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.

National Council of Churches of Singapore Statement

NCCS Statement on the Attacks on Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka. Click here to read the statement.

May 2019 Feature Article

All Things To All Men: Being a Christian in a Secular Society
Dr. William Wan

In a world that is increasingly detached from religious belief, it is not easy to be a Christian that inspires faith. The rise of secularism has placed believers in an increasingly minority position, and sometimes, the pressures of the world can threaten our Christian identity and purpose.

After 2,000 years of church history, it is easy to forget that our faith community was birth in the Roman world of political suspicion and religious persecution.  It was in this context that Paul’s testimony in 1 Cor 9:19-23 gives us some knowledge and useful insights to be a Christian in a secular society.

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May 2019 Credo

1 Peter 3:18-22: Did Christ Descend into Hell?
Rev Dr James Lim

A Difficult Passage

1 Peter 3:18-22, filled with textual, grammatical, lexical and theological difficulties is considered as one of the most difficult passages in the NT.  This is evidenced by the great reformer, Martin Luther’s comments: “This is a strange text and certainly a more obscure passage than any other passage in the New Testament.  I still do not know for sure what the apostle meant.” This passage has often been understood as Jesus’ descent into hell in the interim between his crucifixion and resurrection, preaching the gospel to those who did not hear about it.

We shall attempt to understand this passage using the following questions.  Where did Christ go – did he descend into hell?  When did he go – was it after his death and before he resurrection?  To whom did he speak – who were the “spirits in prison”?  What did he say – did Jesus preach the gospel?

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May 2019 Pulse 

Dignity, Respect and Speech
Dr Roland Chia

There has been much discussion in recent months in Singapore about deliberate falsehoods (especially the online variety) and hate or offensive speech. Hardly a day passes that The Straits Times does not carry an article or two about these menaces and what the Singapore government is doing to address them in the interest not only of social harmony but also that of national security.

Global concern over the scourge of fake news and hate mongering and the harm they inflict show that words do matter and that what is written, spoken or sung can cause irreparable harm to individuals, groups and even to society as a whole. In the era of deliberate falsehoods and hate speech, we can no longer accept as a truism that well-known idiom: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’

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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


Very well and needfully stated, Dr Leow (Theng Huat). Exactly the very same concern I have deep in me.    

Reader of ‘’Inter-Religious Dialogue: Compromise of Faith or Expression of Conviction?’’

... 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

  • 16 July 2019: ETHOS Lecture - Trinitarian Ethics: Implications for Christian Formation
    Speaker: Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon
    Venue: Bible House
    Time: 7.30pm - 9pm
    Click here for details and registration
  • 5 September 2019: ETHOS Lecture - The Old Testament as Asian Contextual Theology
    Speaker: Rev Dr Jerry Hwang, Singapore Bible College
    Venue: Bible House
    Time: 7.30pm - 9pm
    More details coming soon.
  • 28 Sep 2019: Seminaries Conference 2019 : Dei Verbum: The Bible in Church and Society
    Speakers: Dr Lee Chee-Chiew (SBC), Dr Lai Pak Wah (BGST), Dr Daniel Wu (BTS) and Dr Lewis
    Winkler (EAST)
    Venue: Bible House
    Time: 9am – 5pm
    More details coming soon.
  • 24 Oct 2019: ETHOS Annual Lecture 2019 : The Internet Age and Plastic Self: Reshaping Personal Identity through Christian Practice 
    Speaker: Rev Dr Simon Chan from Trinity Theological College
    Venue: Bible House
    Time: 7.30pm – 9pm
    More details coming soon.

Featured Video

ETHOS Annual Lecture 2018: Some Thoughts on Being a Christian in an Age of Global Uncertainty (Part 1)
24 Oct 2018

Part 2 of this lecture is available HERE.