Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) recently invited Dr Paul Lee Tan to lecture on the subject of “The Interpretation of Prophecy.” Dr Jeffrey Khoo, the academic dean of FEBC, wrote: “FEBC’s Daily Vacation Bible College (DVBC) is an annual week-long course of daily lectures on a special topic or theme taught by the faculty or a guest professor from abroad. This year, May 1-6, the College was privileged to have world-renowned professor of Biblical prophecy - Dr Paul Lee Tan - to lecture on “The Interpretation of Prophecy.” Dr Tan’s many charts and illustrations made prophecy easy to understand and remember. He emphasised the need to interpret the Bible literally, comparing Scripture with Scripture, that the Bible has only one meaning, for God means what He says and says what He means. More than 150 attended the course, some even taking leave from work just to make it for the classes.”
Curiously, in the statement of faith, the college declared: “The Statement of Faith of the College shall be in accordance with that system commonly called “the Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Confession of Faith as set forth by the historic Westminster Assembly together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.”
While the Westminster Confession of Faith, as well as the Larger Catechism, repudiates the dispensational, eschatological schema of multiple resurrections and judgments, Dr Jeffrey Khoo has apparently found Dr Paul Lee Tan’s eschatology enlightening. It is a well-known fact that Dr Tan is not only a dispensational premillennialist, but also a pre-tribulationist who rejects Reformed ecclesiology. He is the author of two highly popular eschatological tomes, Encyclopedia of 15,000 illustrations and The Interpretation of Prophecy.
The pre-tribulationist sees a salient distinction between national, ethnic Israel and the Church. And it is particularly this distinctive ecclesiology that distinguishes both Classical and Progressive Dispensationalism from Reformed theology. Dr Tan, without doubt, taught the pre-tribulational view of dispensational premillennialism to the 150 students present at the Daily Vacation Bible College. According to Dr Khoo, Dr Tan’s dispensationalism was not only the correct eschatology, but with his “many charts and illustrations,” Dr Tan had “made prophecy easy to understand and remember.” Dr Khoo can now be assured that his students will have a firm grasp of pre-tribulationism, in addition to the distinctives of Dispensationalism.
“The College was privileged to have [the] world-renowned professor of Biblical prophecy” to expound on an eschatological system which includes at least three resurrections and three separate judgments. Unfortunately, dispensational premillennialism contradicts the eschatology laid out in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Belgic Confession.
I am, therefore, absolutely perplexed as to how Dr Khoo will justify the claim that FEBC’s teachings “shall be in accordance with that system commonly called “the Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Confession of Faith as set forth by the historic Westminster Assembly together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.”