)



Text Box: Last chance to 
register for an 
exciting course! 

It’s BEGINNING on Friday, 2nd May, 2008.

It’s about the BEGINNING of all things:
creation in six days,
woman from the side of man
sin and serpent,
a massive tsunami and an animal rescue boat,
Babel and the languages
(These are just a few of the episodes that Genesis conjures up)

But we miss the point if we demand answers to questions like:
Is life on earth a cosmic accident or divine design? 
Where are the missing links? 
What about dinosaurs? And so forth…

On the other hand, the author of Genesis was interested in deeper questions:
What about the beginning of the human race?
Who are we?
Were we made with a purpose? 
Does our existence have meaning beyond our mere lifetimes?
What is our relationship with the rest of creation?
Is it there for our use, or are we simply one of a large variety of animals that prowl the earth?
What about God? Is there a God, and if so, what is he like and how do we relate to him? 

For these and more, register for the course: 
OT370 The Genesis of All things

Text Box: Highlights

Chapel Last Week

Pastor Timothy Chong of Yishun Christian Church shared with us from Exodus 14. His message was entitled "Between the Desert and the Sea". He gave us the latest update on the religio-political situation in Indonesia as he oversees his church's missions work in Indonesia. He compared the situation encountered by the people of Israel (position of hardening, danger and deliverance) with that of Christians in our neighbouring country.


Chapel Next Week

Our speaker next week is Ps Peter Chng who is currently taking courses towards his MDiv at BGST.


Alumni News

Matthew Yap became a father on Sunday 6 April 2008 and his son's name is Alexander. Both the mother and the boy are fine. Pray for them  as the father is now in reservist training.



Cloud Callout: O God, your immensity fills the earth and the whole universe, but the universe itself cannot contain you, much less the earth, and still less the world of my thoughts. 
— Yves Raquin

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


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