6 February

I will be leading Chapel this coming Wednesday. As this Wednesday is the Eve of the Lunar New Year, when something a little different seems to be called for, Chapel will not take the usual form. There will be no extended sermon, and only one hymn. The bulk of the service will be taken up with a reading of extracts from the letter of James, with brief comments from me, and opportunity for personal meditation and prayer.


Reading the letter of James recently, I was struck by how incisive and uncompromising this letter is in what it says about the nature of true religion. On  Wednesday I simply want to expose all who attend (and myself) to the message of this brief but challenging letter. Perhaps this can be an occasion for us all to engage in a New Year spiritual spring-clean.



30 January (A Summary)

Dr Augustine Pagolu prepared listeners for the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday being the week after) by speaking about “Fasting and Prayer” as taught by Jesus in Matt 6.16—18. He gave the historical reasons for the importance that Lent came to assume in the liturgical calendar starting from the 4th century. Then going into the text, he examined the  concept of Christian piety, and why fasting was emblematic of this. Why and how should we fast and pray? Jesus himself did it and we are encouraged to do it too for self-discipline/denial/control; for earnestness in spiritual devotion; for future mercies and for solidarity for those who have little material comfort.


4—10 Feb 2008

Issue No. 6            

Happy Lunar New Year to all our Readers!


This week is probably as good a time as any to announce some changes relating to BTW.


Content, Contributors

In 2008 we will continue to publish the usual spread of contributions (reviews, student contributions, summaries of Chapel talks, Thinking Points, poems, extracts from Christian writings, etc); along with announcements of upcoming events and other news items. All faculty (including any new faculty that join us) will continue to be involved in the production of BTW. In addition to writing book reviews, however, faculty will be encouraged to offer reflections of a more personal nature: either commenting on some event or issue that has attracted their attention; or writing about some aspect of their own walk with God. We know (from responses to a survey sent out a couple of years ago) that some, perhaps many, BTW readers find our book reviews worthwhile, but we are also aware that the reviews are not of equal interest to all our readers. Hence this new and we hope somewhat regular feature.


June and December

BTW will normally appear every week. In June and December, however, only two issues will be published. As in Singapore generally, so too at BGST, June and December are holiday months, in which many staff are on vacation and the pace of things slackens a little. We want to ensure that our staff (particularly the faculty member responsible for BTW that month) are not unduly pressured during what is effectively vacation time. Please note, however, that even during June and December all essential announcements will go out in good time, by email if in no other form (see next point).


Other Possible Intermissions

Though, as noted above, BTW will normally appear every week, it may be that in some weeks, due to unusual pressure at BGST, it is not possible for the faculty member responsible to get enough material together for publication. When this happens (we do not expect it will be frequently), either (1) there will be no issue of BTW that week, and the next issue will simply do duty for two weeks (and be dated accordingly); or (2) a shorter electronic form (perhaps simply containing announcements) will be sent out by email only.


We are always glad to receive comments from readers. If you have any thoughts on these changes or if, indeed, you would yourself like to submit a contribution (of any sort) for publication, please contact us.

Philip Satterthwaite: On BTW in 2008

Text Box: Chapel at BGST— Wednesday, 12 pm

We’re still



It’s been a year since we launched  “Gideon’s Army” as a fund-raising effort to  provide for the bulk of BGST’s operational needs.


The idea is that each “soldier” in this Army will pledge to give $3,000 annually ($250 a month) for at least three years.  300 such soldiers pledging for six years would give us $5.4 million. This will not only pay for our Tanjong Pagar property mortgage  and interest-free loans but also leaves a surplus for a Sinking Fund to maintain the building.


                      Cuppa Coffee Chat @BGST

                          Every Wednesday at 10.30 am

                          4th floor BGST




This time five came and two shared. We listened to three readings of the same passage in Psalm 131.


Are we like the weaned child or are we too haughty, caught up with things too difficult for us?


This Wednesday (6 Feb) is CNY Eve but we are still meeting at the usual time and place.



Text Box: Announcements


We are pleased to announce that the Council has appointed Dr Augustine Pagolu to be the Acting Principal of BGST from February to September 2008. He will take over Dr Quek's duties as Dr Quek is going on sabbatical leave.


School Closure

BGST will be closed at 1pm on Chinese New Year eve and will resume operation on 11 Feb. Library will be closed on 9 Feb as well.


To date, only 30 soldiers or 10% of our target of 300 soldiers, have been  recruited. Despite not having the full complement for the time being, we are still hopeful that our good and great God will honour us as we honour Him as He said to Gideon: “With the three hundred men…I will save you.” (Judges 7:7)


From these 30, we have received about $143,000. However, this is but a small portion of our target of $900,000 each year for the next 3 to 6 years. The amount coming in will be much less next year because some have already donated the full amount of their 3-year commitment.


We bring this to your attention and ask that you pray with us that our “army” will continue to grow. Would you consider being one such recruit yourself? The amount to be raised may seem enormous, and the recruitment process herculean, but if you “join up” we will be another step closer to accomplishing our goal. The exciting thing about the original Gideon’s Army is the way God himself instructed that the right soldiers be chosen. May the Spirit move you to share the vision of BGST and desire to participate in the life-changing work we are doing. Your loving concern and involvement is our joy and our encouragement.


(Jolene Tan)


On Sunday March 2nd, the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Lee Tsu Hock, will be giving a concert of unimpeachably serious musical content and cultural diversity.


We begin with Beethoven’s overture, ‘The Consecration of the House’, a work both festive and splendid, in which the great classical composer attempts to capture something of the spirit of Handel. There follows the popular ‘Yellow

River Piano Concerto’, whose separate movements attempt to capture different moods evoked by the title. The main item in the second half is the 4th Symphony of Brahms, a work whose moods range from severity to lyricism to boisterousness and then back to severity in the stern final movement.


If you wish to expand your cultural range, if you wish to pay more than lip-service to the claim that all truth (including musical truth) is God’s truth, if you wish simply to have an enjoyable evening out, then this concert is for you.


Further details of tickets at discounted prices may be obtained from Dr. Satterthwaite (1st oboe).


(Cartoon taken from The Gospel According to Peanuts by Robert L. Short, Fount, 1977)

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


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