Monday, June 30, 2008

Project Timothy - Upcoming Events

Project Timothy Bible Conference - 11th to 12th July 2008
Law and Grace in the Christian Life: Complementary or Contradictory?

Speaker: Andrew Reid, lecturer at Ridley Theological College, Melbourne
Venue: Metropolitan YMCA

The New Testament teaches us that Christians are not under law but grace, yet we are told that not the least stroke of a pen will disappear from the law until everything is accomplished. How are we to reconcile these two seemingly conflicting statements? How about the Old Testament commands? Do they still apply to us today? Come and explore these issues with us at the Project Timothy Bible Conference!

Expository Preaching Workshop - 20th Oct 2008

The Expository Preaching Workshop aims to encourage preachers to keep trusting in God's Word to do its work and be faithful in their own ministry, to equip preachers with fundamental skills for Bible handling and preaching and to build up a network of like-minded preachers.

The topic will be ‘Preaching Job’ this year.

Speaker: Christopher Ash, Director of Cornhill Training Course, UK.

Evening Expositions - on 21st and 22nd Oct 2008

The Evening Expositions are talks typically held over 2 evenings, with the aim of challenging and building up Christians through expository preaching

The theme for this year is ‘Out of the storm’ expositions from the book of Job

Speaker: Christopher Ash, who is the director of Cornhill Training Course, UK

For more information, check out the Project Timothy Website

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Prince Caspian

LeaderU compiled some resources on CS Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia (with Prince Caspian hitting the big screen)

From Dr Bruce Edwards: "The dramatic climax of this story is not, however, the suspicious victory over King Miraz in battle, but the discovery of the now King Caspian’s true lineage, that he, too, is a Son of Adam, else he could not be qualified to reign in Narnia. In one poignant moment that epitomizes the humility required of true leaders, Aslan asks the triumphant Caspian if he were now ready to become king; “I—I don’t think so, Sir. . . I am only a Kid.” To his surprise, Aslan replies, “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not.” Caspian needed to know the limitations of his own powers, and when he needed to rely on others—and especially Aslan—to win the day.

Nikabrik: The Dwarf Who Would Be Lost

As is the case with LWW, there is yet a betrayer in Narnia, for found in Prince Caspian is a parallel story to King Caspian’s glorious victory is the tragic story of Nikabrik, the stubbornly faithless dwarf. Of all the sad stories of bewitched and bewildered creatures in Narnia who become captive of evil, none is more mournful than the tale of Nikabrik.

This wayward dwarf, incapable of overcoming his profound distrust of the “old stories,” epitomizes a less cunning but equally desvasting aspect of evil’s lure akin to that of the White Witch. Nikabrik—like the band of self-seeking dwarves who fall by the wayside in The Last Battle—is world weary and full of skepticism. When asked if he believes in Aslan, he shrugs that he will believe in “anyone or anything” who will throw off the yoke of oppression under King Miraz; he is not discriminating: “Anyone or anything, Aslan or the White Witch, do you understand?”

Though rebuked by the more pious and respectful badger, Trufflehunter, Nikabrik still harbors his doubts and nurtures his cynicism. As events progress, the impatient and unschooled Nikabrik, rejecting out of hand the promise of help from ancient prophecies or the mobilization of Caspian’s friends, instead puts his trust in his companions, a hag and a werewolf, and plans to call upon the dark magic of the long dead White Witch:

“All said and done,” he muttered, “none of us knows truth about the ancient days of Narnia. . . . Aslan and the Kings go together. Either Aslan is dead, or he is not on our side. Or else something stronger than himself keeps him back. And if he did come—how do we know he’d be our friend? . . . . Any anyway, he was in Narnia only once that I ever heard of, and he didn’t stay long. You may drop Aslan out of the reckoning. I was thinking of someone else.

This is the voice of despair and alienation masquerading as the voice of reason. So distant is he from Narnia’s traditions, its history, its promise—and its relationship to its Creator and King, Aslan—Nikabrik can seriously contemplate “a power so much greater than Aslan’s,” which he defines as holding “Narnia spellbound for years and years, if the stories are true.” Falsehood has become truth, black has become white, destruction has become destiny.

This is Lewis’s cautionary tale to any civilization drunk on the wine of its own self-importance and ability to survive or thrive without historical perspective and relationship to God. This is “chronological snobbery” gone wild, a disposition not only to disbelieve the old stories, but to substitute an opposite meaning for the original.

In the end, Nikabrik confesses, “Yes,” said Nikabrik, “I mean the Witch…We want power: and we want a power that will be on our side. As for power, do not the stories say that the Witch defeated Aslan, and bound him, and killed on that very stone which is over there, just beyond the light?” When the Trufflehunter and others eloquently counter his virulent, militant unbelief, Nikabrik bellows:

“Yes they say . . . but you’ll notice that we hear precious little about anything he did afterwards. He just fades out of the story. How do you explain that, if he really came to life? Isn’t it much more likely that he didn’t, and that the stories say nothing more about him because there was nothing more to say? . . . . They say [the White Witch] ruled for a hundred years: a hundred years of winter. There’s power, if you like. There’s something practical. . . .Who ever heard of a witch that really died? You can always get them back.”

A witch who never dies, whose “practical” power to sustain winter a hundred years is more impressive than the return of the rightful king, the rallying of treasonous ne’er-do-wells to necromancy to revive her —these are the perverse foundation of the new society Nikabrik envisions for himself and fellow dwarves and outcasts. This is how bleak and self-destructive their own imaginations have become. But it cannot prevail so as long as there are those who love and trust the truth."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Now That's a Good Question!

It's always fun to do Question & Answer forums. Also scary as I'm not quick on my feet. Community Baptist Church Sunway kindly invited me again to address the youth group on a low key Friday night (30 May 08) along with two other panelists Elder Beng Tiong and MBS valedictorian Ps Alexa. (nice to catch up with Gary and of course, baby Micah!)

The thing about such forums though is that only soundbytes get through. Try answering the problem of evil or the meaning of life less than 2 minutes. There's so much you wanna say but due to time limit, you could only cover the bare essentials. And there's also the audience of some late secondary schoolers and college students, how do you keep em awake? I didn't get to say half of these prepared notes, so for what it's worth, I decided to share the 'contoh jawapan' here.

Here are some questions that get thrown out, and if you find other ways to answer them, do leave me a comment ok?

Questions That Youths Ask (Part 1)

Questions That Youths Ask (Part 2)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Rev Stephen Tong is on Youtube, answering questions from audience at an evangelistic rally!

Monday, June 09, 2008



Vision: PASSION KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA is a gathering for UNIVERSITY-AGED young people South-east Asia. Believing in the university moment, and what God longs to do in this strategic window of time, the entire event will focus on the bigness of God, calling students to PRAYER, WORSHIP and ACTION, and a Story so much bigger than their own.

The heartbeat of PASSION KUALA LUMPUR / JAKARTA is to:

Foster UNITY among those who love JESUS
Spark VISION for the UNIVERSITIES of Kuala Lumpur & Jakarta and the nation
Tell the STORY of REDEMPTION in compelling ways
INSPIRE students to EMBRACE their part in God's global plan for the NATIONS

Why the World?

Finding in Christ all we need, and spending our lives to make Him famous in this generation... that's what The Passion Movement is all about and what has attracted hundreds of thousands of university aged young people to Passion gatherings over the past eleven years. Passion is more than an event. Passion is a movement made up of young people who have abandoned the idea of living simply for themselves and are daily giving everything so the world can see Jesus more clearly. Passion is about the glory of God, inspiring a wave of students to taste and see that He is good and to do something now to change the world in Jesus' name.We've discovered that every major city in the world is a university town, most home to hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions of students. So, Passion is off on a crazy journey to the cities of the world in 2008, uniting university students around the globe in a story so much bigger than our own. Click on the city nearest you and join the movement for His renown!
"Yes Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and renown are the desire of our souls." Isaiah 26:8

268 Declaration:

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your Truth,
we wait eagerly for You,
for Your name and Your renown
are the desire of our souls."
Isaiah 26:8

I desire that my life be a part of a generation that lives
for the glory of Your name. (Psalm 86:11-12)

My desire is reflected by the following statements and prayers:
Because I was created by God and for His glory, I will magnify Him as I respond to His great love. My desire is to make knowing and enjoying God the passionate pursuit of my life.
[God, give me a desire for You like the desire that You have for me.]
Colossians 1:16-18, John 17:3, Revelation 3:20, Philippians 3:7-10, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Psalm 73:25-28, Psalm 16:11, Isaiah 43:7

Because Christ established the Church for God's glory, I desire to magnify God as I use the gifts He has given me to serve and build up the local church. I will pray for continued renewal in my church through the work and power of the Holy Spirit.
[God, renew in me a love for Your Church, the Body of Christ.]
Ephesians 3:20,21, 4:1-13, 5:25-27, Hebrews 10:23-25, Acts 2:41-47

Because God is glorified greatly when believers love each other, I desire to magnify Him as I humbly yield to and pray towards unity among all Christians on my campus. [God, give me a desire to lift up Your name above all other names.]
John 17:20-26, John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 3, Psalm 133:1, Colossians 3:12-17

Because many on my campus are hopelessly separated from God, I desire to magnify Him by sharing the life and love of Jesus where I live. As I share, I will earnestly pray for revival on my campus and in my world.
[God, break my heart for those with whom I live.]
Romans 10:11-15, Isaiah 6:1-8, 62:6-7, Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Peter 2:9-12, Philippians 2:12-16, 1 John 5:14-15

Because God is seeking worshipers of all peoples, I desire to magnify Him among the nations. I actively commit my life and energy to participation in His global purposes in my generation.
[God, kindle in me the desire to go anywhere, at anytime, at any cost, to do anything to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.]
Psalm 86:9, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Isaiah 49:6, Revelation 5:9-14, Matthew 28:18-20, Psalm 67, Acts 1:8

Attend: This gathering is for University students, people aged 18-25, and their ministry leaders.

The cost is 20 RM ($6.50 USD).
6:00PM-10:00PM Main Session
Location: Sunway Convention Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The cost is 25,000RP
PASSION JAKARTA August 5th 2008
TBD Main Session
Location: Tennis Indoor Senayan

Who: Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Charlie Hall

Volunteer: In order to make these events happen, we will need volunteers who are willing to serve throughout the whole conference in various jobs. We are requiring that all volunteers be 25 years of age or older. Anyone under the age of 25 CANNOT volunteer. The reason for this is that we want students to be able to fully connect with all of the experiences at the conference. Volunteers do not pay to attend and are typically working hard behind the scenes during every part of the day serving the students attending the conference. Accordingly, we require that all volunteers be 25 years of age or older.

Interview with John Piper - New World Alive, UK

Adrian Warnock interviews John Piper on the sidelines of the New Word Alive.

Part 1: Why John Piper is involved in New Word Alive

Part 2: The 'secret' to John Piper's preaching

Part 3: John Piper's prayer life

Part 4: Preaching and preachers, his call to pastoral ministry, work-life-balance, his most 'significant' work etc.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

New Word Alive - Interviews with Don Carson

Adrian Warnock interviews Don Carson at New Word Alive. Gives some great insights into who he is.

Part 1: How Carson got involved in full time Christian Ministry

Part 2: Raising up new leaders and preachers in the Church

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Amazing Grace: Reflections on the life of Wilberforce

I've watched the movie twice already, but still find it inspiring especially when watching together with about 80+ friends, brothers and sisters at Community Baptist Church. It was also the final wrap-up discussion of the Total Truth group. Look forward to the day a Malaysian movie maker do a commentary or movie on Tan Sri Tan Chee Koon :D

Some brief comments from my post-movie sharing: Firstly, social justice is a marathon, not a 10 second sprint or 100 metre dash. Wilberforce suffered 20 years of defeat, discouragement and even death threat for his struggle before slavery was finally abolished 3 days before his death. Winning an election in 2 weeks is just the beginning...

Secondly, the life of Wilberforce reminds us the need for more full time Christians in the world (and more fulltime workers in the church) to make a difference where they are. When Wilberforce was 25 years old, he has a spiritual transformation so dramatic that he considered quitting politics to be a priest. As depicted in the movie, a wise mentor in the form of John Newton (ex slave trader and famous hymn writer of "Amazing Grace") counselled against a career change.

Thirdly social justice is a community project, not a solo effort. Burnout is a constant danger. The scene of Hannah, Clarkson, Equiano etc sharing a meal together ("We humbly suggest that you can do both (serving God and being a political activist)") shows how different people bring their unique skills, contributions (look for evidence, write books, look for loopholes in the legislation etc)

Although not a part of the movie, Wilberforce has a group of friends who meet up regularly for prayer and worship called the Clapham Sect. They share evangelical Christian faith, long term commitment to social cause and lifelong friendship. Together they worked hard for missions, translating the bible, improve working conditions for the poor in manufacturing industry, agricultural reform to supply affordable food, prevent animal cruelty (RSCPA), prison reform, improve child labor conditions, freedom of religion, education and oppose blood sport/duels etc.

You can't do all of that on your own, we need the power of community. Imagine if every cell group in our churches just choose ONE cause of mercy or justice and commit long term to it!

Finally, there's a scene in the movie where Wilberforce asked his affluent MP friends to "remember the Madagascar (a slave ship that reeks of the stench of death). Remember that God created man equal". The theological conviction behind his activism is that every human being regardless of race is created in God's image and therefore has inherent dignity and worth. Especially relevant in Msia where race relations have been so politicised, and the church needs to work for racial reconciliation.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Gospel In All Its Forms

Like God, the gospel is both one and more than that.
by Tim Keller

Tim KellerThe gospel has been described as a pool in which a toddler can wade and yet an elephant can swim. It is both simple enough to tell to a child and profound enough for the greatest minds to explore. Indeed, even angels never tire of looking into it (1 Peter 1:12). Humans are by no means angels, however, so rather than contemplating it, we argue about it.

A generation ago evangelicals agreed on "the simple gospel": (1) God made you and wants to have a relationship with you, (2) but your sin separates you from God. (3) Jesus took the punishment your sins deserved, (4) so if you repent from sins and trust in him for your salvation, you will be forgiven, justified, and accepted freely by grace, and indwelt with his Spirit until you die and go to heaven.

There are today at least two major criticisms of this simple formulation. Many say that it is too individualistic, that Christ's salvation is not so much to bring individual happiness as to bring peace, justice, and a new creation. A second criticism is that there is no one "simple gospel" because "everything is contextual" and the Bible itself contains many gospel presentations that exist in tension with each other.

No single gospel message?
Let's take the second criticism first. The belief that there is no single basic gospel outline in the Bible goes back at least to the Tubingen school of biblical scholarship, which insisted Paul's gospel of justification was sharply different from Jesus' gospel of the kingdom. In the 20th century, British professor C.H. Dodd countered that there was one consensus gospel message in the Bible. Then, in turn, James Dunn argued in Unity and Diversity in the New Testament (1977) that the gospel formulations in the Bible are so different that we can't come up with a single outline.

Now hundreds of websites of young Christian leaders complain that the older evangelical church spent too much time reading Romans rather than Jesus' declaration that "the kingdom of God is at hand." But to be true to first-century Christians' own understanding of the gospel, I believe we must side with Dodd over Dunn. Paul is emphatic that the gospel he presents is the same as the one preached by the Jerusalem apostles. "Whether it was I or they," Paul says, referring to Peter and the others, "so we preached and so you believed" (1 Cor. 15:10-11). This statement assumes a single body of gospel content.

One gospel, many forms
So yes, there must be one gospel, yet there are clearly different forms in which that one gospel can be expressed. This is the Bible's own way of speaking of the gospel, and we should stick with it. Paul is an example. After insisting there is only one gospel (Gal. 1:8), he then speaks of being entrusted with "the gospel of the uncircumcised" as opposed to the "gospel of the circumcised" (Gal. 2:7).