Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breaking News for Christmas!

This is from Bob Teoh, A Christian journalist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dear friends

Christmas Story

This Christmas, I am coming out with a 32-page booklet with a selection of six Christmas stories which I have written since 2000 and published in local newspapers. There is also one story taken strictly from the Bible with full chapter and verse reference and a url link for those who may want to check out for themselves.

These stories are very reader-friendly and are therefore suitable for giving to your neighbours and colleagues. In fact, some of them have even quotes from the Qur'an regarding the birth of Jesus. Though not evangelsitic tracts, these are contextualised Christmas stories to give non-Christians an idea of what Christmas is all about.

They are priced at RM3.00 each, or less than the price of a Christmas card, for the purpose for giving them away. Publication of this booklet is generously and professionally undertaken by http://www.logos-on-wheel.com/.

You can pre-order them at packets of ten (10) each for RM30.00 and it will be delivered or posted to you. You can just bank in the payment through the ATM. Please let me know your order and I will provide you my Maybank account number. Contact me at bobteoh88@gmail.com

They will also be available at the Burning Bush Bookshop at DUMC and other designated bookshops.

Regards and have a blessed Christmas,

Bob Teoh

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preaching Christ From Old Testament

In conjunction with Reformation Sunday, Dr Robert Vannoy preached on Sanctification by faith from Romans 6 in City Discipleship Presbyterian church. He is now the Emeritus Professor in the Allan A. MacRae Chair of Biblical Studies in Biblical Theological Seminary. Dr Vannoy has served as the editor, contributor, and translation consultant for many journals, books, bible dictionaries and commentaries. He was a translation consultant for the NIV bible and the International Standard Version bible and for 1, 2 Samuel in the New Living Translation. It was a pleasure for me to meet him and his wife, fetching them to church and engaging him in conversation on how to preach Christ from the Old testament. Check out his sermon here and also a wealth of Old Testament resources here

Engaging The New Media

Dr. Tim Dearborn will be in Malaysia for a Worldvision event.

His Expertise: Christianity, Development, Humanitarian Issues

He serves as Dean of the Chapel and Associate Professor of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, where he is responsible for all campus ministry and urban and global volunteer programs. His interests include church life, leadership, and mission. He has served and taught in India, Scotland, and France; consulted with missionaries in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nepal, and Tanzania; and visited ministries in numerous countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has published four books on spirituality and mission, most recently From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens: A Preparation Workbook for Short-term Mission Teams.
Dr. Dearborn also teaches on the faculties of Fuller Theological Seminary and Regent College, and before coming to Seattle Pacific, served as Chief of Staff for World Vision (U.S.). He was the founder of the Seattle Association for Theological Education; taught for seven years at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the French Evangelical Seminary in Vaux-sur-Seine, France; and served as pastor of mission for eight years at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle.

Tim holds a B.A. from Whitman College, an M.T.S. from Harvard University Divinity School, a Th.M. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen. He is married to Kerry Kappel Dearborn, who also serves as a professor of theology at Seattle Pacific University, as well as for Regent College and Fuller Theological Seminary. They have three daughters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Serving The Community

Ram and Hannah will be speaking on 'Serving The Community" at CDPC this coming Sunday 26 October at 10.00 am. Venue is our church and map available here.

Do invite your friends who will be interested to hear what motivates this young couple to be involved in social action.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Christian Perspectives on Medical Ethics



November Institute 2008
Malaysia Bible Seminary


MEDICAL ETHICS: Biomedical Ethical Issues in the Contemporary Malaysian Church

November Institute
November Institute is a week-long study conference held annually one week after the MBS graduation. This conference intends to explore and engage contemporary issues that are affecting the Church and Society at large. Pastors, church workers, missionaries and laity from all denominations are invited to enrol for the conference wither for credit or audit.

Date: November 17-20, 2008 (Mon-Thur)
Venue: Malaysia Bible Seminari,
1-11, Jalan Dendang 1, Kaw.16
Berkeley Town Centre
41300 Klang, Selangor
Tel: 03-33427482
Fax: 03-33412094
Email: mbs-ed@mbs.org.my
Speaker: Dr Alex Tang

Speaker’s Profile:

Dr Alex Tang is a senior consultant paediatrician in Johor Specialist Hospital and teaches part-time in the Monash Medical School of Malaysia in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. He received his medical training in Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, and his theological training in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States. Alex has taught and written about biomedical ethics. He has contributed to numerous journals and his latest two books are; A Good Day to Die: A Christian Perspective on Mercy-Killing and Live and Let Live: A Christian Perspective of Biotechnology.

Synopsis:

Advances in medical treatment modalities, biotechnological innovations, and genetic-molecular manipulations have brought about a set of unique challenges to issues not faced by the Church before. We live in a time of tremendous rapid changes, and incredible complexity. How then, should we as a Church responds to these issues and how can we help those who are struggling to live as Christian in these difficult times?

In this seminar, we shall use a pastoral-theological approach to examine, reflect and develop responses to these difficult moral and ethical issues – test tube and designer babies, facts and fallacies of stem cell therapies, cloning, reproductive issues, abortion, mercy-killing, allocation of scarce healthcare resources, living will, gene therapy, prenatal diagnosis, aesthetic surgery, transexuality - facing the contemporary Malaysian Church. This seminar is relevant to pastors, theologians, church leaders, counsellors, seminarians, doctors, and all Christians who are committed to living ethically in these changing times.

more information and registration form

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

The old song says that "love is a many- splendoured thing", but reality tells us that "love" can be bittersweet.

For its 2008/2009 season, Footstool Players is proud to present Crazy Little Thing Called Love: poignant portraits of the ties that bind – and sometimes knot – in a collection of sketches pertaining to the themes of love, courtship, marriage and family relationships.

The play features a mix of comedy and drama, but all thought-provoking in some way in highlighting issues pertaining to relationships. There's innocence, idealism, joy, humour, reassurance, hope, regret, heartbreak, sorrow, and more – everything that comes with that "crazy little thing called love"!

You'll laugh, you'll weep. But most importantly, you'll also think – and perhaps also discover.

KLPAC Tickets are on sale now!

6-16 November 2008
Thu-Sat 8:30 pm
Sat-Sun 3:00 pm
Mon-Wed (no show)

Tickets: RM30 adults | RM20 students, senior citizens and disabled

Tickets available at KLPac Box Office (www.klpac.com) Tel 03 4047 9000 or Actors Studio @ Bangsar Shopping Center (theactorsstudio.com.my) Tel 03 2094 9400

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

discipleship of the mind: a problem for the church?

I'm cracking my head trying to write something on the topic of "Discipleship of the Mind (the sad truth is that there is no Christian mind in Malaysia)"? So I'd like to hear what you think. Do u agree with the statement? Do you see anti intellectualism as a problem in the church? How so? Or why not?

Or do we see encouraging signs of change like "book discussion groups, the cultivation of artists within the congregation, more discerning approaches to “secular” literature"?

What do u think?

As an appetizer for thought, check out this book "Full Gospel, Fractured minds" and ChristianityToday's interview with the author Rick nanez and this blog post from ThinkChristian

Monday, October 13, 2008

CHRISTIAN WITNESS IN TIMES OF POLITICAL TRANSITION

Excerpt from CHRISTIAN WITNESS IN TIMES OF POLITICAL TRANSITION (written by Kam Weng in 2001)


Possibilities for Witness
An important question of leadership arises. Who, after all, speaks for the Christian community? Is it CFM, maverick pastors or Christian social activists? Others may wonder why we should expect the Church always to have a public opinion on issues. Impatient youths will find such questions to be unnecessary diversions given their sense of urgency to translate ideals into action. However, it would be na├»ve to imagine that one enters into politics merely to promote a set of social ideals. Politics is, after all, about gaining power to implement a specific ideology (a plan for social engineering). Realistically speaking, this strategy for changing society from above is not an option for the Malaysian church. The Church is only a small and insignificant player in an arena where power sharing is based on the number game, that is, power is apportioned according to the player’s ability to mobilize large followers on its side.

The wider public, however, is open to proposals for reform, provided that these reforms are cogently presented. That being the case, it would be better for Church officials to adopt a focused agenda and address issues within their competence. Historically, these have been matters related to education, welfare and fundamental rights since they have natural affinities to the preaching of the Gospel. We should not underestimate the influence of a creative minority that not only offers an agenda for social reforms but demonstrates how it can be implemented in a social context. In this regard, the first responsibility for Christians is to be the church, that is, a community with an inner life that embodies the ideals which it recommends to wider society.

Admittedly, the Malaysian Church is marginal in the political game, but surely the opportunities for social engagement should not be restricted to direct political action. We do well to remember that while “everything is politics, politics is not everything.” Likewise, the Church’s goal in social engagement is influence rather than social control. The Church as a social institution supports just policies and not specific political party. Such considerations suggest that Christian initiatives for social change must begin at the grass roots. I have in mind the example of the early Church which out-loved and out-thought their contemporaries.

The Church should develop educational programs to build up a citizenry that has the moral discipline without which democracy degenerates into selfish competition and without which it would be difficult to enforce law and order. That is to say, the Church’s contribution is to shape the ethos or moral environment of social institutions. It is arguable that in the long term such moral formation is more crucial than policy prescription.

Seen in this light, Churches may support and implement their own programs of social services (works of mercy) in order to inculcate habits of good moral choices among its members. This initiative should be seen as a pre-requisite for social action (which seeks to change public policy) to ensure that social welfare is more than band-aid social engagement. Still, to gain a hearing the Church must demonstrate through its works of mercy that it has the capacity to transcend self-interests.


Christian Witness to Political Powers

Christian youths, especially those with a passion for justice, have been strident in their call to the Church to be faithful to its prophetic calling and engage with issues of wider society. Church leaders should not dismiss these calls just because they reflect the impatience of idealistic youths. Nevertheless, it is also reasonable to question the tendency to associate prophetic witness with negative judgment against the status quo. Nor should it be assumed that solidarity with marginal groups necessarily entail adoption of an antagonistic posture against the status quo.

Christian activists must avoid two extremes. On the one hand, it is easy to lash out in self-righteous anger. But political engagement should not be driven by anger arising from despair or self-righteousness. Otherwise the Gospel can be exploited to justify our own anger. On the other hand, Christian leaders could compromise in order to live an undisturbed existence on terms set by the government. Romans 13: 1-5 has served as a convenient justification for this course of action. Either way, we are painfully aware that our motives are mixed despite our insistence on taking the path of Christian obedience.

The message of Christian freedom is relevant precisely because of the ambiguities of politics. The Church should maintain flexibility in deciding whether to support or reject public policy on a case-by-case basis. The Church discharges a prophetic ministry when it supports oppositional critique towards wrongdoings. It mediates a priestly ministry when it sides with reform movements within the government. The two approaches complement each other. Christians in one ministry must to give the benefit of doubt to the brother in the other ministry. Christian brotherhood must transcend political differences. Above all, the Church must reject any tendency to politicize faith to ensure that it makes an impact beyond sectarian interests.

Every government has the responsibility to maintain justice for all citizens. But governments often neglect their duty to promote just policies that promote welfare for all citizens and justice for the common good. Under such circumstances, the Church must have the courage to remind the government of its social contract and election promises. Finally, if the government should violate its legitimate bounds of authority, the Church must have the courage to call on the government to be accountable to a higher transcendent authority and be judged by laws of natural justice.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

We Want You

The Church in Malaysia urgently needs to develop a thoughtful and comprehensive answer to contemporary challenges to its life and mission. In response to this task Kairos Research Centre was set up in 1993 by a group of evangelical leaders...

We are in the process of setting up a committee of people who are keen
- to form study/research groups,
- organize events/forums that encourage and facilitate Christian reflection on issues relevant to Malaysian Christianity,
- do research/write
- make availble the rich library resources at Kairos to contribute towards the development of Christian leaders and thinkers.

So if you know anyone who would be keen to join and participate on a voluntary or salaried basis. Do let us know at hedonese at yahoo dot com

Monday, October 06, 2008

Finding God On YouTube

When people think of religion on YouTube, most probably flash to "gotcha" videos of Sarah Palin's old church or Barack Obama's old pastor. But the video-sharing site is also being used by a wildly diverse collection of pastors, rabbis, imams, gurus, and pious laypeople — like Roman Catholic Steve Silvia, who made the video above — to celebrate and explain their creeds. These aren't glitzy televangelists.

In keeping with the YouTube ethos, many simply fire up camcorder and go. But low cost and infinite range, plus the mini-video's ascent as one of the culture's preferred ways of imbibing information, means vastly increased exposure for clerics who would otherwise have tiny flocks. "For years, people in my business talked about how the Internet was going to revolutionize religion the way the printing press helped create Protestantism, but it didn't happen," says Steve Waldman, founder of the multi-faith website Beliefnet. But with the rise of YouTube, he thinks the unassuming, grass-roots religion clips like the ones that follow "could be the beginning of that kind of transformation."

Read on

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What Is Expository Preaching?

As part of homiletic assignment, I evaluated a sermon by Don Carson entitled Four ironies of the Cross which I first heard at KVBC last year. The audio sermon can be downloaded here. Also check out the Four Ironies of the Cross (sermon transcript courtesy of PreachingTodaySermons)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Salt & Light In Politics

Dr. Toh See Kiat is a former MP for Aljunid GRC, and former President of CASE. He is presently Chairman of the Biblical Graduate School of Theology, and Chairman of Goodwins Law Corporation. His online broadcast "The Christian as salt and light in politics" is now available at BGST website.

Sermon powerpoint slides and transcripts can be downloaded here and here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Important Values For Christian Artists

CDPC has launched a creative drama ministry named "LABU" (2 Corinthians 4:7 "we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure"). So Alicia and Ian Brubaker are looking for scriptwriters, actors, props & costumes, multimedia, lighting, stage crews etc. Do contact us Alicia at inquiry@cdpc.org.my for more information.

In conjunction with this ministry, it would be appropriate to consider what are some Important Values For Christian Artists as they consider how to express their art in a God-glorifying way. Do check out this excellent article from New Attitude with the following points:

1. Christian artists should see that their fundamental identity and purpose in life is derived from something entirely outside themselves – the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God that has come through the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross

2. Christian artists should view their talents as a gift from God and see its use ultimately as worship to God.

3. A Christian artist should have a sober assessment of his gift and neither over-estimate the opportunities it should given him or undervalue the contribution he can make with it.

4. The most authentic Christian art results from our joy in Christ overflowing into Christian art, not our strategies to do art that is Christian.

5. Creating art is an expression of faith and obedience, not of compulsion or identity.

6. The Christian artist should see his art as a way to love God, his people, and the world.

7. The Christian Artist sees the sovereign hand of God in both his opportunities and his obstacles.

8. The Christian artist is committed to biblical truth in the way he lives and what he creates

9. While the Christian artist is under no burden to make all of his art explicitly Christian, it would be an unbiblical use of his gift to intentionally create a body of work without reference to Christ and his atoning work on the cross.

10. The Christian artist rejects the worldly concept of artist as an outsider and embraces his place among God’s people in the local church as essential to his life and gifting

11. The Christian artist should not ignore his personal responsibility to evaluate the theological soundness of his work.

12. Because the Christian artist trusts God, he will battle selfish ambition, competition, and any pretense of entitlement in regard to his art.

13. The Christian artist will see the evaluation of others as an essential help in both growing in their art and assessing its fruitfulness.

14. The Christian artist will resist elitism and care about the accessibility of his art to the average Christian in the congregation

15. The Christian artist must never confuse the joy of creativity with the joy of knowing and pleasing God.