Saturday, August 25, 2007

Theology Of "Calvin And Hobbes"

Found this conversation between Calvin and Hobbes hilarious cos' it reminds me of some theological bloggers, incl. myself. Can't convince them? Confuse them... It can be done easily by dropping obscure names that nobody heard of, quote huge tomes with rave reviews that nobody finished reading, shoot out big jargons that are almost impossible to pronounce like supralapsarianism... Shock and awe, forget clarity

Also found a provoking article on what we can learn from Calvin and Hobbes on Message and Medium:
"If the subtle message of Calvin and Hobbes doesn’t fit on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and bedsheets, then it seems unlikely that the message of Christ does. That the almighty and entirely holy God would undertake the costly work of reconciling sinners to himself — that one of the Trinity died on the cross for us and our salvation — that the Spirit would be poured out and dwell in a created temple without consuming it — who is sufficient for these things? If we can easily rule out some media as being inadequate for containing this message, is it possible to identify any medium that could be adequate?

Keith Green concluded his rant with, “I think the world is completely sick to its stomach with our sayings and ‘witnessing tools.’ It’s time for us to be expressing the truth with our lives, and then the whole truth of God with our lips!”

The only appropriate media for communicating the gospel are lives and words. Christians have to wrap themselves up in the good news of Jesus Christ, live that mystery together in the fellowship of the church, and give the world something worth seeing. And they have to explain it in the form of sound doctrine, explaining biblical truth, making the message clear as only words can. There is a strong temptation these days to seek refuge in the claim that “my life is my testimony,” as if a set of behaviors could take the place of preaching, teaching, witnessing, and the host of other verbal interactions the New Testament is about. But the gospel is wordy, just as it is lifey. It just isn’t very bumper stickery."

Read On: What can You Learn From Calvin & Hobbes?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Was Jesus Political?

OHMSI, the hearts and mind "think-and-act" tank will be officially launched on the 15th of September 2007 at the PJ Gospel Hall Jalan Gasing, PJ from 10.00am to 12.00noon.

Topic: “Was Jesus Political?”
Moderator: Rev Dr Hwa Yung
Speakers: Dr Lim Kar Yong, New testament Scholar, STM.
Dr K.J.John, Executive Director, OHMSI.

Commentators: Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, General Secretary, CCM.
Brother Goh Keat Peng, Former General Secretary, CFM
Dr Beth Baikan and others

For more details, contact K.J.John, PhD, Executive Director,

Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
6 Jalan SS 1/29,
Kampung Tunku,
47300, Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA

Habits Of A Healthy Heart

by Wong Fook Meng, GCF ecommentary

"Your heart is where you dream, deliberate and decide.
It's how you think and process life.
Your heart is the real you when you take all the layers off."
– Dr Joseph Stowell, resident of Moody Bible Institute

"To get to the core of our beings, it is imperative that we take off all the layers, of possession, power, pleasures..." he mused as he sipped his teh tarik kurang manis. We were sitting opposite one another in the court canteen, enjoying a chat over drinks.

He's a religious kind of guy and my tea-break conversation with this senior lawyer was moving from legal practice to spirituality. Lowering his glass, he peered at me and asked, "Is there a similar concept in Christianity? The inner person? The 'real us'?"

"As we sit here in this canteen, I can see your face and hear your voice," I began to say. "But, there is a deeper part of you which I cannot see. It is that part of you which is thinking, feeling and making responses to what I am saying. That is what the Bible calls 'soul'. As a Christian, I believe the soul is eternal and is a mirror of the image of a Creator."

He nodded to my response in satisfaction. We bade farewell and agreed to continue our theological discussion another day. But as I moved away, I began to wonder...

Have I neglected the inner world within me? Am I losing touch with my thoughts and emotions in the time-squeezed schedule I keep? Are the endless work demands draining my spirit? Have financial responsibilities and interpersonal conflicts sapped my joy? The complexities of life loom like giants to dwarf my soul.

My conversation with this friend was a wake-up call to take stock of my inner person.

The heart is the most important part of us. The writer of Proverbs counsels, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 4:23). Dr John Maxwell, a leading motivational speaker, says that our attitude is the key to success. All that we are going to accomplish in life – whether in our family, ministry or work, hinges on the attitude of our hearts. Our heart is the wellspring of life – the fountain head of all that we will have or experience in this life. Which is why we it is of paramount importance that we guard it well.

But there are enemies of the heart on the prowl. Jesus, knowing what lurks within a man, asked "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your heart?" (Matthew 9:4). Our hearts can be the breeding ground for evil. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." (Matthew 15:19). In the course of my work, I see the full blown consequences of sin regularly – criminals suffering custodial sentences, marriages wrecked by unfaithfulness, siblings fighting over inheritance and business partners slinging mud at each other. All these originate from hearts tainted and poisoned by sinful thoughts and desires.

As we are still in the early part of the year, it is good that we pause and take an inventory of the secret chamber of our hearts where our thoughts and desires often roam freely. Let us take a look within and ask some tough questions like:

1. Over the past week, what were my dominants thoughts? Were my thoughts focused more on God or other things?

2. Were there any fantasies, immoral thought patterns or illicit desires? What do my desires and passions reveal about me?

3. Do I harbour resentment, anger and bitterness against others? Is there jealousy in my heart?

Paul, a first century missionary, told of a coming day when God will judge the world by "bringing to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart." (1 Cor 4:5).

The next time I talk to my lawyer friend, I'll tell him that the greatest case any lawyer will undertake is to stand before God as Judge and to give an account of the matters of the heart.

Syukur Kepada Tuhan

Karya John Piper
Terjemahan Godlief Wesley

Jonathan Edward memiliki kata-kata yang rasanya akan lebih memiliki kesan jikalau ia hidup pada jaman ini. Ini ada hubungannya dengan inti dari rasa syukur.

Rasa syukur dan terimakasih kepada Tuhan atas kebaikannya terhadap kita haruslah dilandaskan atas rasa cinta kepada diri Tuhan; tetapi rasa syukur di dalam natur manusia tidak memiliki dasar tersebut. Rasa bersyukur, yang digerakkan dari Cinta akan Tuhan atas kebaikan yang Ia berikan, haruslah selalu berasal dari rasa cinta akan Keagungan Tuhan dalam diri kita

Dengan kata lain, rasa syukur yang dapat menyenangkan hati Tuhan bukanlah berdasarkan keuntungan (berkat) yang Tuhan berikan (walaupun ini merupakan salah satu penyebab rasa syukur tersebut). Rasa syukur yang sebenarnya haruslah didasarkan atas pemikiran dari kenikmatan atas keindahahan dan keagungan dari karakter Tuhan. Apabila ini bukan landasan dari rasa syukur kita, maka kita tidak berbeda dengan orang yang tidak memiliki karunia roh kudus dan natur baru dari Kristus.
Dengan begitu dapat kita lihat bahwa rasa syukur atas Tuhan yang berdasarkan berkat tidak ada bedanya dengan emosi dalam diri orang yang tidak percaya, dimana mereka tidak memiliki hati yang bersyukur kepada Tuhan.

Kamu pasti tidak akan menyukai rasa syukur yang saya berikan jikakalau saya selalu berterimakasih atas segala pemberianmu kepada ku tampa mempertimbangkan anda sebagai suatu pribadi. Tentunya anda akan merasa terhina walaupun saya mengucapkan terimakasih yang berulang kali atas pemberianmu. Jikalau karakter dan pribadi-mu tidak memberikanku rasa ketertarikan dan senang bila saya berada dekat denganmu, maka kamu akan merasa telah dimanfaatkan oleh ku, dimana anda bagaikan suatu
alat yang dipakai untuk menghasilkan sesuatu yang saya sukai.

Sama halnya dengan Tuhan. Jikalau kita tidak tertarik kepada pribadi dan karakter-Nya, maka rasa syukur yang kita ucapkan sama seperti rasa syukur seorang istri kepada suaminya yang telah memberikan uang yang dapat ia gunakan untuk berselingkuh dengan orang lain. Ini sejalan dengan gambaran yang diungkap kan dalam kitap Yakobus 4:3-4. Yakobus memberikan kritik terhadap motivasi doa yang memamfaatkan Tuhan
sebagai suami dari wanita yang tidak setia: Kamu meminta dan tidak menerima, karena kamu telah meminta dengan alasan yang salah, dimana kamu berfikir kamu akan memakainya untuk kesenanganmu. Ya kamu yang berselingkuh, tidakkah kamu tahu bahwa persahabatan dengan dunia adalah kekejian bagi allah?"

Kenapa Tuhan memanggil orang yang berdoa tersebut penyelingkuh? Ini karena, walaupun mereka berdoa, mereka meninggalkan suami mereka ( Tuhan) dan pergi mengejar pasangan
selingkuhnya (dunia). Dan yang lebih keji lagi, mereka menyuruh suaminya (dalam doa) untuk membayar perselingkuhan mereka.

Yang lebih heran lagi, kerusakan dinamika rohani ini kadangkala terlihat bila orang bersyukur kepada TUhan yang telah mengirimkan Kristus untuk mati untuk mereka. Mungkin kita sering mendengar orang berkata kita harus bersyukur atas kematian Kristus karena ini menunjukan betapa besarnya harga yang Tuhan taruh kepada kita. Apakah yang melandasi rasa syukur ini?

Jonathan Edwards memanggil rasa syukur ini sebagai suatu tindakan yang munafik. Kenapa? Ini karena:

Pertama-tama, mereka bergembira, dan mereka ditinggikan oleh Tuhan; Seolah-olah Tuhan terlihat sangat mereka kasihi.... Mereka sangat senang dengan mendengar apa yang Tuhan dan Kristus lakukan kepada mereka.

Sangat mengagetkan untuk mengetahui bahwa hal yang sangat umum sekarang dalam respon kita kepada salip merupakan ungkapan dari natur rasa cinta akan diri sendiri (egois) tampa ada nilai rohani.

Kita harusnya mendengarkan apa yang dikatakan oleh Jonathan Edwards. Bukankah ia hanya mengungkapkan kebenaran dari Alkitab dimana kita harus melakukan segalanya termasuk berterimakasih kepada kemuliaan dari Tuhan ( 1 Korintus 10:31)? Dan Tuhan tidak akan dapat dimuliakan bila dasar dari rasa syukur kita adalah atas pemberian-Nya bukan berdasarkan keagungan sang pemberi. Jikalau rasa syukur ini tidak
berakarkan dari keindahan Tuhan tapi pemberian-Nya, maka ini merupakan berhala yang tersembunyi. Semoga Tuhan dapat memberikan kepada kita hati yang puas akan dirinya yang sesungguhnya; Dengan demikian rasa syukur kita terhadap pemberian-Nya merupakan ungkapan rasa puas kita akan keagungan Sang Pemberi.

Diambil dari John Piper, A Godward Life (Hidup yang mengarah kepada Tuhan) ( Sister, Oregon: Multomah, 1997), 213-214

1.Jonathan Edwards, Religioous Affection ( rasa cinta Rohani), The works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959, orig. 1746, p.247.
2.Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections, pp. 250-252.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What Next?

The Agora Forum is abuzz with activity in response to the 'gay church' issue. After all that is said and done, would the Msian church make a more concerted effort in reaching out to the homosexual community? Here are some practical ways you can be part of the solution by Pastor Edmund Smith

"Dear Church of Malaysia,

Greetings in Jesus name from an exgay ministry (Real Love Ministry "RLM")!

Since we (RLM) are a ministry that reaches out to homosexuals in Malaysia; we are continuously receiving both the emails below (by Rev Allen Tan) from so many troubled Malaysians... wanting to hear what are RLM's thoughts on Oyoung and his plan to start a progay church in Malaysia.

In respond to the situation, we have a few things to say...

1. Exgay vs. Progay: When we talk about "reaching out" to the homosexual community, it is vital that the Body of Christ realize that there are 2 very different kinds of approaches that are going on all over the world. There is the exgay approach and there is also the progay approach. RLM takes the exgay approach. The Body of Christ in Malaysia - need to make a choice on which approach we as a Body would want to take. We can't afford to say - "we have no approach". Making no choice is going to bring a lot of problems.

2. The exgay approach: proclaims that...
a. Gays can change (if they want to)
b. With Jesus NOTHING is impossible
c. Homosexuality is NOT God's intention
d. etc

3. The progay approach: proclaims that...
a. Gays cannot / should not change
b. The church should hold the progay stance
c. Homosexuality is a gift from God - so celebrate it
d. etc

To be honest, we are totally not surprise to hear the story of Oyoung and his dream to start a progay church in Malaysia. We knew that this will happen in Malaysia (sooner or later) either through Oyoung or through someone else. The progay church already exist in so many countries all over the world (even in Asia) - who are we to say that it will not happen in our own country.

We are not surprise that this is happening in Malaysia because;

1. Generally speaking, the Body of Christ in Malaysia- is not seriously interested and has very limited knowledge on the subject of "Homosexuality and the Exgay lifestyle". RLM has been around since 1999 but there are less than 8 churches in the whole of Malaysia that have shown interest and seriousness in what we are doing. We thank Jesus for each of those 8 churches in Malaysia that have partnered/is partnering with us in one way or another.

2. Most churches would suggest that gays should not be gays. But what next? By simply commanding gays and lesbians not to be in a homosexual lifestyle - a church leaves the homosexual strugglers with no choice but to get interested when they hear another church (the progay church) that is willing to do something for them.

3. RLM started an exgay church in 2006 - and guess what? After sharing the need to have such a church with Malaysia with so many people - only a hand full step out to encourage us. We were treated (by many) as though we are wasting our time.

4. But when the news about a progay church is about to begin - the Body of Christ in Malaysia - begins to seriously start talking about the homosexual community! To us in RLM... that is heartbreaking. I hope we learn a lesson from this situation. The Body of Christ in Malaysia needs to realize that gays and lesbians have to make a choice - be exgay OR progay. Whatever choice we hope they will make, we have a
role to play. We have to be responsible in helping them make the right choice & journey with them in their JOR (Journey of Recovery).

5. Rev Allen said "The reason that Oyoung is so bold to confront the Malaysian churches because our leaders usually don't want to be so-called "busybody"! Matters concerning the Body of Christ are our business. If we don't do take care of our people - who will? In other words, lets be busybodies for Jesus!

Below is some information about RLM (for those who are interested)... RLM Mission
Our Mission is to educate, motivate and give opportunity to individuals into becoming Befrienders (Care Givers); thus bringing real love to the marginalized community (e.g. the homosexuals).

RLM Vision

Our Vision is to see marginalized individuals all over Malaysia experiencing real love; thus stepping up into becoming respected citizens of this country.

RLM is a Christian, non-profit, voluntary & charitable organization that works closely with the marginalized community particularly the homosexual community all over Malaysia.

The ultimate goal of RLM is to bring "real love" or in other words, the unconditional love, into the lives of the marginalized community. Love is real IF love is the element that motivates an individual into doing something good for someone else. In other is always about WHY we do it - more that WHAT we do.

Members of RLM consist of two groups of people which are...
1. The Befrienders (Care Givers) - Individuals who commit to be
trained into becoming Befrienders to the homosexual and etc.
2. The Befriendees (Care Receivers) - Marginalized individuals who
seriously choose to receive help from RLM.

For more information on RLM, visit our Website at or email us at"

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Time for Clarity and Wisdom

by Tan Soo-Inn

The gay issue just won't go away. In fact it should be the issue du jour for many days to come with the election of a practising gay to the office of bishop in the U.S. What is at stake here? The answer is both simple and complex.

The simple answer, and one where the church must draw a line, is the issue of biblical authority. Evangelicals, of which I consider myself one, believe that the Bible properly interpreted is the supreme authority over the life and beliefs of the church. What the bible says, God says. In the words of J.I. Packer:

" Built into Christianity is the principle of authority. This is because Christianity is revealed religion. It claims that God our Creator has acted to make known his mind and will, and therefore his revelation has authority for our lives. Biblical religion is marked by certainty about beliefs and duties. The diffidence and indefiniteness of conviction which thinks of itself as becoming humility has no place or warrant in Scripture, where humility begins with taking God's word about things."

No amount of hermeneutical sleight of hand can change the fact that homosexual activity is outside the will of God. John Court summarizes the biblical material as follows:

"Homosexual practices do receive mention in both the Old and New Testaments, but such references are few. The conservative interpretation of passages such as Genesis 19:5-9; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Judges 19:22- 28; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; and 1 Timothy 1:8-11 is that there is a clear condemnation of homosexual behaviour that goes beyond the commands to Israel and has binding significance for Christians today. This interpretation comes from setting such injunctions into the broader context of sexuality generally, especially the creation principle of male and female."

The nature of human sexuality is predicated on the very image of God (Genesis 21:27). And He has made human kind male and female. The ideal couple in the pre-fall Garden was male and female. Human sexuality is heterosexual. Any capitulation on this point is a jettisoning of the very foundation of our faith.

However, we would do well not to underestimate the power of the gay rights movement. In the U.S. in particular, the movement taps into the energy, momentum and memories of the civil-rights movement, a movement that led to the abolishment of the unequal treatment of Afro-Americans in America. It is one thing to ensure that homosexuals are not preyed upon and discriminated unfairly in a modern pluralistic society. It is quite another to say that homosexuality is an alternative form of normal human sexual behaviour.

What must also be borne in mind is that the debates that are raging from Singapore to Minneapolis are actually a mixed bag of issues, including:

1. How do you define homosexuality?

2. Does the bible permit openly practising gays to hold positions of church leadership?

3. How do we help Christians with strong homosexual urges be fully accepted in the community of believers and receive help to remain celibate?

4. How do we help homosexuals who are struggling to find the truth and to find healing to hear the gospel?

5. What is our answer to a militant gay movement that is pushing so hard for homosexuality to be accepted as an alternative life style?

6. How do we speak up in the public square for a biblical position on homosexuality in a modern pluralistic society?

7. How do we speak the truth in love?

These are just seven questions that need to be addressed in the present debate over homosexuality. I am sure there are more. So while the biblical position on homosexuality is simple, the various debates that are going on are not. And Christians are often not clear which of the above questions they are addressing.

I have seen heated debates between Christians, where one side was answering question 3 while the other side was answering question 5. Both sides were adamant about their positions without realizing they were talking past each other.

This is a tough time to be a Christian with homosexual tendencies fighting to remain true to the bible's demands for purity. When the church brings its heavy cannons to bear on the militant gay agenda, it is scary indeed. And runs the risk of hurting homosexual brothers and sisters struggling to be celibate, with friendly fire. (In the meantime, there will be gay groups, some "Christian" who will tell them that they are fully loved and accepted!)

One good thing about the present homosexuality controversy is that it seems to have shaken some Christians out of their theological lethargy. That is good and to be welcomed. But we must be very clear at all times which question we are addressing. And then we must ask God for wisdom as to what to do, what to say, and how to say it.

We must also remember that the present homosexual controversy is by no means the only battle that requires the prophetic voice of the church. Evil continues to manifest itself in many, many forms throughout the globe and in the church. And thousands continue to die daily without food. And without God.

It's a time for clarity and wisdom.

Your brother, Soo-Inn Tan

For more reflections on the issue:
No Room For Grace
This Is Not THAT
Comments On Brokeback Mountain
The Marriage of Charles and Philip
Truth, Love and Homosexuality

Thoughts on homosexuality and being "gay-friendly"

How should we respond to recent news that a "gay church" is being set up? More importantly, how should we seek to honour Christ in this matter? Here are brief reflections, and I want to stress that this is certainly not the last word!

On the one hand, we desperately need to show love and grace to all our homosexual friends. "Those who accept the Bible’s veto on homosexual behaviour must go out of their way to express genuine love for homosexual people (David Field)". For our unbelieving friends, we see to proclaim the gospel to them, while living out that same gospel, knowing that it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16-17). For our Christian homosexual friends, we continue to love them. If they are persuaded that homosexuality is compatible with being Christian, then we seek to reason from the Scriptures to show that homosexuality is indeed not how God intended it to be without being needlessly insensitive (see link at the end for more on this). At the same time we can rejoice with them that in following Jesus, they have a new identity even stronger than their sexuality. "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11).

If our friends are Christians who uphold the traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality, it is still the same good news that they (and we!) need to hear. We struggle and pray with them, all the while again reminding them of the gospel, reassuring them that Jesus has paid the price and speaks in our defence. (1 John 2:1). There is no longer any condemnation in Jesus.

At the same time, the Scriptures are clear that we are to oppose error (eg. 1 Timothy 1, Jude, 1 Corinthians 5-6 where Paul takes on both the legalists and the hedonists of his day). The gospel is not to be brought into disrepute. So, with regards to Rev. Ou Yang and the MCC, Christians are right to oppose the setting up of a church which affirms homosexuality, and to be public with such opposition. We should pray, not against homosexual people, but against the progress of a sinful agenda. Nevertheless, it should not be done with a sense of triumphalism. In addition, we should take this opportunity to examine ourselves and repent of any homophobic behaviour.

Christians will not be free from sin in this world. Instances of homosexual behaviour, therefore doesn't mean we're excluded from the kingdom of God anymore than if we lie. Nor are we excluded when we fail to model the gospel of grace to our homosexual friends. Instead, we can all pray

'Heavenly Father, you have loved us with an everlasting love. We have
been stubborn and rebellious, but you have been merciful and kind. For
the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us, and
change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you and to
please you in every way, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is a summary refinement/restatement of some earlier reflections on homosexuality and the disquiet caused by the Rev. Ou Yang's intentions. Click through too for a list of further reading.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Merdeka Statement

The Merdeka Statement reaffirms and recognises the basic building blocks of nationbuilding i.e. the Social Contract, the Rukunegara and the Federal Constitution. These are the bedrock foundations that enabled the nation to live in peace and harmony and to make quantum progress.

Nevertheless, in envisioning the future of Malaysia for the next 50 years, we need to
be bold yet pragmatic, idealistic yet realistic, recognizing the multi-racial and multireligious fabric of Malaysia living in a globalised competitive world.

To progress the nation must accept change for change is a constant in the life of
any nation or civilisation. Yet in seeking change, we accept that change needs to
preserve our unity and harmony and not be radical or revolutionary but incremental
and evolutionary.

In putting forward these Eight Strategic Thrusts in the Merdeka Statement, we do not
seek to confront but to seek consensus and build bridges. The Merdeka Statement
is not a set of demands. It is non-confrontational. It sets out the aspirations of a
large number of Malaysians who want to contribute positively and constructively to
the process of nation-building. Hopefully, it will generate healthy debate on the Road Ahead.

Let us celebrate our harmony and unity in diversity. Selamat Merdeka. Salam

Dato’ Dr. Michael Yeoh, CEO
Asian Strategy & Leadership Institut

Download the Merdeka Statement

Apakah alam semesta itu kekal adanya? Atau memiliki asal-muasal?

Translate: English

Beberapa orang percaya bahwa alam semesta ini kekal adanya dan tidak memiliki suatu asal-muasal. Teori matematika memungkinkan suatu jumlah yang tidak terhingga dan ini menyebabkan asumsi akan mungkinnya ketidak terbatasan dalam suatu peristiwa.

Norman Geisler dalam bukunya menekankan bahwa ada dua jenis kekekalan: kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dalam dunia matematika dan kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dalam dunia nyata.

Kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dalam dunia matematika itu mungkin. Tetapi kekekalan ini hanya dapat dihubungkan terhadap sesuatu yang abstract (sesuatu yang tidak memiliki suatu dimensi). Sebagai contoh: adanya jumlah titik-titik yang tidak terbatas (titik imaginasi) diantara tepi meja ke tepi lainnya.

Kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dunia nyata itu ada hubungannya terhadap sesuatu yang pasti dan nyata. Kita bisa memiliki jumlah titik-titik yang tidak terbatas dari tepi buku yang satu ke tepi lainnya (sesuatu yang abstract). Tetapi kita tidak bisa memiliki jumlah buku yang tidak terhingga dalam dunia nyata.

Kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dalam dunia matematika tidak akan mungkin untuk di-terapkan dalam dunia nyata. William Lane Craig, Phd, memberikan suatu ilustrasi yang jelas mengenai hal ini.

Pernyataan pertama: Saya memiliki sejumlah kelereng yang tidak terbatas dan saya akan memberikan seluruh kelereng yang saya miliki kepada anda. Maka kelereng saya tidak tersisa satu pun.

Pernyataan kedua: Saya memiliki kelereng yang jumlahnya tidak terbatas dan saya hanya akan memberikan kelereng dengan nomor yang ganjil dan saya akan menyimpan kelereng yang bernomor genap. Maka jumlah kelereng saya akan sama jumlahnya dengan kelereng anda (sama-sama tidak terhingga).

Pernyataan ketiga: Saya hanya akan memberikan kelereng yang bernomor 4 keatas kepada anda. Jadi kelereng saya tinggal tiga.

Illustrasi ini menunjukan bahwa kekekalan dalam dunia nyata itu tidak mungkin untuk terjadi karena kesimpulan yang saling bertolak belakang.

Pernyataan pertama: tidak terhingga - tidak terhingga = 0

Pernyataan kedua: tidak terhingga -tidak terhingga = tidak terhingga

Pernyataan ketiga: tidak terhingga -tidak terhingga = 3

Disini kita dapat melihat bahwa ketika kita mungurangi jumlah yang tidak terhingga terhadap jumlah lain yang tidak terhingga, kita hanya dapat menghasilkan hasil yang berbeda. Hal yang sama juga dalam kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) peristiwa-peristiwa yang terjadi di masa lalu ( mari kita gantikan kelereng dengan peristiwa-peristiwa). Kekekalan (ketidak batasan) peristiwa di alam semesta itu sangat tidak mungkin, oleh karena itu alam semesta semestinya memiliki awal. Kekekalan (ketidak batasan) peristiwa di Alam semesta itu sangat tidak mungkin, oleh karena itu alam semesta semestinya memiliki awal.

Kalaupun ada jumlah peristiwa yang tidak terbatas/kekal (Ingat bahwa asumsi akan jumlah peristiwa yang tidak terbatas/kekal hanyalah suatu konsep/ pemikiran yang tidak bisa dihubungkan dalam dunia nyata), ini tidak bisa membuktikan tentang adanya peristiwa awal/ mula-mula. Karena harus ada penyebab awal agar suatu peristiwa bisa muncul (hukum sebab dan akibat).


  1. Ada dua jenis jumlah kekekalan: Kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dalam dunia matematika dan kekekalan dalam dunia nyata.
  2. Menerapkan kekekalan (ketidak terbatasan) dalam dunia matematika ke dunia nyata hanya akan menghasilkan kesimpulan yang bertolak belakang.
  3. Alam semesta tidak bisa memiliki ketidak terbatasan peristiwa di masa lalu, oleh sebab itu alam semesta memiliki asal muasal.

Geisler. Norman. L, 2006, “Baker Encyclopaedia of Christian Apologetics (8th ED.)”, Kalam cosmological argument, p. 399, Baker Academic, United States of America.

Strobel. Lee, 2004, “The case for a creator”, The evident of Cosmology: the pathway of mathematic, p. 102, Zondervan, United States of America.

Melihat Karangan ini dalam bahasa English

Seven Reasons Why I Like the Apostle Paul

Here are seven reasons why I like Paul of Tarsus.

1. He is a fanatic. Fanaticism has a bad reputation. It brings to mind suicide bombers strapping explosives to their bodies, and going to crowded places to blow up innocent men, women and children. However, the meaning of a fanatic is a person who is totally devoted to a cause. Paul is a fanatic. He is totally committed to the God of his religion. He was so incensed when he heard about The Way which taught that the Messiah has come (and he was not consulted), that he packed his bags and sailed from Tarsus to Jerusalem to persecute the followers of The Way. In Jerusalem, he became the model for the later day Inquisitors by going from house to house and arresting the followers of Jesus.

Paul is so effective that he received a personal audience from the ascended Christ Himself! Paul still remained fanatic. However he is now a 180-degrees fanatic. He just turns the other direction and remain as fanatic as before. He now champions The Way and persecutes rabbinic Judaism! The scripture did not say it but I suspect the Jerusalem Christians gave a sigh of relief when they shipped Paul back to Tarsus.

I like Paul’s fanaticism. At least you know where he stands and his commitment. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and doubt when he discovered that he was actually persecuting the followers of the Messiah, he continued in His service. For Paul, there is no either/or/maybe. It is yes or no. I remembered what my mentor once told me. He was accused by an exasperated non-Christian that he is a fanatic. “Yes, I am a fanatic,” he answered, “now, what about you?” Resounding echoes of Paul in his rebuttal.

2. He is a systems thinker. A systems thinker is one who sees the whole picture without being bogged downed by details. That is what I like about Paul. He sees God’s plan of redemption of mankind and recreation. Paul is able to fit the jigsaw pieces of the Hebrew Bible and the gospel narratives of Jesus’ life and sees the big picture. And what was more amazing is that he is able to communicate it to others in ways that they understand. Many systems thinkers are lousy teachers. Paul’s earlier writings, in form of letters to the churches of Galatia, Thessalonica and Corinth were to address specific problems faced by these churches. Yet we see glimmers of his thinking in them. It is in the book of Romans that he blossoms and reveals God’s mighty plan for mankind and all of creation.

3. He is missional. Missional is a new word, coined by the emerging churches. When we use the word ‘mission’, we normally think of missionary going to do their work ‘over there.’ The emerging churches use the word missional to describe each of us becoming a missionary ‘over here’ or where we are now. This is another reason why I like Paul. He is not too worried about terms and set about doing what he is supposed to do and we stumble after him inventing words to describe what he did. He is missional before the word is invented. Another way to describe missional is: seeing where God is going and going with Him. That is exactly what Paul did. He sees that God’s plans involve all of mankind, not just the Jews. By default, he became the apostle to the Gentiles and I am eternally grateful to him.

4. He is courageous. How many people do you meet that can actually admit that they are wrong. “Oops. Sorry for persecuting you and leaving you in prison!” Paul was able to see his mistake and became a follower of Christ. Then he went and confront his old religion, rabbinic Judaism. Next he went and confronted the pillar of the church, Peter in Antioch. And he quarrelled with Barnabas because of John Mark. I love that guy. He is always confronting someone. Sometimes I wonder if his sufferings will be less if he is not so confrontational! Confrontation takes courage and Paul has courage. How many of us have the courage to confront the wrongs that we see? It is so much safer and easier to keep quiet and ignore it.

5. He is focussed. He knew what he has to do and he did it. He observes that a marathon runner has to lose excessive weight if he is to finish well. So Paul left all he had behind and set forth to fulfil his destiny and to suffer. He could have stayed at home in Tarsus. He would become the rabbi of a mega-synagogue, married a nice Jewish girl and have lots of little Pauls and Paulines running around. No, he detached himself from worldly attachments. In the end, he was executed by beheading at the side of a road outside a gate of Rome and buried in an unmarked grave. Regrets? He may have some but to echo Jim Elliot, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

6. He invests in people. Paul may be the foremost theologian of the Christ faith but what endear him to me are his relationships with people. His letters are full of greetings to people he had met, written to or referred to. In modern day terms, he is a foremost networker. But unlike the most networker who networks for the contacts she can use in her business, Paul’s networking is because he sees Christ in each of them. Paul is not into organisation or structures but into human resources. Paul believes that one person can make a difference. I wonder how many of us agree with Paul and believe that what each of us do here and now can make a difference. I believe if we see people as Paul sees them, we will spend more time with, and invest our resources in people.

7. He leaves an enduring legacy of hope. Paul is a reformed Pharisee, Hebrew scholar, inquisitor, theologian, missionary, pastor, teacher, church planter, mentor, and networker. He left behind a large body of writings that was never rivalled. However, the legacy he left with me is his humanity. He is honest about his struggles, his pride and his suffering. Paul suffered physical, mental, emotional and spiritual attacks. Yet, what shone though was his humanity; a man in the process of becoming a ‘new man in Christ.’ And that gives me hope. Paul’s legacy is his blessed hope; that one day, all pain and sufferings will end and we shall be with Jesus forever.

Paul is a fanatic/ systems thinker/ missional/courageous/ focussed/people orientated/eschatological hope-giving follower of the Way. Hey, he is a neat guy and I like him. I wonder if he plays golf.

more of my comments about Paul here

Professionals of Tomorrow (iPOT) Conference

12 – 16 October (Friday-Tuesday; Hari Raya weekend)

Peacehaven, Genting Highlands

3 professional tracks coming as ONE conference

We are bringing together:
(i)‘Teachers of Tomorrow’ (known as “ToT’s”),
(ii)‘Health Carers of Tomorrow’ (known as “HoT”)
(iii)‘Law Graduates of Tomorrow’ (known as “LoT’s”)

The Vision of the conference:
To grow Professionals of Tomorrow from Students of Today, who
•have a sense of calling and mission in their professions
•understand and obey God’s heart and mind for their lives and for the
world they are called to serve
•are increasingly aware and responding to the needs of our nation
•dare to be courageous to answer God’s call - wherever, whatever

We see the great need for Christian graduates in all fields to seriously consider God’s calling and purpose as they make decisions about their future, in view of the vast needs in our country and the world. We also need to ask what it means to make choices for counter-cultural living in our present times.

The Theme: iPoT’s
The “i” stands for
(i)identity & person of the professional- identity in Christ, being & character
(ii)in-Training- being moulded & shaped for His purpose. Inculcating an open & teachable spirit
(iii)impact - making a difference wherever we are placed / sent

The Program will include:

•Theme Talks, which will be Bible expositions from Nehemiah, delivered by Bishop Hwa Yung

•3 Evening Plenary, conducted specifically in 3 different professional tracks but with similar focus. It will cover:
(i)“Lift Up Your Eyes” (Vision & Calling, Needs & Challenges) by Dr Richard Loh
(ii)“Doing the Right Thing” (Ethics in our professions) by Dr Alex Tang
(iii)“Keeping the Vision” (Staying the Course amidst Challenges) by Dr David Gunaratnam

•Workshops and Forum covering specific issues and needs for the 3 different professional tracks

Who should attend?
  • students who are studying medicine, dentititry, nursing, audiology, speech science, radiology, optometry, nutrition & dietetics, forensic sciemce, biomedical, medical radiation, medical engineering and others
  • students who are pursuing any sort of law/legal studies
  • students pursuing a diploma/degree in education, considering teaching as a future career options
  • anyone else who is interested

How much?

  • RM 120 early bird registration by 31/08/07
  • RM 150 after 31/08/07


Closing date: 11/09/07

Download brochure here

Download registration form here

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Was Jesus Political?

OHMSI, the hearts and mind "think-and-act" tank will be officially launched on the 15th of September 2007 at the PJ Gospel Hall Jalan Gasing, PJ from 10.00am to 12.00noon.

Topic: “Was Jesus Political?”
Moderator: Rev Dr Hwa Yung
Speakers: Dr Lim Kar Yong, New testament Scholar, STM.
Dr K.J.John, Executive Director, OHMSI.

Commentators: Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, General Secretary, CCM.
Brother Goh Keat Peng, Former General Secretary, CFM
Dr Beth Baikan and others

For more details, contact K.J.John, PhD, Executive Director,

Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
6 Jalan SS 1/29,
Kampung Tunku,
47300, Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA

Friday, August 10, 2007

Playing On The Winning Team

by Wong Fook Meng, GCF ecommentary

"My dream has always been to to work in a large company and travel around the world. I hope they will send me to their office in China. I don't want to be stuck in a small company forever doing mundane work."

Those were my friend's parting words. She is heading for the big city to live out her corporate dream.

Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, said in his book, "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?", that leaders must be passionate about winning. According to him, no one wants to work for a loser. I think he is right. Everyone wants to be playing on a winning team.

During high school reunions, the first question we ask each other is usually, "Where are you working now?" It is a question which usually comes before how is your family, how is your walk with God, etc. But, what if you don't have an impressive answer? What if you're "stuck" in a small company doing insignificant work and you are embarrassed with your present career path?

Each of us have a deep need to know that what we do will be significant and has lasting consequences. Jesus Christ knows our need and reminds us that He has chosen everyone of us to be on His team, the winning team:

"You did not choose me, but I have chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide."

We are appointed to go and bear fruit that will abide. Eternal fruit. There is no corporation that can promise its employee that what they do will last forever. None, that is, except the movement of the gospel, where we are called to transform eternities and change lives. There is no higher stake in town than the eternities of men and women whom we must touch for the Kingdom of Christ.

Joan Maragall says,
"What can be more rewarding than devoting a lifetime to a work that will far outlive you, a work that will see future generations come and go? What peace work of this kind brings to a man! What disregard for time and death! What anticipation of eternity!"

But, what about our secular work? Is there any intrinsic value in our work as engineers, IT specialists, sales personnel, civil servants, doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc? Do our daily tasks fall under the ambit of "eternal fruit"?

Reading the Scriptures, I find that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself was a carpenter for eighteen years before He became an itinerant preacher. Were the eighteen years spent sweating out in the carpenter's shop less valuable to God compared to the three years of "full time Christian vocational ministry"? Was there any intrinsic and eternal value created when the Son of God hammers away at the work bench (did He ever accidentally hit His thumb?) , haggles over the price of raw materials and delivers furniture to customers? Did Jesus carry a name card? Was He proud of His "career"?

I believe that in God's economy, there is value in all we do. There's an amazing variety of work that Christians can be involved in. Paul Stevens, Alvin Ung's professor at Regent, argues that the only jobs that the Bible prohibits are witchcraft, prostitution and extortion. The Scriptures maintains a very open stance as to what kind of work we should be doing. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord," Paul urges Christians in Asia Minor. However, God does not attribute values to our work as the world does. In God's economy, all work is of equal value when it is done "as for the Lord". Thus, in God's estimation, a CEO's work is no more valuable than the tea lady's. A doctor's work is no more important than a char keow teow man's. A high level management decision is no more spectacular than the routine typing of a simple letter.

The true test of the value of our work is not the curriculum vitea, the size of the paycheck or the titles / name cards that we carry. The true test is whether the work we do is "as for the Lord" or as to ourselves.

As such, whatever work we do, whether in a large listed company on the KLSE or in a small and unknown "Chinaman" enterprise, let us remember that as long as we play on Jesus' team, we're playing on the winning team!


1. Do you sometimes feel your work has no significance or lasting consequences? Do you have a tendency to judge a person's value by the namecard / job title (or the lack of one) that he / she carries?

2. Do you think God values Jesus' carpentry work? Is it as significant as His ministries like teaching and healing ? Is there an eternal value in your secular work?

3. Work can involve many mundane duties like reading through correspondence, meeting clients, being on the road, etc. What can you do to remind yourself that the routine things that you do have eternal value?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Supremacy Of Christ In Preaching

Thanks to TzuAnne and the gang at KVBC, we will be welcoming back Don Carson back for the 3rd time.

So please mark the following details in your calendar:

Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Date: 22 to 24 October 2007 (Monday to Wednesday)
Time: 8:15 p.m. nightly
Venue: Tropicana Clubhouse, Petaling Jaya
Speaker: Don Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA

Free Admission
We hope to see you there! For further information, please visit our website. Please note that Don Carson will also be conducting the Expository Preaching Seminar 2007, details as follows:


Theology and Expository Preaching - Contributions of Biblical Theology, Historical Theology, Systematic Theology and Pastoral Theology to Expository Preaching

Sometimes we prepare to preach by studying the biblical text without asking ourselves challenging questions about how several related disciplines ought to shape our sermon preparation and preaching. In this seminar, we shall wrestle with how preaching properly interfaces with systematic theology, biblical theology, historical theology and pastoral theology.

Date: 23 and 24 October 2007 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Venue: Tropicana Clubhouse, Petaling Jaya
Speaker: Don Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA

Cost: RM 70 per person
Closing Date for Registration: 8 October 2007 (Monday)
Registration is required as seating is limited. Registration forms will be available by end August 2007 at Evangel Book Centre (SS2, Petaling Jaya) and our website

Monday, August 06, 2007

Was Jesus Political?

Dear Brother/Sister in the Lord,

OHMSI, the hearts and mind think and act tank that we started and soft-launched on July 31st 2004, will be officially launched on the 15th of September 2007 at the PJ Gospel Hall Jalan Gasing, PJ from 10.00am to 12.00noon. The OMHSI Launch Dialogue for the day will be entitled:

Topic: “Was Jesus Political?”
Moderator: Rev Dr Hwa Yung
Speakers: Dr Lim Kar Yong, New testament Scholar, STM.
Dr K.J.John, Executive Director, OHMSI.

Commentators: Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, General Secretary, CCM.
Brother Goh Keat Peng, Former General Secretary, CFM
Dr Beth Baikan
Representative of NECF*
Representative of an active Christian Organization*
* Not confirmed yet.

To become a full fledged partner of OHMSI (OHMSI Sdn Bhd is registered as a company with three Directors), the electronic network, you are invited to consider the following:

An OHMSI Partner is any individual who is convicted that God wants Christians to become salt and light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Malaysia and is willing to “mobilize 10 other members” to support this cause which OHMSI promotes and articulates in the public spaces of Malaysian life. You can then register yourself and the only commitments are:

1. That you mobilize them to come and attend OHMSI events, starting with the Launch.

2. To be willing to share and promote OHMSI material on “scholarship discipleship” (or how to become salt and light of the Gospel in Malaysia)

3. To be a resource person in your group of ten (who you are leader to, in terms of influence of scholarship discipleship)

(there is another category of membership for ordinary members but which will be announced on the 15th)


Please give me your comments about the above; if any, before I send this out. And then, maybe you too can help me send this out to MOBILIZE Christians for the Lord’s work in Malaysia. PLEASE CONFRIM WITH A REPLY IF YOU ARE WILLING TO BE A PARTNER OF OHMSI.

God Bless. I will need your feedback by today at 8.00pm (for any changes to be made) so that I can also start the campaign to raise at least about 500 members for the OHMSI Dialogue by the 15th of September 2007.

Thanks and God Bless.

K.J.John, PhD (hp: 0123451950)
Executive Director,

Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
6 Jalan SS 1/29,
Kampung Tunku,
47300, Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Walk The Path

What is iBridge? (brand new website)

Just graduated? Looking for a group of Christian friends to grow together? Come join us at iBridge, a growing community of Christians, made of young professionals and graduates in Malaysia.

We’re here to help you transition from campus life to the working world.
For our upcoming camp, we’ll have experienced speakers with many years workplace ministry experience, sharing with us the ‘hows’ and ‘abouts’ of being a Christian in the working world.

Do join us, it’ll be an experience you won’t forget!

Social Justice In Malaysia : Doing Justice to Our Faith

by Tricia Yeoh Su Wen

Churchianity: The 'Church' as we see it today

In order to even begin any discourse on social justice, one must first analyse the frameworks that we use to see the world. The lenses that we put on ourselves have been commonly called “worldviews”, through which we make sense of all that is around us. This foundation then determines everything about what we believe and how we consequently behave and react, depending on the situations surrounding us. This is extremely imporstant as we examine the relevance and poignancy of the Church in Malaysia today.

Read on at Geng Salib, a youth project supported by the Agora.