Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Islam and Christianity in Middle East: An Arab Christian Perspective


A Public Lecture on Islam and Christianity in Middle East: An Arab Christian Perspective

Date & Time : Wednesday, 3rd March 2010, 10:00am
Speaker : Dr. Chawkat Moucarry (Director of Inter-faith Relations, World Vision U.K.)

Chairperson : Professor Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali (Founding Chairman & CEO, IAIS Malaysia.)

Venue : IAIS (International Institute for Advanced Islamic Studies) Malaysia, Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.


09:45am-10:00am Arrival of Guests and Registration
10:00am-10:05am Welcoming Remarks by the chairperson
10:05am-10:55am Address by the Speaker
10:55am-12:15pm Discussion

Chawkat Moucarry was born in Aleppo (Syria) and grew up in a Catholic home. He lived in Paris for twenty years. In 1994 he moved to England where he taught Islamic and Middle-Eastern Studies at All Nations Christian College. In September 2006 he joined World Vision International, a Christian Development, Relief and Advocacy organization, as the director of inter-faith relations. He is fluent in Arabic (mother tongue), French and English. Chawkat has a Masters degree in Christian theology and a PhD in Islamic Studies from the Sorbonne University (Paris). He wrote several articles and books including The Prophet & the Messiah. An Arab Christian’s Perspective on Islam & Christianity (IVP, 2001), The Search for Forgiveness. Pardon and Punishment in Islam and Christianity (IVP, 2004) and Two Prayers for Today. The Lord’s Prayer and The Fatiha (CSS Books: Tiruvalla, 2007). Chawkat is married, his wife is from Denmark. They live in the London area and they have four children.

Admission is Free.

Please confirm your participation latest by Monday, 1st March 2010

RSVP: Tel: 03-79569188 Fax: 03-79562188 or 03-79562966 Email:

International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.

Bonus: Chawkat Moucarry is also speaking at the ‘Making Room Seminar: Living out the Theology of Divine Hospitality’ sponsored by World Vision / Kairos Research Centre at Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur from 1st – 2nd March 2010.

For more information kindly contact World Vision at 03-7880 6414 / E-Mail:

Monday, February 22, 2010



A Rocha是一个以基督为信仰的自然保护组织,我们的名称是源于葡萄牙语的磐石,也是 我们组织的第一个启动项目,一个葡萄牙的野外研究中心。现在,A Rocha已经发展成为一个全球性项目大家族,遍布欧洲、中东、非洲、南北美洲、亚洲 以及大洋洲。A Rocha项目具有跨文化的特点,强调社群共享,致力于科学研究、自然保护行动和环境 教育。

GraceWorks: Mentoring Seminar

Mentoring Seminar Flyer

Spiritual Mentoring seminar by Rev Dr Tan Soo-Inn

The greatest need of the hour is not better programmes or more sophisticated technology. The greatest need of the hour is for a transformed community, mature followers of Jesus who will bring Godly wisdom and grace into a needy world.

But how do we help followers of Jesus grow in Christ-like maturity?
We will see that spiritual mentoring is a primary “method” that God has provided to help people grow in Christ-likeness. This is the model that Jesus Himself gave us.

He developed people through close personal relationships.

This seminar will take a biblical and practical look at questions like:
· What are the basic components of spiritual mentoring?
· What are the three directions of mentoring?
· How can I give and receive spiritual mentoring where I am?

Specific strategies will be suggested as to how you can do spiritual mentoring whether you are starting out or adapting fresh insights to existing programmes.
Our ultimate goal is for participants to grow in their capacity to give and receive spiritual mentoring so that we can be the people that God wants us to be for the times we live in.
Date: 13 March 2010 (Saturday)
Time: 10.30am - 3pm
Venue: Canaanland HQ @ 25 Jalan PJU 1A/41B, NZX Commercial Centre, Ara Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya (click for map direction)
Investment: RM30 per pax (including materials - excluding lunch)
Speaker: Rev Dr Tan Soo-Inn

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Second Thoughts About Canonical Pseudepigraphy

In his Dictionary of Later New Testament and Its Developments article on pseudepigraphy (which means “false superscription”), James Dunn discussed the problem of New Testament writings that explicitly claim to have been written by a certain person but were believed by many modern scholars to have been written by someone else.

Unlike anonymous New Testament writings such as the book of Hebrews, the issue of false attribution in pseudepigraphal writings raised questions about their integrity and acceptability in the canon. For example, we read of Serapion (second century A.D.) who rejected the Gospel of Peter as “the writings that falsely bear their names [Peter and the other apostles] . . . knowing that such were not handed down to us” (Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 6.12.3).

Dunn described the nature of the moral and theological problem in this way, “It is this judgment of falseness, of an intent to deceive and mislead, particularly by passing off as apostolic what should not be so regarded, that makes the issue of pseudepigraphy in the NT so sensitive.” On the other hand, Dunn recognized the significant consensus of NT scholarship that maintains the pseudepigraphic character of NT writings such as Ephesians, the Pastoral epistles and 2 Peter. How then should we reconcile this apparent contradiction?

Download the rest of the article review below:
Review the Pseudepigraphy Article

Friday, February 12, 2010

Globalisation & The Kingdom Of God

Vinoth Public Forum Announcement World Vision Malaysia & Kairos Research Centre is organising a public forum on "Globalisation & The Kingdom Of God"

Speakers : Dr Vinoth & Karin Ramanchandran

Date : March 1st, 2010 ( Monday )
Time : 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Venue : Ballroom 1 , Corus Hotel , Kuala Lumpur

Attendance is free.

Details are as in the attached file. Please do come and encourage others to do so for a stimulating discussion.

Ng Kam Weng & Liew Tong Ngan

Synopsis of Vinoth Ramanchandran, Subverting Global Myths:

The Global Myths that hold us captive

What myths about terrorism are spread due to lack of historical memory and moral focus?

Why since 9/11 are religions blamed for violent conflicts around the world?

Are human rights self-evident truths, or does protection of rights around the world demand a deeper understanding?

How does liberal talk of multiculturalism mask the way cultural diversity is threatened by forces of secularism and capitalism?

What encourages the divorce of scientific research from moral reflection, with dire consequences for the planet?

Are we trapped between the contradictory stories that we are determined by our genes and that we have an unlimited capacity for redesigning ourselves?

What historical myths lie beyond current thinking about globalization, and how do we free ourselves from ongoing colonial mindsets and practices?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reframing Discipleship, Spiritual Formation, Christian Spiritual Formation

There has been much confusion about the meaning and usage of these words: discipleship, spiritual formation, and Christian spiritual formation. These words are sometimes used interchangeably by some teachers while others offered a more nuanced definition. Here I will offer some definitions of these terms.

Spiritual formation is the process of forming our inner spiritual beings (soul) which manifest outwardly as our character. This is an ongoing process which starts when we are in our mothers’ womb and continues until we die. There are numerous influences that affect our spiritual formation which includes our cultural legacy, our childhood experiences, our ethnicity, the socio-political environments in which we live in, the dominant culture in our society, and our social interactions with other people, including our family members. Often these influences act subconsciously by a process of socialization or enculturation. In other words, all of us are undergoing spiritual formation all the time, whether we are conscious of it or not.

Christian conversion (accepting Christ) involves a change in status by our justification by faith, and of the formative regeneration of our souls (sanctification). Christian spiritual formation starts after conversion. Christian spiritual formation is the process of the redemptive inner transformation of the character of a person to reflect the character of Christ himself. There are two components to Christian spiritual formation: (1) the work of the Holy Spirit, and (2) the willingness of a person to follow Christ in discipleship. Christian spiritual formation is a collaborative divine-human interaction. The influences that act on Christian spiritual formation are similar to those experiences by all living human beings. Additional influences are the formative practices of the Christian faith communities (Christian education) and the Word of God.

Discipleship is the part of Christian spiritual formation where we can be actively involved in. The Holy Spirit is ever willing to be involved but respect our choices and will not force us to be disciples. Discipleship is following and obeying the teachings of Jesus Christ and in doing so, we become Christ-like in our character. Jesus summarizes this by saying that, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To be his follower, Jesus points out that there is a part about denying self, and there is another part about following him. Luke helpfully gives us some essential features on discipleship. These essentials are trust (Lk 9:37-43); suffering (Lk 9:44-45); humility (Lk 9:46-50); purpose (Lk 9: 51-56); commitment (Lk 9: 57-62); involvement (Lk 10:1-20), and prayer (Lk 10:21-24). However all these need the work of the Holy Spirit if Christian spiritual formation is to take place. We cannot will or discipline our bodies into spiritual transformation.

The purpose (telos) of Christian spiritual formation is three-fold reflecting the economy of the Triune God. Christian spiritual formation is (1) to restore image of God (imago Dei) within us so that we reflect the character of Christ; (2) to form a people of God –the body of Christ; and (3) to be part of God’s plan of reconciliation with all of creation (missio Dei). Christian spiritual formation is Trinitarian in basis as it is an invitation to join in the perichoresis or eternal dance of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

So let us embark on the journey of Christian spiritual formation, availing ourselves to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, and intentionally becoming disciples of Jesus Christ with “informed minds, hearts on fire, and contemplative in actions” until “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)