Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Christian Spirituality

This Malaysia Bible Seminari course is a pastoral, historical and theological reflection on our life of faith in Christ. It seeks to work out among fellow practitioners ( students of the class) what is required to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ. This is in accordance with the Pauline emphasis that that the gospel has the power to transform men and women to become “mature in Christ” (Col 1.28)

We would seek first to “think” about our life of faith. These are some questions that we would need to engage with :

What is God like?
Who is Man? Sinner or Saint?
The nature of our salvation
How do we progress spiritually to become “Mature in Christ”?

Secondly we will need to dig deeply into the collective wisdom of the Church of Christ over two millennia and learn from godly church fathers and theologians how to “live” out our life of faith. We will explore together :

· Life of prayer
· Spiritual disciplines
· Rule of life
· Various biblical and practical approaches to spiritual formation and discipleship

Evangelical Christians in Malaysia have very little knowledge of Christian traditions and spiritualities outside their own traditions and denominations. This course seeks to help us rediscover that the Holy Spirit has been at work within and outside our respective churches.

Instructor: Dr Tony Lim
Malaysia Bible Seminary
Wednesdays (9am - 12 pm)
Main Text : Simon Chan’s Spiritual Theology

Part One
The Theological Principles of Spiritual Theology

Part Two
The practice of the Spiritual Life
Knowing God and Knowing Self
Dealing with Sin and Temptation and crisis of faith
Spiritual Disciplines and the Rule of Life
Spiritual Formation
Journal writing

Monday, May 30, 2011

Faith Confronts Power

Kairos Magazine: Faith Confronts Power (May 2011) is out! Check out the highlights in this issue:

Prophets and Kings: Faith and Power in the Old Testament
Christ and Caesar: A New Testament Perspective
Confronting the Nazi State: Bonhoeffer and The Barmen Declaration
Le Chambon: A Beacon of Hope in Darkness
Witnessing Church Under Hostile Authorities in the Book of Revelation
Persecution and Destruction of Eastern Christianity
History and Power
Truth and Public Life: The Heritage of Lesslie Newbigin
The Christian and Politics (free article, click to download)
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Movie Review: The Social Network

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Reason For God: How Can a Good God Send People to Hell?

The Reason for God- What the hell is Hell?

Here are some notes culled from Tim Keller's book The Reason For God, for a study group at CDPC Puchong next month.

How Can God send Good people to hell? How Can God be full of Love and Wrath at the same time?
Does "Love Win" or... is it more complex and wonderful than that? Check it out

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Story of Job: Suffering And Evil

Malaysia negara Kristian?

Media Statement: Authorities must take action against irresponsible, baseless and provocative reporting

A national Malay language daily, Utusan Malaysia, today (7th May 2011) carried a report under the headlines “Malaysia negara Kristian?”, (Malaysia, a Christian country?) where it was alleged that Christian leaders (paderi-paderi or priests/pastors) who at a closed door meeting in Penang had vowed to make Malaysia the official religion of Malaysia and to install a Christian as its Prime Minister. It was further reported that a meeting was to take place this evening at the Catholic Christian Centre (Pusat Kristian Katolik) in Penang and a public lecture will be organized tomorrow.

On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Malaysia, I would like to categorically refute the allegation that such a meeting had taken place or will take place in a Catholic venue in Penang. It is clear that this reporting is baseless and highly irresponsible as the reporters and editors of the above newspaper have not taken any reasonable steps whatsoever to verify the allegations made by anonymous bloggers. Furthermore, this report comes after the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), one of the organizers of the above meeting, having refuted the claims of those bloggers and the same was carried on online media. The NECF has further clarified that this meeting only covered the topic of ethical leadership and had no treasonous agenda as alleged by the bloggers and news report.

It is clear that such reporting has the effect of creating religious disharmony, inciting hatred and heaping odium on Christians. We therefore call upon the authorities and the police to immediately make a thorough investigation of this matter to determine the source of these insidious, provocative and malicious lies and to take the necessary action against those who seek to threaten the multi-cultural and multi-religious harmonious make-up in this country.

We, Christians constantly pray for good governance by political and civil authorities. We also teach our people to be God fearing, law abiding citizens and conscientious decision makers based on justice which is reflective of moral and divine laws. In the recent statements of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) regarding the Al-Kitab issue, we had always reiterated our commitment and readiness to dialogue and work together with the government and all parties for a just and reasonable solution. It is clear that our position has never been treasonous nor have we advocated hatred, antagonism or animosity towards any religion or groups of persons.

I continue to call upon all Catholics, Christians and all Malaysians to pray, dialogue and work together to strengthen national unity and harmony. May God bless our leaders with a firm vision and the courage and strength to uphold and realise it. 

Tan Sri Datuk Murphy Nicholas Pakiam DD
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
President, Catholic Bishops of Malaysia 
7th May 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Right For You But Not For Me?

The Reason for God-Moral Relativism

Moral Relativism says, “Every person or culture has to define what is right and wrong  for themselves.”

But if you ask, “Is there anyone right now doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about it?” people will invariably say, “Yes of course”. Doesn’t that mean that we do believe there is some moral reality that is not defined by us, that we must abide whether others like it or not? For example, genocide is not just impractical or unpleasant (i.e. we don’t like it done to us) but wrong…

There is a sense of sacredness to human life.

The irony is this: Relativists can't accuse others of wrongdoing. They cannot consistently oppose racism, exploitation, genocide. They can't demand justice and promote tolerance. If ethics are relative to each culture, then anyone outside the culture loses the right to critique it. Essentially that was the argument of the Nazi leaders during the Nuremberg Trials. A moral reformer like a Martin Luther King, Jr. would be immoral by definition because he's violating the rules of society. 'We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.’-CS Lewis. Christians have a consistent foundation to speak out against social evils based upon God’s revelation. Moral relativists do not