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A Multipronged Approach to Our Belief and Heritage
By Rev Kim Tan (Executive Secretary, Asian Institute of Calvin Studies)
Oct 2015



1) Lectures on Calvin Studies (13 July 2015, 21 September 2015)

The Asian Institute of Calvin Studies (AICS) has planned a series of 5 lectures this year. We invite our brothers and sisters from various churches to come and learn more about Calvin.

Two lectures

There were 2 lectures this season: the first was held at Jubilee PC on 13th July, of which the guest speaker was Dr Ng Kam Weng (Chairman of Kairos research Institute, Kuala Lumpur). His topic was Ordered Freedom under God’s Providence: exploring Calvin’s social theology. The second lecture was held at TTC on 21st September, of which the speaker was Rev Edwin Tay (TTC professor). He spoke about Calvin and Calvinism issues during the development of Reformed Theology.

Publications

We are grateful that some of our speakers have allowed the entirety of the contents of their lectures to be published to allow more people to learn more of the topics. Please continue to pray for us and stay tuned.

2) Elders and Deacons training course (16 July to 3 September 2015)

The annual Elders and Deacons training course - Prebyterianism Class, conducted in Mandarin, will run from July to September. There are 8 sessions in total and they are conducted by Rev Tan Tiong Ann, one of the Co-chairman of the Institute.

Collaboration

The course is organized by AICS with the collaboration of Bethel Presbyterian Church. Elder Ng Keok Boon and his wife from Bethel PC attended the course last year and they felt that it was an excellent course, one that they learnt a lot from. Back at his church, they highly recommended the course to the church, encouraging the church to learn more about Calvin studies and the origins of Presbyterianism. The end result is therefore the collaboration. This collaboration is a good model as it is able to fulfill one of the aims of the institute, which is to foster interest among our elders, deacons and congregation to learn more about the theology that is the basis of our denomination. In addition, Bethel PC has always also encouraged learning among its members. The collaboration is therefore killing two birds with one stone. We hope that other churches will collaborate with the institute as well, that we may be able to nurture our members and leaders.

Course contents

The course has two main aspects:

1. Calvin’s reform of the 16th century church in Geneva
  1.1. Who exactly is John Calvin?
  1.2. Re-defining church and worship
  1.3. Renewal of Faith and Sacrament
  1.4. The event of Christ in Christian living
  1.5. Restoring the original intent of prayer
  1.6. Recognizing the importance of the Holy Spirit in the church
  1.7. Developing a comprehensive change to our lives and our shepherding
2. Shepherding the Church and its impact on the Contemporary Church

Active learning

The lectures were very successful, with 67 attendees from 8 churches. They include 2 senior ministers (Chen Li, Yung Kwang), 2 associate pastors (Bethel, Chen Li) and 3 preachers (Bethel, Chen Li). In addition, 3 elders (Agape, Bethel, Chen Li) are actually attending the course for the second time. Their passion for learning can be evidently seen, rushing down after work just to attend the lecture. One notable attendee is a sister from the Jiangxi province of China who will be here for a period of 2 months just to attend the course. She states that her ministers in her church were all trained in Calvin studies, hence her enthusiasm for the course. She was actually one of the first attendees to sign up for the course. In addition, a deacon who attended 5 sessions has expressed that the course is an excellent one, clearing many of his previous doubts from reading scripture. Apart from learning, the attendees also have the opportunity to fellowship with one another, which is a fantastic opportunity to foster solidarity and friendship between different churches.

Publishing articles

The institute will summarize the course materials and publish them in a series of articles in upcoming editions of the Synod Newsletter. This will allow more people to learn more about Presbyterianism. Please do continue to pray for us.

We hope that through this course, more people can come to know more about our Presbyterian beliefs and tradition, to strengthen our spiritual foundation and learn more about the Bible and its teachings.




Dr Ng Kam Weng


Dr Edwin Tay




 
 




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