Thursday, 21 January 2010

It's OK to Park Illegally...It's OK not to Pay for Parking

A couple of days ago, I went out for lunch with two friends (one of which is a student at the seminary where I am teaching). I needed to run some errands at the post office on the way to lunch. However, I missed the turning into the post office and had to make a U-turn further ahead. My student cheekily told me it was fine for me to park by the roadside and he could wait for me in the car while I ran into the post office instead of making a U-turn. I refused by telling him that I believed I was a law abiding citizen and would not park my car illegally by the roadside, even though it was for a few minutes.

After completing my errands at the post office, we drove to the restaurant for lunch, and I parked my car at a legal parking lot. While slotting coins into the meter, a gentleman who was eating by a window in a restaurant where I parked my car told me, "It's lunch hour, and the enforcement office is not around. So you don't have to pay for your parking. Why pay?"

All these two incidents happened within the span of half an hour, tempting me away from being a law abiding citizen. Is there a message for me? Am I so blind by living under the boundary of the law? Hmmm.....Is there grace under law?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

STM Latest Newsletter Now Available

The latest newsletter (Dec 2009 issue) published by the seminary is now available online. Click here to download the file and get updated with the news and happenings in the seminary.

The Global Paul: Travel Opportunity by SBL and Nida

SBL announces a travel and lecture opportunity in partnership with the Nida Institute.

According to SBL, this is "a series of academically oriented journeys with lectures and discussions that will attempt to penetrate more deeply the theology of Paul through visitation of the sites at which the Apostle was present together with a more profound study of and interaction with the Graeco Roman world in which he carried out his missionary and pastoral activities. Pre-departure preparatory materials will be available and regional lectures as possible will be announced."

For 2010, the journey will cover Paul's First Journey, visiting places like Damascus, Antioch, Southeastern Turkey and Beyond, with subsequent journeys planned for 2011 and 2012C.

"This academic tour to sites in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus is intended primarily for faculty and graduate students, as well as for others with appropriate background and scholarly interest on a space available basis. Accompanying this tour will be two well known international Pauline scholars: Karl Donfried and Philip Towner. Dr. Donfried is Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Smith College and served as the McCarthy Professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome; Dr. Towner serves as Dean of the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society."

For further information, please visit SBL's website at, or click here for the description and here for the proposed itinerary.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Ron Choong's Visit to STM

Yesterday, we were very privilege to play host to Rev Dr Ron Choong's visit to the seminary where he also delivered a special lecture on The New Christian Apologetics - The Coherence of a Biblical Faith in a Neuroscientific Paradigm. More than 25 students and faculty packed the conference room.

Ron's lecture was very highly engaging and stimulating. He also challenged seminarians to venture into interdisciplinary studies embracing the study of sciences, philosophy and theology.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Books for the New Year

The belated expensive Christmas gift I bought for myself through Amazon has finally arrived. What a way to begin the new academic year at the seminary where I can be assured of some healthy diet and indulgence for the next few days. In fact, I have already begun to devour Philip Harland's recently published Dynamics of Identity in the World of the Early Christians. I must say it is a very highly engaging and thought provoking piece of work. I might do a review later on.

Hint hint to my dear colleague who happens to be the Business Manager of the seminary - I need more shelf space!

Monday, 11 January 2010

How to Do Exegesis on this Map?

I teach Exegetical Method, but I must admit that I am confused at this little site map found in the seminary's canteen. I think I fail in my exegesis in trying to understand how all the switches work, and I can never get them right whenever I try to turn on the fan!

Passing Away of Michael Goulder

I am sorry to hear that another British NT scholar has passed away. Michael Goulder passed away on Jan 6, 2010. He was 82.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

STM Annual Retreat 2010

The STM 2010 Annual Retreat is now over. It is the tradition of the seminary to begin her new academic year with the Annual Retreat. This year, we are privileged to have Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, the Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore, as the speaker sharing on the topic of the Lord's Prayer.

It is unfortunate that due to some family emergency that I have to leave the retreat half way, and missed out some of the sessions.

To all new and returning students, I wish you all a good year ahead. Welcome to STM.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Churches Attacked in Malaysia

Metro Tabernacle in Desa Malawati was being tourched last night. Another church in Petaling Jaya was reported to be attacked but the homemade explosive device failed to explode. Read the news report by clicking on the following links:

Photo from Malaysian Insider

Malaysian Church Firebombed.

Malaysian Insider - KL Churched Torched

Malaysian insider - Fire Attack Failed

Malaysian Insider - Security Tightened

3 Malaysian Churches Attacked

The Star Online

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Public Lecture by Dr Ron Choong

Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, in collaboration with Academy for Christian Thought, is proud to present a public lecture by Rev Dr Ron Choong on The New Christian Apologetics - The Coherence of a Biblical Faith in a Neuroscientific Paradigm.

Date: January 13, 2010, Wednesday
Time: 5.00-6.30pm
Venue: Conference Room, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia

Review of Biblical Literature December 31, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature on December 31, 2009 :

Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Fernando F. Segovia, eds.
They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism
Reviewed by Jonathan Draper

Diane Banks
Writing the History of Israel
Reviewed by Marc Brettler

Christopher A. Beetham
Echoes of Scripture in the Letter of Paul to the Colossians
Reviewed by Maarten J. J. Menken

Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell
Reviewed by Wesley Wachob

Shawna Dolansky
Now You See It, Now You Don't: Biblical Perspectives on the Relationship between Magic and Religion
Reviewed by Clare Rothschild

Renate Banschbach Eggen
Gleichnis, Allegorie, Metapher: Zur Theorie und Praxis der Gleichnisauslegung
Reviewed by John S. Kloppenborg

Gabriella Gelardini
"Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht": Der Hebräer, eine Synagogenhomilie zu Tischa be-Aw
Reviewed by Carl Mosser

François Genuyt
L'Épître aux Romains: L'instauration du sujet-Lecture sémiotique
Reviewed by Jean-Paul Michaud

Christopher Gilbert
A Complete Introduction to the Bible
Reviewed by Dirk G. van der Merwe

Judith Hartenstein
Charakterisierung im Dialog: Maria Magdalena, Petrus, Thomas und die Mutter Jesu im Johannesevangelium im Kontext anderer frühchristlicher Darstellungen
Reviewed by Ismo Dunderberg

Richard S. Hess
Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey
Reviewed by Lester L. Grabbe

Edgar Kellenberger
Die Verstockung Pharaos: Exegetische und auslegungsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zu Exodus 1-15
Reviewed by Danny Mathews

Adam Kamesar, ed.
The Cambridge Companion to Philo
Reviewed by Gregory Sterling

R. W. L. Moberly
The Theology of the Book of Genesis
Reviewed by Markus Witte

Dietmar Neufeld, ed.
The Social Sciences and Biblical Translation
Reviewed by Fika van Rensburg

Lawrence Schiffman and Joel B. Wolowelsky, eds.
War and Peace in the Jewish Tradition
Reviewed by Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

Carolyn J. Sharp
Irony and Meaning in the Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by InHee Cho

Patricia Walters
The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Reassessment of the Evidence
Reviewed by Joel B. Green
Reviewed by Richard I. Pervo

Monday, 4 January 2010

Orientation Week

The campus is finally buzzing with some activities after a 2.5-month long vacation. Most of the new students have arrived for the Orientation Week that begins today.

This year, we hope to welcome more than 25 students, if all our international students are able to make it.

I look froward to interacting and getting to know the students in the next few days. I will be sharing a short reflection in the Wednesday morning chapel.

To all the new students, I wish you all the best as you begin your journey in theological education.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Review of Biblical Literature December 24, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature on December 24, 2009

Margaret P. Aymer
First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass Reads James
Reviewed by Wesley Wachob

Michael F. Bird and James G. Crossley
How Did Christianity Begin? A Believer and Non-believer Examine the Evidence
Reviewed by Leif Vaage

John Byron
Recent Research on Paul and Slavery
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel

Yehudah B. Cohn
Tangled Up in Text: Tefillin and the Ancient World
Reviewed by Aaron Koller

Carl P. Cosaert
The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
Reviewed by Michael Bird

David G. Firth and Jamie A. Grant, eds.
Words and the Word: Explorations in Biblical Interpretation and Literary Theory
Reviewed by Jacobus Kok

John Goldingay, ed.
Uprooting and Planting: Essays on Jeremiah for Leslie Allen
Reviewed by Wilhelm Wessels

Anton Grabner-Haider, ed.
Kulturgeschichte der Bibel
Reviewed by Birger Olsson

Scott J. Hafemann and Paul R. House, eds.
Central Themes in Biblical Theology: Mapping Unity in Diversity
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Christine E. Joynes, ed.
Perspectives on the Passion: Encountering the Bible through the Arts
Reviewed by Lee Jefferson

Abraham Kuruvilla
Text to Praxis: Hermeneutics and Homiletics in Dialogue
Reviewed by Robert Kysar

Mosheh Lichtenstein
Moses: Envoy of God, Envoy of His People
Reviewed by Eugene Merrill

Jesús Luzarraga
El Evangelio de Juan en las versiones siríacas
Reviewed by Ilaria L. E. Ramelli

James F. McGrath
The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context
Reviewed by Lori Baron

Richard H. Wilkinson, ed.
Egyptology Today
Reviewed by Aren Maeir


Suddenly, 2009 just seems to slipped by, and the new year has been ushered in. I spent my New Year in Sitiawan, preaching in the wedding service of Desmond and Lan Yin, former students of the seminary.

Next Monday marks the beginning of the Orientation week for new students at the seminary and the beginning of the new academic year. I am looking forward to meeting the new students, and also to greater challenges for the year!