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 Churches

NCCS responds to “Singapore pastor apologises to Muslim leaders for US preacher’s alleged statements on Islam".

Click here to read the NCCS’ response.

April 2018 Feature Article

A Rising New Incivility?

By Rev. Dr. Timothy Lim


In contemporary society, a trend towards incivility seems to be rising. This article registers my observations about the shifts. I hope this article will invite many others to consider how we may pushback incivility for the sake of our society and for posterity.

Though the idea of civility may be traced to Confucius in the Eastern hemisphere, and Aristotle and Kant in the Western hemisphere, for this article, I take my reference from George Washington’ recommendation against displaying repulsive behavior and using vulgarity, whether in public or in private conversations (cf., Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, 1888).

I define civility as relating to another person with respect in speech and conduct, regardless of their achievement, educational level, ethnicity, race, religion, social standing or acquired status of honor. Though the measure of civility, i.e., who defines right and wrong, is contextually dependent, my premise is that, people ought to have learned to respect others, in the light of a longstanding tradition in advocating for civility and in recognizing the equality of fellow humans.

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April 2018 Credo

Can We be Sure of our Election?

By Rev Jimmy Tan

Arguably, John Calvin’s doctrine of double predestination could be regarded as one of the most controversial dogmas in the Protestant Reformation in 16th Century Europe. Critics say that Calvin’s teaching made God into a tyrant who chose some to be saved and others to be damned.

Moreover, the 1559 edition of the Institutes of Christian Religion–Calvin’s final version following twenty-four years of revisions to this work–seem to reflect his concluding position on double predestination. Apparently, it only lends fuel to the fire of criticism against him.

The doctrine of double predestination, however, is more complex and multifaceted than its critics care to acknowledge....

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April 2018 Pulse 

Worship and Witness

By Dr Roland Chia

In his first epistle to the Christians of the disapora scattered throughout Asia Minor, the apostle Peter used vivid and powerful imagery drawn from the Old Testament to describe the Church. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (1 Peter 2:9), he wrote.

But the set-apart status of the Church cannot be divorced from its awesome responsibility to be the witness of the electing God. Thus Peter added, “… that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).

The Church’s doxology – her praises of the One who brought her into being – is inseparable from her witness, that is, her work of mission and evangelism.

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Special Article by Dr Roland Chia 

Darkness Has Become My Companion: Some Reflections on Mental Illness

In 2014, the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore conducted a study involving adult residents aged between18 and 65 years. Entitled, The Mind Matters: A study of Mental Health Literacy this study sought to obtain information about the general population’s recognition and beliefs about mental disorders. The study gathered information on public perception of five common conditions: alcohol abuse, dementia, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia. In terms of general public awareness and recognition of these disorders, the highest is for dementia (66.3 per cent). In second place was alcohol abuse (57.1 per cent), followed by Major Depressive Disorder (55.2 percent). The poorest recognition was OCD (28.7 per cent) and schizophrenia (11.5 percent). In addition, the study also uncovered considerable social stigma towards mental illness. For example, some opined that people with mental health issues could get better ‘if they wanted to’. Others said that mental illness is a ‘sign of personal weakness’ and that people with mental disorders are ‘unpredictable’.

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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 


... your writings and works have built up many aspects of my interior foundation as relating to God’s words and also the meaning of being a Christian.

Ethos reader

The article “Divine Genocide” is extremely helpful and insightful to aid me in my understanding regarding Joshua 's 'brutal' military actions against the Canaanites - in relation to the 'occasional' and 'general' command. Something I will share with my cell members tomorrow evening.

Ethos reader

Very interesting topics and relevant issues in today’s generation.

- Participant of “Justice and the Common Good" Conference.

Excellent overview of ideas and views from all sides of the debate.

- Participant of “Science and the Christian Faith” Conference.

Upcoming Events

  • 11 May 2018 - ETHOS Engagement Series Public Lecture 2018 - Music for the Glory of God
    Speaker: Dr Billy Kristanto
    Venue: Bible House
    Time: 7.30 pm - 9.00 pm
    Click here for details and registration.
  • 29 Sep 2018 - ETHOS Conference 2018
    More details coming soon.
  • 24 Oct 2018 - ETHOS Annual Lecture 2018
    Venue: Trinity Theological College  
    Time: 7.30pm - 9.00pm

Featured Video

ETHOS Conference:
"Science and the Christian Faith" (Session 1, Part 1)
by Dr Brian Thomas

Part 2 and Sessions 2 and 3 of this lecture are available HERE.