Saturday, 31 January 2009

Atheists play their hand - Probability

Atheists have launched their advertising campaign throughout Britain, with 800 buses carrying the message "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Mohler discusses this on his blog entry here. The New York Times also reported on the campaign here. See the 9Marks blog entry for an interesting alternative by a technodeacon.

See related articles

Atheists roll out ad campaign (The Seeker, 22 May 09)
An unbelievable challenge - a look at atheist public relations (Skillful Shepherds, 21 Oct 08)

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Sunday, 25 January 2009

A New Day Dawning – Transforming Singapore

A few of us just returned from the annual Pastor's Prayer Summit organised by LoveSingapore. It was a good time of personal renewal, united worship and intercession, and catching the vision and passion of being involved in transforming Singapore this new year.

As we celebrate the Lunar New Year, a season normally associated with blessing and fortune, it is appropriate to consider God's blessings on our lives and how we can be a blessing to others. A key lesson that came out of the Summit was that true transformation begins with us as individuals, returning to the Lord, recognizing that we are, first and foremost, His precious and beloved children. This, in turn, leads to a renewal of our hearts and re-aligning of our wills to God once again. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matt 3:17) Note that God's approval of His Son came even before Jesus began His public ministry. Often we approach God with the priority of serving and doing things for Him, whereas He firstly wants us to come before Him to simply rest in the knowledge that each of us is a child of God, deeply loved and with whom He is well-pleased. Do we as believers place our identity primarily as a servant of God, or as a child of God?

As we come to recognize our identity as His children, soaking in the depths of the Father's love, God works to tranform and mould us increasingly to the image of Christ. God also works in our hearts to begin to see the world through His eyes, and feel His compassion and heart for mankind, especially those who are lost. “For Christ's love compels us ... He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Cor 5:14-15) In this season of feasting and catching up with relatives and friends, let us trust God to provide timely opportunities and divine appointments, to speak a word of comfort, to share a testimony of His goodness, to spread a blessing of His love, to sow a seed of His good news. Ultimately, let's step out in faith, believing in God's promises – that as He blesses us, we can thus be a blessing of His grace and an agent of faith, hope and love – be it to our families, our colleagues, our neighbours, our nation, our world. How can God use us this year to be a blessing to others?

In times of uncertainty and crisis, let us receive God's unfailing love anew and trust in His promises afresh. Let us in turn bring forth hope and blessing to those God places in our midst. And let us prayerfully anticipate and expect God to work powerfully to bring about transformation in our lives, our family, our community, and our nation this year. “For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” (Isa 61:11) Indeed, a new day is dawning!

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Saturday, 24 January 2009

On Faith

Newsweek, along with the Washington Post, has an ongoing site called "On Faith," which describes itself as "a conversation on religion with Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn."

Though it is written from a mostly secular perspective, but they often have interviews and discussion with religious ministers, lecturers and figures, and I have it on my RSS reader to understand and be aware of the discussions and issues, so that we are engaging culture and the main worldviews, mindsets among the vast majority of peoples today.

A sampling of articles found there:
Every Christian is a priest to each other
To whose God will Rick Warren pray?
Abortion's morality and the candidates
Religious divides and Obama's promise
Pope Benedict, Muslims and mutual respect

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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

US 44th Presidential Inauguration - 20 Jan 2009

Comprehensive coverage from Washington of the day's Christian aspects (Christianity Today)
- includes transcripts of prayers & inauguration speech
Sober Obama speech draws on surprising sources (CNN, 21 Jan 09)

Invocation by Ps Rick Warren

Obama Inauguration Speech - Part 1 of 2

Obama Inauguration Speech - Part 2 of 2

Closing Prayer by Ps Joseph Lowery

See also:
Opinion Roundup: Inaugural Prayers of Hope and Tears (CT, 21 Jan 09)
A Prayer for President Obama (, 20 Jan 09)
How Barack Obama will make Christ a Minister of Condemnation (Desiring God, 17 Jan 09)
Thank you, Brother Rick Warren (Resurgence)

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Monday, 19 January 2009

Staff welcome lunch

Was treated to my welcome lunch as a new staff (actually came in on 1 Dec 08), at a lovely Peranakan buffet called Penang Place @ IBP, Jurong area. Pastors get 1-for-1 discounts, I believe the owner is a Christian. Amazing and varied spread, signature dishes include Penang fried kway teow, beef rendang, ngoh hiang, assam laksa, mee siam, chendol and assortment of kuehs and dim sums.

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Saturday, 17 January 2009

Derek Thomas on John Owen

An excellent link where you can listen or download the full 8-lecture course by Dr Derek Thomas, from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, on the Pastoral Theology of John Owen.

Included is the course description and objectives.

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Jesus and Jazz

Piper writes about the Jason Harms Quintet, who had the opportunity to spread the Gospel in Dominican Republic through jazz.

I love this quote:
In cross-cultural missions, there are many barriers. Music cannot break down all of them. But the pleasure we take, Christians and non-Christians alike, in jazz can establish a powerful connection and a means to sow His word. We sing about Jesus not knowing who the Lord may give ears to hear.
The Gospel doesn’t need any help from jazz; it is Christ who saves and nothing else. But God uses all that He has made to break into our hard hearts to reveal Himself as our greatest need and greatest pleasure.
Read the full article here.

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Monday, 12 January 2009

Pastors' Prayer Summit @ Malacca, 12-15 Jan 09

Attended my first-ever Pastors' Prayer Summit @ Malacca with my senior and 2 other pastors, though I'm technically still a ministry staff. This annual gathering of local pastors and para-church leaders is organised by LoveSingapore, and this is the 14th year running. Had the pleasure of catching up with old friends, particularly Ian Wong, my classmate from secondary school, who I bunked with, and Wei-en, my JC arts schoolmate and council mate. Ian's a youth staff @ Kum Yan Methodist, and Wei-en's a youth pastor @ The Bible Church. Ian was helping out in the summit with the worship team, playing, singing and leading.

The likes of Edmund Chan, Vincent Lun, Derek Hong and Lawrence Khong gave keynote addresses. One thing that resonated with me was the need for mutual support and encouragement. Each session ended with participants spending time to pray for one another in small groups, affirming and blessing each other and their ministries. Out of our own discussions between Wei-en, Ian and myself, was a clear conviction to start a small prayer support group among us peers in full-time ministry. God had spoken to me and laid this burden on my heart for some time, just that I had been waiting on it. I had Ian in mind. When Wei-en brought it up at summit, everything just sync-ed and we all knew that this was the Lord's leading.

We have been meeting since Feb, once a month. Happy to note that one more has joined our little GPS (guys prayer support), Clarence Lim, my NUS SEA classmate and staff at Toa Payoh Methodist. More about GPS in a later entry.

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The Idol of Our Many Understandings

Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest ordained by a major Christian denomination, accepted an invitation by President-elect Barack Obama to deliver the opening prayer at the opening of celebrations on Sunday @ Lincoln Memorial, leading up to his inauguration next week.

This comes weeks after liberal critics and gay activists slammed Mr Obama's choice of evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration itself.

In Al Mohler's entry on this announcement, he quotes Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire for the Episcopal Church, as being "horrified" at how "specifically and aggressively Christian" past inaugural prayers through history have been as he was reading them. Robinson promised that his inaugural prayer "will not be a Christian prayer" and "won't be quoting Scripture or anything like that." He added that he might address the prayer to "the God of our many understandings".

Mohler quotes Clive James in The Dreaming Swimmer,
The crisis in the Church of England is that too many of its bishops, and some would say of its archbishops, don't quite realize that they are atheists, but have begun to suspect it.
May God grant us His wisdom and grace.

See articles
The Idol of Our Many Understandings - Bishop Robinson at Prayer (, 14 Jan 09)
Gay bishop to give Inaugural prayer (Washington Times, 13 Jan 09)
Gay bishop Gene Robinson to lead prayers at Barack Obama inauguration (Times UK, 12 Jan 09)

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Sunday, 11 January 2009

Report exposes Islam in Australia
Catch the Fire Ministries, 11 Jan 2009

Article on the Daniel Scott lawsuit.

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Saturday, 10 January 2009

Canon of theologians

A summary of Mark Dever's "Canon of Theologians", an annual reading schedule. For a full-length discussion of his choices, and why we should be reading from dead theologians, visit Tony Reinke's entry.

The list include:
  • Early church writings
  • Augustine
  • Martin Luther, John Calvin
  • Richard Sibbes
  • John Owen, John Bunyan
  • Jonathan Edwards
  • C. H. Spurgeon
  • B. B. Warfield
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • C. S. Lewis, Carl Henry
  • Contemporary authors e.g. John Stott, J. I. Packer, Iain Murray, R. C. Sproul, John Piper
Read also Dever's own explanation behind his reading schedule here.

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Saturday, 3 January 2009

Global mission bodies to unite in Singapore 2009

Centres for World Mission around the world are set to gather for a historic conference after more than a decade next year in Singapore, according to the Singapore Centre for Evangelism & Missions.

Organised by SCEM, USCWM, NEMA, Mission Korea, and PMA, this "Challenges & Opportunities of Centres for World Mission in the 21st century" will comprise about 30-40 global leaders of Centres for World Mission. It will be from 20-23 Apr @ St. Andrew's Cathedral. Dr Ralph D. Winter will be the keynote speaker.

For more info, visit SCEM's website.

See also
SCEM renamed to "reflect reality" (Christian Post, 13 Jan 2009)

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