Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Short Reflection on Philippians 3:1b

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe (Php 3:1).”

Biblical scholarship in today’s world is considered to be the ongoing discovery of fresh perspectives and new interpretations of various passages of the Bible. The traditional meaning of Scripture must be reinterpreted according to novel discoveries in archeology, science or Near Eastern literature. This itch for publicity and respect amongst scholars finds its way into the pulpit at various points of spiritual troughs of the Church Age. The preacher of God’s Word is suddenly apprehensive of preaching from the familiar passages of Scripture. He must dig deeper into the wisdom of man, so as to apologize for the foolishness of the Cross. The congregation does not come under the conviction of the Holy Ghost, but under the spell of contemporary scholarship which the preacher attempts to draw from the latest journals and publications. Instead of feeding the sheep with the meat of God’s Word, the goats are fed with the fodder of positivism, pragmatism and secular humanism.

But God’s Word should never be too familiar for Christians, and familiarity must not breed contempt. Paul wrote, “To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe (Php 3:1b).” For the Apostle “to write the same things (ta auta graphein)” to the Philippians, probably concerning the matter of “rejoicing,” is not grievous. The usage of the present active articular infinitive indicates “the going on writing of the same things.” Paul is obviously not weary of ongoing repetitions of the same things. It is, indeed, not irksome or tiresome for Paul to repeat the same things to the Philippians, simply because it is safe (asphales) for them. The reiteration of certain truths is sometimes the best safety measure against error.

According to Matthew Henry:

1. Ministers must not think any thing grievous to themselves which they have reason to believe is safe and edifying to the people.

2. It is good for us often to hear the same truths, to revive the remembrance and strengthen the impression of things of importance. It is a wanton curiosity to desire always to hear some new thing.

I have observed that, sometimes, by the countenance of the congregation, the impression is conveyed that church members are very “familiar” with the message being preached on the Lord’s Day. The incessant yawns and the constant quibbles, which often occur at the back aisles, may be misconstrued as an overenthusiastic response to the sermon so much so that the congregation begins to open their mouths in prayer. Children might appear to be so delighted with the pastor’s preaching that their parents allow them to run amok.

As a reminder to all, we should not be inattentive whenever the pastor preaches the same message, or the same passages from the Bible. Faithful is the minister who hammers away at the same warnings and the same exhortations to the backsliding congregation, in a bid to draw them back from perdition and error. Faithful is the minister who refuses to acquiesce to the congregation’s demand, and feed the sheep according to their needs. Faithful is the minister who preaches only the pure Word of God, and expounds on the precious, eternal truths of the Bible for the edification of the saints.

And if the sermon contains those “same things,” it is not tiresome for the minister, but is safe for us all. We do not need to listen to church growth theories, or how Paul changes his perspective every decade or so according to the whims of certain scholars. The unchanging, unerring Word of God is our all-sufficient source of heavenly wisdom and knowledge.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, deliver us from the itch for novelty and scholarship. Help us to be faithful to your Word, even if it cost us members and mammon. Thou must increase, and I must decrease. Amen.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thou shall not Plagiarize

I was reading an interesting article by Tim Challies on "plagiarism in the pulpit" today. He was discussing how certain ministers utilized the sermons of other preachers, and passed them off as their own.

Tim wrote:

Of course we would be remiss to read about this issue and to neglect asking why pastors feel it necessary to preach other peoples' sermons. I'm sure that in some cases pastors are simply lazy and are looking for a way to avoid what can be a long, tedious task. But in many cases I suspect pastors preach these sermons because they feel their congregations will demand a certain quality and a certain level of entertainment that they cannot provide. The spirit of pragmatism lives in the church today and I know of many pastors who have succumbed to it. They feel that their congregations will be better served by a sermon that is witty and contemporary than by a pastor who absorbs himself in a week-long study of the Bible. Some churches expect far too much of their pastors, demanding that they be leaders and entertainers more than preachers. Some pastors are not allowed sufficient time to adequately prepare their sermons. In many cases, the pressure for plagiarism may well originate in the pews and not in the pulpit.

Of course, plagiarism involves at least a certain degree of dishonesty on the part of the plagiarizer. But this issue is not only plaguing ministers in the pulpit, but also certain lay leaders and teachers of God’s Word. I believe Tim’s perception, that certain ministers resorted to plagiarizing sermons because of their desire to please the congregation, is rather accurate. In such cases, "the pressure for plagiarism may well originate in the pews and not in the pulpit."

Despite Tim’s article on this issue, I am still rather perplexed as to why a teacher of God’s Word must resort to plagiarizing the work of other Christians. If the congregation wants to listen to "Chicken Soup for Itching Ears," and refuses a steady diet of God’s Word, should the minister or teacher change his feeding methodology? Should he then acquire the scraps and offal from animal farms to feed the humans in the church? Perhaps, the proverbial "congregational" squeeze of the wallet is sometimes too difficult to bear. The minister usually has a large family to start with (say, wife and six children), and coupled with an already minimal sum of monthly allowance (for some Reformed ministers at least), a "tightening" of his salary might even mean a tightening of his belt, more gastric ulcers, and tattered pants for the Lord’s Day worship. This does not apply to pastors of megachurches, as their earnings can even be substantially more than that of plastic surgeons. I know that in Singapore, a certain pastor’s house has even a lift to carry him up and down his multistorey bungalow. Now, that is definitely better than my church’s building! As a matter of fact, my church does not even have one. We are currently renting a room to worship in.

Furthermore, if the minister were to preach systematically from the Bible, I believe there will never be a lack of biblical text to preach from. Unless, of course, such passages from the Word of God are deemed boring, unentertaining, and banal. The true child of God should desire the sincere milk of God’s Word, not the fermented and spoilt milk from the world. If the congregation is indeed averse to listening to sound preaching, feeding them the poison of human philosophy and carnal wisdom will only worsen their spiritual illness. Entertaining sermonettes limited to 30 minutes - peppered with a few jokes along the way - would not do these folks any good. What they need is the sound preaching of God’s Word, not exhilarating punch lines or motivating speeches.

Even among bloggers, there may be a temptation to plagiarize another’s ideas, or even words. Whether one is a lay leader, Christian writer, or theologian, it is generally good policy to give due credits to the sources one uses. Even if one is using the ideas, and not exactly the thought-flow or words of another writer, it is good to include a footnote stating the original source.

On the another hand, the fact that two writers present similar ideas in their work is not always necessarily plagiarism. Certain concepts are so widely known that, to put these ideas into one’s writings without quoting the original source may be acceptable. For example, Covenant theology has its roots in the works of Caspar Olevianus (1536-1587), Scottish Theologian Robert Rollock (1555-1599), the church fathers and, of course, the great reformer John Calvin. To use the concepts of Covenant theology in one’s theological writings without actually quoting the original sources (in this case, the writings of, say, Caspar Olevianus) is absolutely acceptable. This is because any theologue would know that the originator of Federal theology is not the writer in question. If, however, the source of such ideas is not widely known, the onus is upon the writer to ensure that due credits are given to the author of these concepts.

A further note of warning to budding writers: paraphrasing another’s writings does not make those ideas yours. Even in academic writings, plagiarism is sometimes rampant. I have read books by high profile academics who sometimes utilizes the concepts of another theologian, which were presented in some obscure journals, without ever giving a single clue as to the original sources. Paraphrasing another author’s writings might make it more difficult for the reader to "google" search for the original quotations, but the truth will eventually find you out.

So readers, do your own research, and quote all the original sources in your writings, okay?

PS: As I am currently going through the draft of my writing project, I am particularly conscious of this "plagiarism" issue. So, in a way, I am directing this post to myself first and foremost.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Another Reason for the Lack of Spiritual Discernment: The Doctrine of Balaam

Balaam is a popular name in the Bible, but I am not suggesting that the reader should name his son Balaam. Balaam is mentioned by name three times in the New Testament: once by Jesus (Rev. 2:14), once by Jude (Jude 11), and again by Peter (2 Peter 2:15). Our Lord adjured the church in Pergamos to repent of “the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Both Peter and Jude lamented that false teachers had gone in “the way of Balaam (Jude 11, cf. 2 Peter 2:15).” In this post, I will briefly reflect upon how this “doctrine of Balaam” is closely related to the lack of spiritual discernment in some churches today, although I am aware that the context of these passages has to do with false teachers.

So who is this Balaam? According to biblical records, Balaam was the son of Beor, a king of Edom (Genesis 36:31-32). He settled in Pethor, beyond the river Euphrates in Mesopotamia (Numbers 22:5; Numbers 23:7; Deut. 23:4). By the way, this place is actually quite far from where I live in Singapore. Having a widespread reputation of being able to prophesy and to pronounce a curse or blessing on people, he was called by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel (Numbers 22:5-6). It is fortunate for us that Saddam Hussein was not alive when Balaam was developing his career in Palestine. No one could have predicted what Hussein will require Balaam to do for him - with much cash, of course.

As we have read in the Bible, King Balak (not Hussein) and his minions tempted Balaam repeatedly with filthy lucre and honor to betray Israel. Balaam finally yielded; he taught Balak how to tempt Israel to sin so that God would curse them Himself (Numbers 22:7,17-18; Numbers 24:11-13; Numbers 25:1-18; Numbers 31:16; Deut. 23:4-5; Joshua 24:9-10; Neh. 13:2; Micah 6:5; 2 Peter 2:13-16; Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14). Finally, to cut the story short, Balaam returned to his home after having gained a reward by teaching Balak to ensnare Israel in sin (Numbers 24:25; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14).

Balaam went astray because he “loved the wages of unrighteousness (2 Peter 2:16, Jude 1:11).” He taught aberrational doctrines for reward (Rev. 2:14). He compromised God’s Word and betrayed God’s people for physical benefits, temporal gains and personal honour. This is the error of Balaam, and tragically, some churches have followed in his fungal footsteps.

In the worldly sense, compromise brings great dividends. The rejection of false teachings and teachers will greatly narrow the number of churches with which one can cooperate. “Loving” acceptance of all sects, cults and denominations would guarantee the unending contribution ($$$) and cooperation (even more $$$) from such organizations. By being accommodating to errors and deviant doctrines, and by pandering to the lowest common denominator in their confession of faith, these leaders would establish better rapport with a wider range of institutes and churches. For them to be “narrow-minded” and unyielding would only mean forsaking friends, “open doors” and financial help.

Do you want to know what Balaam’s maxim is? As the saying goes, “Maintaining a conspiracy of silence with an inclusivistic philosophy is the ultimate strategy for sustaining profit margins.”

Therefore, discernment has to be abandoned if one wants to be a successful clergyman in today’s churches. Perhaps it is time to purchase donkeys for these compromising leaders, and preferably, talking ones.

Yours truly,

Balaam’s Ass

Monday, November 06, 2006

Reincarnation in the New Testament


Some well-meaning Christians insist that we are not to judge another’s position in Christ. But unless we affirm universal salvation, we have to make this kind of judgment when witnessing to the lost, don’t we? When we preach Christ to, say, a Buddhist, aren’t we assuming that he, being a Buddhist, does not know Christ as Savior? And unless we make some kind of judgments based on the Bible, we can never discern truth from error.

The quotes from my previous post were taken from the following book:

James Morgan Pryse, Reincarnation in the New Testament, new ed. (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 1997).

ISBN: 1564594513

In fact, the entire book is available online for your reading pleasure, whatever that might be.

In theology, words alone are not very helpful, unless these words are stringed together as propositional truths. Likewise, terms such as “sin,” “Christ,” and “repent” are quite ambiguous unless these words are explained.

To reiterate my point, orthodox sounding terminologies do not mean much, unless one defines what is meant by those terms. I had previously mentioned that this writer believes in Jesus, original sin, the resurrection, the vicarious atonement of Christ, heaven, hell, the sacrament of baptism, and salvation by faith. The reader is welcomed to call him a Christian, but I for one will see him as a Theosophist. And this is what he calls himself.

As a Theosophist, James Pryse was also the founder of the Gnostic Society in Los Angeles:

“The Gnostic Society has existed in Los Angeles since 1928. It was founded by noted author James Morgan Pryse and his brother John Pryse for the purpose of studying Gnosticism and the Western Esoteric Tradition generally.

After the establishment of the Ecclesia Gnostica in the United States, the Gnostic Society has united with the Ecclesia and is now functioning as its affiliated lay organization. Neither the Ecclesia Gnostica nor The Gnostic Society have a formal, dues-paying membership. The activities of both are open to all. Free will offerings are accepted.”

The reader can excuse himself for being unfamiliar with theosophical terminologies, but he must not presumptuously embrace any orthodox sounding lingo as Christian. Perhaps Pryse is, indeed, “growing in grace and knowledge” of some god. Unless the reader deems Theosophy as part of orthodox Christianity, I wouldn’t advice the reader to consider joining this society. And yes, I know membership is still free of charge.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Again, it’s nothing personal, really.

As conversion is not merely an existential, but also an intellectual, assent to scriptural revelation, I had mentioned in my previous post that the seeker has to understand and embrace certain salient doctrines to be considered a Christian. The apostle Paul pronounced anathema upon those, even if it were an angel from heaven, who would preach an alternative gospel. Saint John warned that we must not have any fellowship with those who deny the doctrine of Christ, and I would add, God. The Apostles and the Antenicene fathers battled furiously with the Gnostic heresy. Councils were held to repudiate erroneous teachings on God, Trinity and Christ. Even the Council of Orange felt that the doctrine of anthropology was important enough to label Semi-Pelagianism heresy.

But it seems that there is a growing latitudinarianism pervading Christendom today. The narrow way is now getting broader to accommodate men of diverse faiths. Those that mock the Reformed doctrine of justification are now considered respectable scholars and friends of the gospel. In prominent American seminaries, these “respectable scholars” teach others, who would be future pastors and shepherds, to preach this false gospel in Presbyterian churches. They utilize the lingo of the cognoscenti to mesmerize the students, while the laity dribbles at their every word with wide-eyed stares and adoration. In the meantime, the masses sit at the feet of Cain and beg for his scraps to be thrown to them.

But I am comforted to receive an interesting comment on my previous post. Jim Swindle from gave me the following helpful suggestions:

“Hello. I just found your blog.

Maybe my thoughts will be useful here.On the Day of Pentecost, I'm virtually certain that not all of the thousands who were saved believed all of the things listed in the original post. Were they Christians? Well, that word wasn't invented yet, but it appears that the great bulk of them were true believers.

Still, as time went by, they needed to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ." They needed to mature spiritually.

Some of us take longer than others to mature, and each of us matures faster in some areas than in others. When I became a Christian, I was not a Trinitarian. I wasn't anti-Trinitarian, either. I just hadn't thought deeply about that matter until I was going door-to-door evangelizing and came to the home of some Jehovah's Witnesses. They challenged me on the issue. Through study and insight from the Lord, I came to believe that they were wrong.

It was not until a year or two later that I came to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible (that is, inerrancy of the original manuscripts and sufficient providential preservation of the text for us to have full confidence in every spiritual truth in the Bible).

Now, many years later, I'd agree with you concerning all of the items on your list, except perhaps number 17. I believe in election and in predestination and also that we are commanded to believe. I'm not quite sure how all of that fits together.

I believe the original post was correct in establishing a distinction between what someone believes, and what someone believes after correction.

May the Lord guide you and me and your other readers into a deeper knowledge of himself through [the real] Jesus.

I hope some of this helps.”

I can agree with the general thrust of Swindle’s comment. Young believers may not know the details of various fundamental doctrines, but their basic understanding is sufficient to bring them to the knowledge of God. I had previously clarified that my list of aberrant doctrines is NOT MEANT TO BE A CHECKLIST TO DISCERN WHO IS CHRISTIAN AND WHO IS NOT. Somehow, many readers misunderstood my intentions, and seem to think that I am propounding that one has to adhere to the whole list in order to be saved.

A Cordial Response to Swindle’s Comments

There are certain premises for us to consider. According to Acts, on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, “there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5).” Jews and Gentiles proselytes were there in Jerusalem on Pentecost for a particular purpose, and that purpose is not a city tour, a sightseeing excursion, or shopping at Palestine’s largest mall. These devout men, both Jews and Gentiles, are there for the Feast of Pentecost. They are proselytes of Judaism, and they had prior knowledge of the God of the Bible. They were acquainted with the Old Testament, and had expected a Messiah to come, the Son of David.

Peter, in his sermon on Pentecost, preached about the deity of Christ, His resurrection, the need for repentance and turning from sins to God. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).” He said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38-39).”

By the time of Pentecost, the word “repent” has already acquired the nuance similar to that used by John the Baptist and the Prophets. “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “ Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning (Joel 2:12).” Likewise, John preached, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:7b-8a).” Repentance must produce fruits; in the same vein, an alleged repentance without visible fruits is dubious.

Did Peter’s gospel agree with that of the “free-grace” teachers? Or did Peter propose a fresh, new perspective on the gospel of Christ, which leads to a sarcedotal religion in our days? Besides, the recipients of the Gospel were not heathens without any prior knowledge of the Law and the Prophets. They did not receive the Good News with the presupposition that the Bible (that contains this Gospel) is capable of error.

Seekers today are seldom initiates of Second Temple Judaism. They have little, if not zero, knowledge of God. Most Singaporeans and Americans today believe that we came from primordial slime some three billion years ago, and that our ancestors were probably arboreal monkeys. How many of them will understand the biblical meaning of “sin,” “Jesus,” “God,” and “repent?”

While I agree that sanctification is progressive, and varies from Christian to Christian, certain biblical truths have to be assented to before the person can indeed be called a Christian.

Imagine the following scenario:

Tommy hears the Four Spiritual Laws and prays the sinner’s prayer, “Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

Terms such as ‘sin,’ ‘Lord,’ ‘Saviour,’ and ‘God’ are quite meaningless unless they are defined clearly. Tommy claims to believe in the God and Christ of the Bible, but he has never read the Bible all his life. So, when Tommy says he loves Jesus, while lacking any further knowledge concerning who this Jesus is except that He died for sins, can we truly claim that he understood the Jesus of the Bible? Likewise, if this “believe” is only a mental agreement with the Four Spiritual Laws, without any sincere or genuine repentance, can Tommy be considered born-again? Furthermore, without knowledge of the attributes of God, His holiness and holy hatred against sin, will Tommy understand what ‘sin’ really is? Does Tommy truly understand what is meant by the term “sinner?”

Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons will have little problems praying the sinner’s prayer to “receive” Christ. Both will similarly desire the love of this loving God, who is hoping to give sinners a “wonderful plan” for their lives. Perhaps this plan includes getting rich and successful. I doubt Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons will have problems with the Four Spiritual Laws. According to the Four Spiritual Laws, Jesus is Lord and Saviour, but what about being fully God and fully Man? On the other hand, will we (like the Mormons) get eternally pregnant and produce zillions of spiritual kids in heaven? Or perhaps Jesus is only a begotten God, but He is also the Lord and Saviour according to the Arian understanding.

Quiz Time

There is also another person who would pray the sinner’s prayer, but his understanding of several theological terms is very different from that of orthodoxy. Let us peruse abstracts of his writings:

The "original sin" was the descent of the soul into the material world, and the generation of physical bodies, man being thenceforth a God dwelling in the animal form.

"Resurrection" (anastasis) is any ascent from a lower to a higher state of existence, whether of individual man or of the entire race. Rev xx 5, 12; John v 29. As relating to the Aeon, or world-period, the "first resurrection" is the awakening to spiritual life, during the cycle, of the "just men" who have been "made perfect"; while the "second resurrection" is "that of all mankind at the close of the world-period, when they are "judged every man according to their works".

"Salvation" is freedom from the bondage of rebirth. Jesus is represented as a Saviour in that he taught and exemplified the right-conduct that alone can emancipate the soul from the material, animal existence, and awaken it to the realities of the spiritual life.

"Faith" is intuitive knowledge, the dim reminiscence which the soul retains of its pristine state; true faith, instead of being but ignorant opinion, is the beginning of spiritual wisdom, "an assurance of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen". Heb xi I.

"Righteousness" is right-conduct, the perfect performance of duty in the light of a purified conscience.

"Baptism", or lustration, is a ceremonial rite of purification, symbolizing successive degrees of initiation into the divine Mysteries. The exoterist, or "earthy man" (choïkos), when he first comes to recognize the reality of the spiritual life, becomes a "believer" (pistos); by the lustration of Water he becomes a "psychic" (psuchikos); by that of Air (pneuma), a "spiritual person " (pneumatikos); by that of Fire, a "perfect man" (teleios); and by that of Blood (ether), a full Initiate or Christos. "My little children, of whom I am again in travail until a Christos be formed in you." Gal iv 19

The "Atonement" is the union of man's purified human self with his spiritual and divine Self; it is "vicarious" in the sense that the sinless spiritual Self is incarnated for the salvation of the animal-human creature formed " of the dust of the ground " - that is, evolved from the elements.

"Regeneration" is the ‘birth from above’ when the soul, freed forever from the prison of clay, puts on its "first garment" - the deathless glorified body of the Initiate.

So, in summary, this writer believes in Jesus the Lord and Saviour, original sin, the resurrection, the vicarious atonement of Christ, heaven and hell, the sacrament of baptism, and most of all, salvation by faith. And I can confidently say he will pray the sinner’s prayer.

Will the reader tell me whether this man can rightly be called a Christian? Or maybe we should not judge him, because he is “growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord and Saviour.”

Multiple choice answer

A) He is probably a young believer, and needs to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ.
B) He is a bona fide Christian. Why did you ask?
C) He is a theologian, and you shouldn’t question his Greek.
D) He is a young believer, and needs to be led to the Truth.
E) He is not a Christian, and someone needs to preach the Truth to him.
F) Thou shall not judge. That’s the eleventh commandment.

The reader may choose more than one answer. I will inform the reader later as to the name of the writer, and which book I quoted from.

PS: Please do not google search for the writers name.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An update for this blog

Dear Readers,

As some of the bloggers in Christian blogosphere might have realized, I do not have the time to write proper posts in the last few weeks (that’s terrible, terrible, Vincent). I am trying to finish a writing project, which has really taken too long to complete. I am glad to have completed the final chapter, and presently, I am going through the entire project and rewriting certain chapters that I deem as poorly written or analyzed.

I believe my (preliminary?) research has taken me into a very controversial and, perhaps, novel area of study in the arena of current dispensational-covenantal dialogue. With regard to the subject of contemporary theology, the definition of a dispensationalist has evolved through the last few decades, partially due to the helpful academic contributions of our progressive dispensational brethren. In defining the sine qua non of Dispensationalism, Dispensationalists have inadvertently drawn a line of demarcation, which Reformed theologians should not cross. To embrace this sine qua non would mean a redefinition of one’s hermeneutical-theological grid, which is definitely not similar to that of Reformed theology. The ramifications of this sine qua non would also be apparent in one’s ecclesiology and eschatology. Therefore, one cannot embrace this sine qua non and continue to maintain the designation of Reformed. This is because, by definition, a Dispensationalist is one who adheres to this sine qua non.

I have referred to Bible Presbyterianism in Singapore as the archetype of such a theological dilemma, and via this writing project, I intend to encourage our Bible Presbyterian brethren in Singapore to consider a redefinition of their theological-hermeneutical grid. So, in a nutshell, this is what I am working on.

In my study of Bible Presbyterianism, I am absolutely convinced that this system of theology would greatly benefit the theological community if it acquires the necessary impetus in its definition and development, as well as an existential evaluation of where within the dispensational-covenantal continuum it should place itself. Although Far Eastern Bible College describes itself as a Reformed seminary, its adherence to the sine qua non of Dispensationalism might confound further dialogue between dispensational and Reformed brethren. For the sake of ongoing and future theological developments within Dispensationalism and Reformed-Covenantal theology, it is paramount that proponents of each school of thought are precise and candid with their self-appraisal and appellation. Surely, no sincere and godly theologian would want to appear to be ambiguous or worse, confused. But I am confident that Far Eastern Bible College will continue to develop its system of theology in a direction consistent with the sine qua non, and arrive at a comfortable zone within the dispensational-covenantal continuum.

I would like to express my gratitude to those who have agreed to proofread the manuscript for me. The Lord willing, I should be able to submit the manuscript to them by the end of this year, and if not, by early 2007. I have multiple reservist (military) obligations to fulfill in the next few months, which might cause a resultant suspension of my scheduled writing. Coupled with compulsory lectures to attend on weekends - which are actually the most productive time for me to write - there is the likelihood of a delay in the completion of the manuscript. Nevertheless, my aim is to complete it within these 2 months.

Once again, thanks for dropping by!

Yours truly,
Vincent Chia