Saturday, October 08, 2005

Agora: The First Year

Time passes by so fast that I didn't realise it has been a year since the Agora Ministry started... Until Leon reminded us in the blog.

It is with gratitude and amazement at God's grace that we recount the events from our first year... Was good to come together last Sunday as friends to celebrate, evaluate and plan ahead.

September ‘04 - Leon presented on “What is true spirituality?” comparing the unreflective activist and the ivory tower scholar. Propose a more integrated, heart-and-mind Christian life.

Sharing among participants – some expressed the need to study basic doctrines as a learning community, the need to get our hands dirty and apply lessons in tangible mission and evangelism, to blur the acred-secular divide (marketplace). Most participants are CDPC members who are keen on the Agora project.

October ‘04 - The web log was started as communication medium in cyberspace to cast vision, comment on a variety of theological, missional, socio-political issues, inspire and provide announcements.

November ‘04 - Some Agora members went for the iBridge camp in Port Dickson. Network with graduates from across Malaysia.

December ‘04 - LT Jeyachandran (RZIM) gave a talk on Christian theology as Trinitarian, giving unity in diversity. A lot of people focus on what we can do for God and what God can do for us, but we forget God Himself – the call to be Godcentered. Mostly students turned up.

A solemn yet deeply delightful New Year dinner at Leon’s place with a group of students. Reflection on the problem of evil in the aftermath of the tsunami.

January ‘05 - Han Meng presented on "Relativism – Is Truth Ice Cream or Insulin?" Discussed the challenge of relativism to mission and ethics. Experimented with mock dialogue to show how it is self-destructing. Introduce resource for further study.

Vision statement was drafted to explain what the ministry is about, some guiding principles and convictions

February ‘05 - Dave presented Lord Of The Rings, a primer into Tolkien’s worldview expressed in the blockbuster. A small group turned up, including seeker. Clips of the movie were shown. Discussion revolves around which character inspire us most and eucatastrophe (fortunate fall?)

The Agora attended a dakwah meeting conducted by Khalid Yassin, a Muslim preacher. Bought a copy of their apologetic training material. Presented with Koran. Managed to ask questions during the forum session.

March ‘05 - Esther Ong presented SEE Evangelism in main sanctuary. The best turnout from mostly CDPC members after Rev Wong’s announcements. Different creative methods of sharing the gospel with friends.

April ‘05 - Met Ng Kam Weng to discuss a series of classes for Agora and UM students to develop a Christian worldview

May ‘05 - John Chung presented “Politics, Why Bother?” giving theological basis for our involvement and how to do so. Many first-timers invited by friends or heard about event from website. Discussed about economic divide, freedom of religion, cultural mandate in relation to the gospel.

June ‘05 - Scheduled for Police Commission Report but was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Suggest future session on Counseling Skills instead

David conducted STR apologetics training for iBridge friends in Melaka for about a dozen participants. Discuss the informed, winsome and tactful ambassador and pluralism. Unapologetic dialogue with a Darwinist friend.

July ‘05 - Christ Seminar was born, to encourage the pursuit of truth (veritas) among varsity students. They will soon embark on a series of presentations, which address issues raised by Jesus Seminar.

No workshop due to busy schedule.

August ‘05 RZIM Conference – 6 Agora members were sponsored by CDPC to learn apologetics from Ravi Zacharias and team. Had the chance to network with like-minded Asians from Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. Generally, it was well-received as Leon developed the Agora card & logo. Ravi loved the bookmarks, ordered them and agreed to come to KL

The Da Vinci Code Forum features Rev Wong, Kam Weng and David. Good turnout from the public, many non-CDPC guests. An example of engaging popular culture. The VCD is being distributed with Agora blog printed at the front. Passion Café agreed to be distributor and organizer/supplier for future events.

SIB plans to do another forum, David Letterman style.

John and Han Meng proposed to start equipping the library and use it as resource center to encourage a reading community. Set up booths during fellowship to introduce books.

Sept ‘05 - Agora members assisted in Ron Choong’s seminar promotion, CDPC Mission Conference & KVBC. Network with related Malaysian ministries

Leon presented first RZIM workshop on God & Science – there is no final conflict. Science is our study of nature, may correct our wrong interpretation. What Scripture reveals about science and history is inerrant. Discussed on evolution, the limits of science, and use of science in evangelism

Oct '05 - Soo Inn gave us a crash course on Public Speaking Skills (foretaste of the homiletics class next year)...

Look out for the Lotus, The Crescent and the Cross next as we continue our pilgrimage into the next year!

Soli Deo Gloria...

3 comments:

Sze Zeng said...

Dear Agorians,
It's a great pleasure n priviledge to spent an afternoon with you all last week.

Am very blessed and encouraged by this ministry.

Keep up.

Soli Deo Gloria

The Hedonese said...

hey bro,

I've a feeling that you, Ben and Mejlina would have fun doing something more adventurous in Singapore!

Give'em heaven :)

jacksons said...

Joshua, I have been blessed to get to know you - please come down more often and stay in my place again, and we can discuss every profound issue under heaven till about 3 am!