ETHOS Institute™ for Public Christianity

A Christian think tank formed by the National Council of Churches of Singapore, Trinity Theological College and The Bible Society of Singapore.

 


NCCS Letter to the Mufti concerning the Recent Arrest of Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari (12 June 2017)

The National Council of Churches of Singapore has written a letter to Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, Mufti of Singapore, and Mr Haji Abdul Razak bin Hassan Maricar, Chief Executive of MUIS, regarding the arrest of Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari under the Internal Security Act for radicalism.

Click HERE to read the letter. 


 

June  2017 Feature Article 

Christian Hospitality from ‘Migrant’ to Migrant

by Dr Fong Choon Sam

Public discourse on issues concerning immigration and foreign workers is often carried out within the framework of “human rights,” “national interests,” and “Asian values,” with religious values having a lesser role in the discussion. While this is understandably the preferred approach in a secular and multicultural society like Singapore, the Christian community must believe it has a point of view that can make a true difference in the problem-solving efforts.

The Christian view does not necessarily contradict these contemporary categories of thinking but it can offer humane perspectives based on an alternative view of people and the world. In this article, I would like to reflect on the question, “Why should we be hospitable to new immigrants or to resident non-citizens?”

I believe the Christian perspective supplies some good answers, and deep theological meaning can be discovered in the normal hospitality that we accord to the foreigner in our midst.

We live in the age of unprecedented human migration. Barring the implementing of regional plans by governments to check or reverse the trend, global mass migrations will continue to characterise present reality. As an instance, in a press release by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, it was reported that in 2013, a third or 30% of marriages in Singapore involved at least one spouse who was neither a citizen nor a permanent resident, up from 23% in 2003.[i] The trend of marriage to foreign spouses will likely continue to rise in Singapore as the city moves toward greater cosmopolitanism.

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The Book of Ruth: a Study in Unspectacular Faithfulness

By Dr Philip Satterthwaite

The Book of Ruth begins: ‘In the days when the judges ruled…’. But the events it describes are very different from those described in Judges. Bethlehem, where most of the book is set, seems to have been an oasis of goodness within Israel during this period. People like Naomi and Boaz were good people, faithful Israelites. Ruth can be described as a narrative of ‘unspectacular faithfulness’.

What happens in the book? There are no battles in which God dramatically saves Israel from their enemies (again, contrast Judges). The focus of Ruth is not national but for the most part local (Bethlehem and its citizens). The events described are mainly ordinary, the kind of things that might have happened often in Israel’s history.

Consider the three main characters. In a time of famine Naomi travels with her family from Israel to Moab. Her husband dies there. Her two sons marry Moabite women. Some years later they also die. Naomi returns to Bethlehem with Ruth. When she arrives in Bethlehem, she is filled with a sense of what she has lost, and accuses God publicly (1:20-21)

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Post-Truth Politics?

By Dr Roland Chia

Last November, Oxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” as the international word for the year 2016. So significant is this expression that Oxford Dictionaries’ Casper Grathwohl even said it could become “one of the defining words of our time”.

“Post-truth”, whose origins can be traced to the early 1990s, is not a new coinage. Yet the remarkable events that took place in the UK in July 2016 and in the USA in September of the same year had made it an ineluctable buzzword.

Oxford Dictionaries defines “post-truth” thus: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

The two events mentioned earlier are of course “Brexit” and the extraordinary journey of Mr Donald Trump to the White House.

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Dear Readers,

Every month the ETHOS Institute publishes five articles on a variety of topics on its website. These articles have attracted many readers who find them informative and engaging.

However, we realise that although our articles cover a wide range of subjects, some issues and themes may not have received the attention they deserve.

If you would like us to address a topic or issue that is of interest to you, please write to us by clicking here. We will try our very best to post an article on that topic on our website.

Thank you for supporting the work of ETHOS Institute!

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Dr Roland Chia
Theological and Research Advisor 
ETHOS Institute for Public Christianity 

Upcoming Events

  • 24 August 2017 - ETHOS Engagement Series Public Lecture: Daily Work as Divine Vocation 
    Speaker: Dr Robert Banks
    Venue: Bible House Level 5 
    Time: 7.30pm - 9pm
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  • 23 Sep 2017 - ETHOS Conference 2017: Justice & the Common Good 
    in collaboration with TTC, SBC, BGST, TCA, DTC, EAST and BTS
    Venue: Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church
    Time: 9am - 5.30pm 
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  • 17 Oct 2017 - ETHOS Annual Lecture 2017: Jettisoning Divine Authority?  
    by Rev Dr Mark Chan  
    Venue: Bible House Level 4 Seminar Room 
    Time: 7.30pm - 9.00pm
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Featured Video

The ETHOS Annual Lecture 2016 is now available HERE.