Am I a Racist?

Recent conversations with youths locally have shown heightened interest in race related issues. Local political discussions and decisions (even election) often have to face such issues too. Dr Lewis Winkler, an EAST resident faculty who teaches theological studies, shares his thoughts as our resident Theologian.

Growing up in the USA in the 1960’s, because of men like Martin Luther King, Jr., there was a lot of talk about racial equality and the Civil Rights Movement.  I’m deeply grateful that my parents and the church we attended repeatedly and insistently taught that all people are made in God’s image and are of infinite value and fully (not separately) equal.  More than fifty years later, it’s easy to forget that those were also times of deep anger, unrest, and social upheaval.  Looking back now, it feels like in some ways like we have made real progress while in others, we have only come full circle.

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Reflection on recent elections

It has been just a week since Singapore held its General Elections and the dust of who won and lost in the various constituencies are slowly settling down. A local Christian website, Salt & Light, has a blog post which serves to remind us of our Christian civic duty to reflect, confess and repent in view of all that has been done and said. The author of the article said, “We do not put our trust in political systems, parties or personalities … Our charge is to honour the authorities (Romans 13:1-8)” and to “teach the next generation how to make sense of the topics of passion of their day through the lens of Scripture.”

Have a good read of today’s #SaturdayGoodRead and a blessed weekend!

The author, Ng Zhiwen, “is a connector. His passion is to see the Church united for the mission of God.” Read the article here.

Christ-like leadership: Considering the Question of Character

In the recent Singapore General Election, the concern was about electing the “right” political leaders to govern the nation for the next five years. As Christians, what are biblical qualities of leadership that God would deem essential for those who are followers of Christ. Dr Lewis Winkler, an EAST resident faculty who teaches theological studies, shares his thoughts from the Scripture.

“Leadership is influence”(Maxwell 2007, 13). John Maxwell’s well-known dictum captures a profound but simple truth: People who influence others are leaders. For Christians, two crucial questions arise. First, what kind of influence are we talking about? Is it coercive and manipulative or persuasive and empowering? Is it accidental and piecemeal or thoughtful and intentional? In short, what kind of influence is exercised upon others, from where does it come, and how it is properly obtained and developed?

This leads us to a second and more important question for Christian leaders. What does Christ-like influence look like? The church talks a lot about leadership but too often takes its models from primarily non-Christian sources. Christians can glean wisdom from such sources, of course, but failure to give adequate attention to specifically Christian concerns regarding leadership can end up diminishing or even opposing a biblical vision of what a Christ-like leader should look like.

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China’s favourite bible

The Chinese Union Version (CUV) Bible which was first published on 22 April 1919, over 101 years ago remains China’s favourite Bible. In today’s #SaturdayGoodRead article which is authored by an EAST Alumna Cynthia Oh (MDiv in Intercultural Studies, 2016), the importance of this version of the Bible and the hard work by many which brought about its completion is illuminated.

Here is a brief extract from the article,

Spanning three decades, it survived major political events such as the Boxer Rebellion, collapse of the Chinese empire and World War I.

The CUV version contributed remarkably to the tremendous growth of the Chinese Church

The translation work involved 16 missionary Bible translators of different nationalities, denominations and mission societies, an even higher number of Chinese translators and assistants, and the crucial support of the Bible Societies.

The rest of the article can be found here.

#SaturdayGoodRead #EASTLifestyle #EASTAlumni

Significance of Trials

Amidst this global pandemic and various unrests going on globally, different ones are facing different trials daily. What are the significance of these trials?

Extract from the article “Significance of Trial”:

It is in the heat of trials where these deficiencies in faith and character surface. It is only when they surface, that God can begin to purify our hearts and motives and actions.

Why Do I Need Trials?

Trials produce maturity, and this is why they are a blessing to us. James 1:4 describes a progression where trials produce perseverance, and perseverance, maturity. The goal of trials is not to make a person more persevering. That’s not a very exciting goal. But the result of persevering under trials is a mature character and faith. This is motivating. All Christians want the fruit of maturity; godly character and faith.

Read the full article by Rick James to find out more.

#SaturdayGoodRead #EASTLifestyle

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