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.
The arrest of Galileo Galilei for proposing a sun-centered model of the universe despite being told not to has been cited as an embarrassing example of the inevitable conflict between the forward-looking nature of science and regressive character of religion.
This article will offer a brief recounting of this episode in order to show the difficulty of drawing simplistic conclusions concerning religion’s conflicting or cooperative relationship with science at the time. It will then mention some lessons the episode can offer us today.
Galileo, who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries, made seminal contributions to physics, engineering, and astronomy. With the creation of a superior telescope, his corresponding observations led him to favour the physical reality of a sun-centered Copernican model of the universe, whose mathematical calculations he had already favoured beforehand.
The Catholic Church had previously accepted the Copernican model insofar as it was a useful predictive mathematical tool that did not otherwise assert that the sun must be at the center of the universe. Instead, the Church and many astronomers accepted the physical reality of an earth-centered model of the universe based on Aristotelian physics.
By Dr Tan Loe Joo
It has become unquestioned wisdom these days to advocate that the study of theology at some level should be for every Christian inasmuch as it is practically achievable given her current commitments and stage of life. Whether it be full-time, part-time or occasional studies, Christians are encouraged to give as much of their time to learning about God as possible.
After all, since we have put in so much effort into our own secular studies—especially within an educationally intense system as Singapore’s—shouldn’t we be prepared to do the same and even more when it comes to learning about God?
The advent of the internet has also made theological knowledge much more accessible, either through prescribed courses of self-study or individual on-line modules.
I remember taking a correspondence course many years ago with an American seminary on the history of Western philosophy; the amount of time it took for my assignments to be sent in, marked and returned would simply be unacceptable in our digital age.
By Dr Roland Chia
Reader’s Question: There appears to be a rise in anti-Christian sentiments in America, especially in its institutions of higher learning, where discrimination against Christians is evident. What are the reasons for this attitude? Are there similar anti-Christian sentiments in Singapore?
The stats speak for themselves. And they paint a worrying picture.
According to a survey conducted by LifeWay Research in 2015, more than 63 percent of Americans agree that Christians encounter intolerance in some form and that such incidents are on the rise. The LifeWay study also states that 6 out of 10 Americans believe that religious liberty in the United States is on the decline.
In another survey, conducted by the Public Research Institute in 2017, 57 percent of white evangelical Protestants think that discrimination against Christians in America is quite pervasive.
In American society, there is a subtle but undeniable eclipse of religious language and secularisation of Christian events as the courts debate about the removal of the words ‘under God’ from the pledge of allegiance and as ‘Merry Christmas’ is replaced by ‘Happy Holidays’.
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.
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Yours sincerely in Christ,
Dr Roland Chia
Theological and Research Advisor
ETHOS Institute for Public Christianity
- 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
Click HERE to register