The Man Trap

Recently, I read an article from 1843 magazine entitled "The Man Trap." The premise of the article examines how it is more difficult for men to move into female-dominated domain, in particular if they want to enter into a single income arrangement with their wives and with them being the house person taking care of the household.

Articles such this have always served to corroborate with my conviction that men have their own roles in life, so do women. We experience a lot of issues precisely because we fail to accept the God-given roles for men and women within the family setting. Hence, we have women who are career-minded and yet got stuck in a situation where they cannot take their minds off their family. And men who want to perform the women's role in the family generally find it difficult to deal with the stigma and the perception, though I will argue that this is not an issue of self-security. My position is thus a fairly moderated complementarian view of gender role…

The Good News According to John?

The fourth gospel in our New Testament is indeed an interesting piece of document for Christ followers to study. The past one week plus has been a journey reflecting on the gospel and asking ourselves some questions regarding familiar aspects of the gospel that we have never thought of before. There are at least three reflection points that I would like to share here.

1. Jesus as Logos: What is God's revelation really?

In the fourth gospel, the Word (greek: Logos) is being introduced as being with God and having the divine quality of God (1:1). In fact, when I first learned of Jesus' identification as Logos years ago, a question came to my mind - why then are "rhema" words so special? My own study into logos and rhema was documented in here. The outcome of my study inspired a rage back then, knowing that many people have artificially created a divide in the word of God.

But my recent foray into the study of Logos yielded more insights. I came back to this insight many…

Iakobou Epistode: From Confusion to Clarity

Recently I was taking another course on the book of James. Similar to Romans, this is also a book that I have co-taught in church and studied in Eagles Rendezvous. Revisiting this book again yielded three reflection points.

1. The disciple's identification 

The epistle by James is an interesting book within the New Testament to study. In my own NT study, I have also been fascinated by how economical the NT authors when it comes to their words - that they do not waste words in their letters. This manifests itself right from the beginning when the NT authors introduce themselves.

Many of us will sometimes skip over the introduction, but we can learn a lot about the epistle itself as well as its application to our Christian life through the introduction. In James, for example, James introduced himself as a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ (James 1:1). The original Greek reveals much more, placing the the possession genitive (of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ) before the word &…

3 Ways Culture Distorts Our Reading of Scripture

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)
As preachers and teachers of Scripture, it is a core description of the job to exegete and to interpret the Word of God as accurately as possible. This is the most exciting part of the preaching and teaching process. Why so? This is because it is in the interpretation that I learn new insights about God. It’s from these new insights that I ponder and meditate on their implications and applications to my present context.

However, as we all know, the task is not an easy one. Very often, our task of figuring out the original intention and message of the biblical writers goes too far—we overdo it and instead of reading from Scripture, we read too much into it. This means we read new meanings into Scripture that its writers never intended, because we fail to notice the cultural lenses we are using. We assume that the Bible values the same things we value, and condemns the same things we condemn.

The result? We teach our own…

Three Fears That Still Accompany Me in Public

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)

I’ve spent most of my life dreading public speaking. Stage fright is natural, but watching great speakers, I had a hard time believing that they too started out like me—uncertain and afraid of making a bad impression. “Dude, you’re sure to bomb,” I kept hearing in my head.

But in molding me to become a speaker, God showed me that the oft-cited fear of public speaking can be a good thing—you just have to channel it in the right way. It never really goes away, so you might as well use it to your advantage!

Forget the old bromide of picturing the audience in their underwear. Here are three fears that once paralyzed me—and once I thought of them in the right way, freed me to speak with greater vitality and authority than ever.

1. Fear of Misrepresenting the Word of God

The more I learn about the Scriptures, the more I realize how little I have grasped its incredible depths. Charles Spurgeon grasped this when he wrote, “Nobod…

The Best Place to Make Mistakes. Ever.

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)

There’s a saying that practice doesn’t make perfect—it makes permanent. What practice does is ingrain habits in us, but we need to be sure those aren’t the wrong habits. And that’s where feedback comes in.

The question: “How can I improve my preaching?” is always at the back of my mind. The logical answer would be: “By preaching more.”

But before I got comfortable addressing a church congregation, I wanted to practice and receive constructive feedback without being bashed with criticism. What I needed was to find a place friendly and loving enough to encourage me to continue to improve my preaching, without tearing me apart.

My answer, as I journey through this phase of learning to preach, is to immerse myself in a community of like-minded budding preachers whom I meet regularly and hold myself accountable to.

Here are three ways you’ll benefit from learning in a group:

1. They experience the same struggle as you.

What can…