Tag Archives: disciples

Resurrection or Hallucination?

December 2018 Credo

Throughout the history of the Church, there have been numerous attempts by her adversaries to debunk the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. It seems that these detractors understood very well – arguably perhaps better than some Christians do – the centrality of Christ’s resurrection in Christianity.

‘If Christ has not been raised’, writes the Apostle Paul, ‘then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain’ (1 Corinthians 15:14). The resurrection of Jesus is not an optional extra, a concept or claim that can be pushed to the margins of Christianity. It is the truth upon which the Christian faith stands or falls.

The advance of modern science in the 18th and 19th centuries has led to the proliferation of naturalistic theories regarding Jesus’ resurrection. These range from the theory that the body of the dead Jesus was stolen by the disciples (Hermann Reimarus) to the proposition that Jesus did not in fact die but merely fainted or swooned (Friedrich Schleiermacher) and recovered later.

In recent decades the hallucination theory, popularised in the 19th century by David Strauss and Ernest Renan, is witnessing something of a revival.

In The Resurrection of Jesus (1994) Gerd Ludemann commandeered hallucination studies to offer a rehash of David Strauss’ hypothesis, that the appearances of the risen Christ were merely internal psychological events or subjective visions in the minds of the disciples – in a word, hallucinations.

Ludemann maintains that these hallucinatory visions were the result of ‘religious intoxication’ and ‘ecstasy’. They spread to the other disciples and to the five hundred witnesses mentioned by Paul by ‘an incomparable chain reaction’, resulting in ‘mass ecstasy’.

Michael Goulder, in a 1996 essay ‘The Baseless Fabric of a Vision’ adopts a similar approach to Ludemann, arguing that Peter was the first to experience a ‘Jesus hallucination’ due to the anxieties brought about by Holy Week and the shame he felt for denying his Master. Peter’s hallucination subsequently spread to the rest of the disciples.

In his attempt to find analogies of the ‘Jesus hallucination’, Goulder came up with some of the most farcical suggestions: the moving statue of Mary at Knock, the phenomenon of UFOs and the ‘Sasquatch’ (Bigfoot) sightings.

The most recent attempt to revive the hallucination hypothesis comes from the pen of a historian at the University of California, Berkeley, and trenchant advocate of atheism, Richard Cevantis Carrier.

‘I believe the best explanation, consistent with both scientific findings and the surviving evidence … is that the first Christians experienced hallucinations of the risen Christ, of one form or another’, writes Carrier. ‘In the ancient world, to experience supernatural manifestations of ghosts, gods, and wonders was not only accepted, but encouraged’.

Before we examine the differences between hallucinations and the experiences of the disciples of the resurrected Jesus, it may be helpful to consider a broad definition of hallucination. According to the 1996 edition of the Encyclopedia Americana a hallucination is a ‘report of a sensory experience in the absence of an actual external stimulus appropriate to the reported experience’.

Scientific studies show that this phenomenon is very commonly reported among mental patients. People with normal mental health only experience hallucinatory visions when they are suffering from extreme fatigue or grief. People on certain kinds of drugs may also have such experiences.

There are a number of important factors that have led Christian theologians and apologists to rule out the possibility that the early disciples may have experienced hallucinatory visions of their dead master.

The first is the facticity of the empty tomb. No secret was made of the fact that the body of Jesus was placed in a tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin.

If the sceptics thought that the early Christians were merely hallucinating when they claimed to have seen the resurrected Christ, they could easily have exposed their delusion by simply producing the body of Jesus. However, the sceptics simply did not do this (because they could not).

The second factor that rules out the possibility that the sightings of the resurrected Jesus were hallucinations is the number of people involved. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul provides an impressive list of eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus: Cephas, the twelve, the five hundred, and finally Paul himself.

According to the clinical psychologist Gary Collins, ‘Hallucinations are individual occurrences. By their very nature only one person can see a given hallucination at a time. They certainly are not something which can be seen by a group … Since hallucinations exists only in this subjective, personal sense, it is obvious that others cannot witness it’.

In addition, the fact that the people who encountered the resurrected Jesus have different mindsets and different frames of mind when the experience took place also works against the hallucination hypothesis.

As the evangelical philosopher Gary Habermas compellingly puts it: ‘The wide variety of times and places when Jesus appeared, along with the different mindsets of the witnesses, is simply a huge obstacle. Men and women, hard-headed and soft-hearted alike, all believing that they saw Jesus, both indoors and outdoors, by itself provides an insurmountable barrier to hallucinations’.

The bodily nature of the resurrection also militates against the view that it was merely a psychological state or hallucination. All the appearances of the resurrected Jesus were bodily appearances, as opposed to only psychological visions.

The resurrected Jesus ate with his disciples on the seashore (John 21:14-15) and at the home of the two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:28-30). In addition, Thomas touched the wounds of the crucifixion on the body of the resurrected Jesus (John 20:27).

Thus, William Lane Craig insists that ‘There is no trace of nonphysical appearances in the sources, a remarkable fact if all the appearances were really visionary, as some critics would have us believe. That strongly suggests that the appearances were not in fact visions, but actual, bodily appearances’.

Even the duration of the appearances serves as a strong refutation of the hallucination hypothesis. Hallucinations are usually fleeting, occurring not more than a few seconds or minutes at a time.

However, in Acts 1:3, we are told that the resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples for forty days: ‘He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God’.

Finally, the lives of the disciples who saw, touched and ate with their resurrected Lord were radically transformed. They not only became faithful witnesses of the risen Christ, but they were also willing to suffer persecution and even die for him.

Studies in hallucinations, on the other hand, show that those who experienced them are seldom transformed. This has prompted Habermas to observe: ‘Critics acknowledge that Jesus’ disciples were transformed even to the point of being quite willing to die for their faith … To believe that this quality of conviction came about through false sensory perceptions without anyone rejecting it later is highly problematic’.

The resurrection of Jesus is not a brilliant idea or a powerful myth. It is certainly not a hallucination! It is a historical reality, the non-negotiable essence of the Gospel of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).

Dr Roland Chia is Chew Hock Hin Professor of Christian Doctrine at Trinity Theological College and Theological and Research Advisor for the Ethos Institute for Public Christianity.

Upon This Rock

November 2018 Credo

At about the middle of the Gospel of Matthew, we find the famous account of the conversation that Jesus had with his disciples at Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16). In that incident, which took place just before his transfiguration, Jesus asked his disciples two questions.

The first question was: ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ The disciples readily supplied Jesus with a list of public opinions about him – John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets (16:13-14).

In the second question, Jesus wished to discover the views of his disciples who had accompanied him for several years and had personally witnessed his ministry. There can be no doubt that Jesus had expected a different answer from them.

Peter, impetuous as ever, blurted out the answer: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (16:16). Neither Peter nor the disciples realised that that reply was in fact revelation-enabled. This was only disclosed in Jesus’ response: ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven’.

Then, Jesus said these the remarkable words that have become the subject of one of the longest debates in the history of the Church: ‘And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (16:18).

What did Jesus mean by the metaphor of the ‘rock’? Does the rock in this context refer to a person (or indeed to several persons), or does it refer to something else?

The Roman Catholic Church adamantly maintains that ‘the rock’ refers to Peter himself, whom it regards as the chief apostle, the first among equals. Thus, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para 880), we find this unequivocal statement: ‘When Christ instituted the Twelve, he constituted them in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them’.

The exclusive place of Peter as the head of the Church is also clearly articulated in the Catechism. ‘The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock’ (para 881).

Consequently, it is the Roman pontiff who must be seen as Peter’s successor: ‘The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful’ (para 882).

The view that the Roman Pope is Peter’s successor and the theology of apostolic succession it spawns is uniquely that of the Roman Catholic Church, not shared by the other traditions.

The great 16th century reformer, Martin Luther, categorically rejected the Roman Catholic interpretation and insisted that ‘the rock’ refers not to Peter but to Christ himself.

In his comments on this Matthean passage, Luther insists that the ‘rock’ must refer to a ‘living, spiritual rock’. He therefore concludes: ‘“Church” must be a spiritual, living congregation, yes, living in such fashion that it all lives eternally. So this rock is now the Son of God, Jesus Christ, alone and no one else, [and] concerning whom the Scripture is full, and we Christians know well’.

In his commentary on Matthew 16, John Calvin also rejects the Roman Catholic interpretation. However, Calvin is of the view that ‘the rock’ does refer to Peter, and appears to give more weight to Peter’s apostolic office. But at the most fundamental level, Calvin puts emphasis on the faith of Peter, expressed in his great confession and shared by all who believe.

On the metaphor of the rock, Calvin could therefore write: ‘From this it appears how the name Peter belongs both to Peter and to other believers; that is, founded on the faith of Christ they are fitted in a holy concord into the spiritual building, so that God may dwell in their midst’.

The interpretation of the Reformers can he traced to the early fathers of the Church. Like the Reformers, the Patristic theologians did not interpret the metaphor in line with the Roman Catholic doctrine. Space allows us to consider only two examples, Origen and Augustine.

Origen, the head of a catechetical school in Alexandria in the first half of the third century, was a theologian of enormous intellect. More importantly, his interpretation of Matthew 16:18 became normative for the fathers of the Eastern Church.

Origen maintains that the rock in the Matthean passage does refer to Peter, but not in the Roman Catholic sense. Peter, for Origen, represents all true believers in Christ.

Thus, Origen could write in his commentary on Matthew 16:18: ‘And if we too have said like Peter, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ … we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, “Thou are Peter”, etc’.

Augustine, who is without doubt one of the most important theologians in Latin Christianity, wrote more comments on Matthew 16:18 than any other Church father. Initially, Augustine interpreted the rock as Peter, but soon changed his mind.

For the remainder of his ministry as a theologian and bishop, Augustine maintained that the rock is not Peter but Christ, or Peter’s confession about Christ. Following the fathers of the Church who came before him, Augustine interpreted Matthew 16:18 on the basis of 1 Corinthians 10:4, where Paul explicitly states that ‘the Rock was Christ’.

In contrast to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church promulgated after him, Augustine did not see Peter as occupying a privileged position even though he acknowledged the special honour that Rome enjoys.

Summarising Augustine’s ecclesiology with regard to this issue, Karl Morrison writes: ‘Peter was said to have received the power of the keys, not in his own right, but as a representative of the entire Church. Without contesting Rome’s primacy of honour, St. Augustine held that all the Apostles, and all their successors, the bishops, shared equally in the powers which Christ granted St. Peter’.

Christ is the only foundation of the Church, the rock upon which she is established. As long as the Church remains faithful to Christ, ‘the gates of hell will not prevail against it’, as her Lord had promised (Matthew 16:19).


Dr Roland Chia is Chew Hock Hin Professor of Christian Doctrine at Trinity Theological College and Theological and Research Advisor for the Ethos Institute for Public Christianity.

Christian Spirituality in a Time of Resurgent Spirituality

August 2015 Feature Article

There was a season in world history when excessive confidence and trust was conferred on science, technology, and the place of the mind.  At the same time, suspicion and cynicism was directed at spirituality, subjectivity, and the place of the heart.

The mood of that season has since given way to a new season where the resurgence of spirituality is evidenced.  The age of globalization characterized by movement, change, disruption, and displacement has fueled spiritual thirst as well as increasing the number of options to satisfy deep spiritual longing.

In this article, I will present two growing stands of spirituality which have been observed.

The first strand which is readily discovered in popular secular culture affirms spirituality decoupled from God and religion.  The second strand found in growing numbers of churches is shaped by consumer oriented desire to be culturally relevant.  Both strands pose a challenge to historic Christian faith.

Finally, a third stand which focuses on the commitment to follow Christ is presented as the basis of authentic Christian spirituality and the aspiration which Christians should strive toward.

Spirituality decoupled from God and religion

The first strand of spirituality that is growing in prominence in a world of global flows is a form that is decoupled from God and religion.

Within this strand of spirituality is a yearning for spiritual experiences which exclude God and religious institutions.  Both the growing secularization of society as well as the loss of confidence in traditional religious institutions have contributed to the move toward this strand of spirituality.

A significant aspect of this stand of spirituality lies in its commitment to a particular understanding of transcendence.  The experience of transcendence is the sense of mystery and wonder when in union with something much larger that the human self.

While traditionally the experience of transcendence has been associated with union with God up there, this strand of spirituality gravitates toward union with the world down here.

Spirituality in this strand therefore celebrates without any reference to God, the exponential growth in understanding of the natural and supernatural world, the strength and tenacity of the human spirit, the breathtaking affordances and enablement of new technologies, the global diversity and multiplicity of human perspective, the awesome wonder at the universe’s mysteries, and even the angst of the world of complex human existence.

It presents a non-theistic vision of spiritual life and highlights the nature of the search for spiritual meaning in an increasingly secularized society.

Together with the secularization of society, the increasing lack of confidence in traditional religious institutions has also contributed toward the movement toward a spirituality which is decoupled from God and religion.  The unfortunate reality about traditional religious institutions is that they often grow powerful, exercise authoritarianism, are slow to address issues of abuse and injustice, remain inward looking, and are slow to adapt to changes in culture.

Kinnaman and Lyon’s study of outsider perceptions of Christianity revealed six points of skepticism and objections raised.  Christians were thought of as hypocritical, too focused on getting converts, antihomosexual, sheltered, too political, and judgmental (Kinnaman and Lyon 2007).  Likewise Kinnaman’s later study revealed reasons why Christian youth were leaving the church.  The reasons include the church being overprotective, shallow, antiscience, repressive, exclusive, and didn’t allow room for doubt (Kinnaman 2011).

While the studies were conducted in the United States, the sentiments are often echoed in many other parts of the world with deep implications for families, churches, schools, and Christians in the marketplace. 

Both the secularization of society and a lack of confidence in religious institutions have thus fueled the growth of this first strand of spirituality.  Faith, hope, trust, and wonder remain, but are arrived at without an appeal to God or religion.  While skepticism toward spirituality has not been lost, a new skepticism toward Christianity is evidenced and proliferated within institutions of higher learning, in the popular media, and by influential cultural elites.

Spirituality shaped by cultural relevance

The second strand of spirituality that is growing in prominence in a world of global flows is a form within churches that enthusiastically and unreservedly seek to move with the times.  In a fast changing world, the race toward relevance has resulted in significant changes not just of the external forms of church, but also in the inner nature and character of its accompanying spirituality.

A metaphor that aptly describes the church in a changing world is “a young person with white hair.” For the church to remain relevant in every generation, its external form needs to be renewed and adapted.

Equally, for the church to remain faithful to its roots, it cannot lose fundamental aspects of its character to the forces of change.  In their quests for relevance however, some adaptive churches have began to take on a character that is best described as “young person with colored hair.”

The slowness to recognize the extent to which cultural influences have become mixed in and rooted in the church today is paralleled in the way coffee is served and drunk today.  In its most basic and unadulterated form, coffee is served black.  In many popular coffee chains however, coffee is served as flavored Frappuccinos.

In the contemporary consciousness, coffee is an appealing beverage only because of the sweeten flavors of Frappuccino, and not because of the coffee per se.  Presented with the alternatives of a cup of black coffee and a Frappuccino containing only coffee essence, it would not be surprising if some insist that the Frappuccino was proper coffee while at the same time rejecting the real thing.

This muddle finds parallel in the church today and is observable in many successful, fast growing churches and their fan bases.  In David Wells’ words, these churches “appear to be succeeding, not because they are offering an alternative to our modern culture, but because they are speaking with its voice, mimicking its moves.”

Quite unlike the first strand of spirituality described which challenges the church from without, this second strand and its growing popularity challenges the church from within and is rooted in a consumer-driven posture of the heart.

Spirituality shaped by commitment to follow Christ

If the first strand of spirituality is decoupled from God and religion while the second an embodiment of trending socio-cultural influences, a third strand is marked by a deep commitment to know and follow Christ.  In a crowded, noisy world with a supermarket of spiritualities on offer, this strand stands apart and requires special attention and intentional cultivation.

The call to follow Christ is always issued amidst rival and competing voices.

In addition, when recognized, the call provokes differing degrees of receptivity.  The call invites all to recognize the identity of Christ as king of the universe and head of the church.  It bids all to enter into a discipleship relationship with the Master.

Finally, it summons all to appropriate the benefits of his sacrificial death on the cross, the power of his resurrection over sin and death, and the offer of hope both in this life and the next.

What animates a spirituality shaped by a commitment to Christ is the passionate desire to follow him and to imitate his ways.  This deep yearning and ambition is clearly exampled in the life of the apostle Paul who modeled his life after Christ and called others to follow in the same spirit (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; 2 Thess. 3:9).

Rodney Reeves comments on the core elements of this Christ-centered, life-altering spirituality embraced by Paul:

Since the gospel was more than a set of beliefs–it was a way of life–Paul believe his life revealed the gospel of Jesus Christ: he was crucified with Christ, he was buried with Christ and he was raised with Christ. Participation in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was the template of Paul’s spirituality.

Spirituality shaped by commitment to Christ builds on the decision to follow him and grows toward maturity by pursuing the things Christ calls his disciples to become and live for.

Evidence of this strand of spirituality would include repentance from wrong doing, daily dying to self, embodying a spirit of service and sacrifice, demonstrating trust and dependence on God, and possessing a concern for the things that matter to the Master.  It upholds its integrity by resisting dilution and domestication of the gospel and by understanding that following Christ is not like bringing a puppy back home for personal amusement.

Bringing a puppy home requires some adjustment in personal lifestyle but still preserves a person’s status as the puppy’s master.  Following Christ however is better conceived as bringing a new master home.

That being the case, followers will need to note the adjustments in lifestyles, behaviors, and thinking that Christ demands of all aspects and arenas of life.  Having it any other way would be tantamount to preserving the rhetoric of following Christ while failing to uphold the reality in practice.  It would be to advance the great irony of following Christ on one’s own terms, not on His terms.

Concluding Words

The world we live in today is a world of global flows, shifting boundaries, and porous walls.  It is a world where our community, congregation members and children are exposed to different forms of spirituality.  It is also in the context of this world that Christians are called to develop authentic Christian spirituality.

Perhaps the invitation to develop authentic Christian spirituality in such as world can be compared to how fish we eat is served to us.  If developing Christian spirituality in an era past can be compared to being served fish with bones removed, developing Christian spirituality in the present age can only be compared to being served fish with bones on.

Eating becomes an exercise of wisdom and good judgment.  Under such conditions, it is necessary to discern what is beneficial, to distinguish from what needs to be spit out, and to know how to aid casualties along the way.

Dr Calvin Chong
is Associate Professor, Educational Ministries at the Singapore Bible College. His teaching and research interests include orality studies, hermeneutics, new educational technologies, designing learning experiences, the impact of narratives on worldview and values, conflict resolution/reconciliation, and contemporary urban missions and youth issues.


Modern Christian Martyrdom

July 2015 Feature Article

Christian martyrdom? In these modern times?

Such questions would have seemed completely out of place just a few years ago. Yet, in the last couple of months, the martyrdom of Christians in various countries has been making the news headlines.

On April 2nd, Somalia’s al-Shabab militants shot and killed more than 147 people at Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya. They had initially taken over 700 students hostage before freeing the non-Christians and killing those who identified as Christians.

In January, 21 Coptic Christians were kidnapped by masked gunmen in central Libya. Witnesses said the men separated Christians from the non-Christians and drove away with them, and their executions were subsequently released in a widely circulated video by ISIS.

And the reports of Christians being persecuted continue to stream in such that what seemed unimaginable to Christians not so long ago is now part of our daily news.

The fact is, there is a long history of Christian martyrdom that stretches back to the beginning of the church. And yet many Christians in Singapore would not have given a second thought about this topic, so comfortably ensconced we are in our own context within a safe and secure, multi-religious country.

So what exactly is martyrdom? What place does it have in our faith and theology, and what can it teach us today?

In most religions, a person is considered a martyr if they are killed because of their faith. For Christians, the history of our faith has included many early martyrs, including most of the apostles, and numerous church fathers.

The book of Acts records Stephen to be the first martyr to be killed for his faith. As stones were being hurled at lethal speeds towards him, Stephen saw the heavens opened up and the ascended Christ on the right hand of the Father, and that was sufficient for him to forgive his murderers.

This is one of the reasons why the theology of martyrdom remains relevant for the church today.

For martyrs, martyrdom was not an escape from this world, but when it did come, it allowed them to clarify what is real over what is illusory. They did not seek to be martyred, but when it was time for them to die, they showed what true Christian living is: humble, obedient living in a world that that has not only yet to acknowledge the Lord but remains vehemently opposed to him.

We may describe the martyrs as those who have experienced Christ so strongly that they are willing to leave behind all they possess in this life, including their very lives. Seen in this light, the martyrs are the true anti-ideologues, for they have chosen faith and obedience to Christ over any system of theology, philosophy or ethics.

Since its very beginnings, the Christian church has been criticized and under attack for various reasons. Many Christians, beginning with the apologists of the 2nd century, have responded with tracts, treatises and letters, to defend the faith.

At the same time, the church fathers have recognized that many of these defensive works are limited, and that the witnesses and lives of Christians serve as the best defence. Hence, Origen, at the beginning of his Contra Celsus, points out that when Jesus himself was accused, “he continues silent before these things, and makes no audible answer, but places his defence in the lives of his genuine disciples, which are a pre-eminent testimony, and one that rises superior to all false witness.” (Contra Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 2).

The testimony of his disciples would prove to be the best response to criticism; the faith of the martyrs the best witness to the living Lord.

At the same time, we must be careful not to over glamorise martyrdom.

Polycarp of Smyrna was one of the earliest to realize its dangers and advised his readers not to court martyrdom. He cited the example of Quintus the Phrygian who had worked himself and others up to surrender themselves, but at the sight of the wild beasts in the arena, lost his courage at the last moment and chose to offer a sacrifice to the gods.

Polycarp’s comment was as terse as it was sharp, “And that is the reason, brothers, why we do not approve of men offering themselves spontaneously. We are not taught anything of that kind in the Gospel”. (The Martyrdom of Polycarp, Chapter 4).

In contrast, Ignatius of Antioch has provided a better example for Christians down the centuries.  In his letter to the Trallians, he reveals his own desire for martyrdom, yet was aware of his own limitations and his need for humility; “For I do indeed desire to suffer, but I know not if I be worthy to do so. For this longing, though it is not manifest to many, all the more vehemently assails me. I therefore have need of meekness” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chapter 4).

Our contemporary church has been shocked by these recent accounts of martyrdom because it has failed to develop a theology of martyrdom for our times.

The root of our problem is we have subconsciously absorbed a type of triumphalistic narrative that arose from Constantinian Christianity and continues to be fed through a strand of Western Christianity that leaves no room for suffering. Instead, suffering is to be avoided at all costs.

When Christianity became the state religion in the fourth century and later, during the Medieval period, it was easy then to assume that there was no more need for suffering and martyrdom. Even during the Reformation era, Christianity was still regarded as the one true religion, although controversy raged over whether its true essence lies with Roman Catholicism, Protestantism or the Radical Reformation.

In our post-Enlightenment age, the ideals of scientific advancement and human progress have been gradually assimilated into our theology, and martyrdom is thought to have gone the way of superstitious beliefs and irrational notions.

What is so disturbing in the reports of martyrdom should not be how gruesome they are, but rather a reminder to us of how much we have imbibed a narrative that is far removed from the faith of our fathers. In stark contrast to the vast popular Christian literature that seeks to promote the health and wealth of believers, the theology of martyrdom strikes unrelentingly and unremittingly at what passes for Christianity today.

Dr Tan Loe Joo
Dr Tan Loe Joo is a lecturer in Systematic Theology and Historical Theology at Trinity Theological College. He was previously a full-time staff with the Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES) in charge of the NUS Campus Ministry, and a Senior Member of Technical Staff (SMTS)/Project Manager of the Centre for Electronic Warfare at DSO National Laboratories.