Monday, September 26, 2005

Entering the 3rd Quest

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It is now official for me to participate in the 3rd quest of the historical Jesus. Conversations with friends and recent read-ups on the quest has prompted me to apply historical methods in supplementing my (amateur and) shallow understanding of the historical personhood of Jesus the Nazarene.

It all started in June this year when i bought 'Jesus Under Fire' and 'The Jesus Quest' from a local bookshop, not because of any particular interest in the quest but rather because of the discounted 40% off the price. Yes, i am cheap, and through this cheap-skateness, i discovered another approach in my readings which i was reluctant to give in until recently.

Though, at present, the quest is not as hot as in the those years between 1975-1995, it is still worth while to see things in a different (for eg. historical) way, especially things of the antiquity. The major concentration will be on its historical settings rather than the post-easter theological framework of the sypnotics and interpretative gospel of John. I do not undermine the danger of this hermeneutic and i am aware of my present goal is not to separate history and theology of the ancient texts but rather to supplement the latter with the former. In supplementing, focus is still on the historical background; firm in the post-resurrection developement.

After spending 2 days of serious evaluations on Tom Wright's ideas (his essays:'Jesus, Israel, and the cross; 'Jesus'; 'Jesus and the Quest') , it just dawn that, after all, it worths a while of my stay. I do not know how long will i be in the quest but i hope to learn as much valuables during my time in.


Jacksaid compiled some interesting links on the quest here:
http://jack.civiblog.org/blog/_archives/2005/9/12/1218744.html

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Interesting Conversation

I've decided to set up 'Interesting Conversation' section here to keep each unique conversation i had.

Interesting Conversation 1

Had an insighful conversation with a M.Th student from Trinity Theological College who is currently a pastor at FairField Methodist Church. He shared the history of Reformation, his view on the 3rd quest and New perspective on Paul, and Karl Barth's theology.

He gave a fairly critical view on the 3rd quest and the New perspective on Paul, and a much more critical view on Karl Barth. 3rd quest to him is not as interesting as Wright publicises. The quest has always been with Schweitzer's dianogsis, that is all questers are just remaking the historical person in their own image. He applied Ludwig Wittengstein's hermeneutical theory (conventionalism) in view of the quest. Therefore the results of the quest are always relative. On the New perspective on Paul, he didnt really criticised it but described what's the recent emphasis being made onto this field. As for Karl Barth, he disagreed with me who categorizes Barth as a Neo-orthodoxy. He gave a fair justification on that. I didn't know Barth was a reformed and theologized with presuppositionalism.

Finally Weekend Is Over!

phew~
Shall start with tuesday last week.
At 6pm, rushed to the evening class. Learnt basic english such as First Person/Second Person/Third Person Singular/Plural. Then had some good time with Naomi over dinner.

Last week's Wednesday was in my anticipation since 3 weeks ago because there was a discussion at Gone Fishing Cafe at 8pm that i really look forward to. It was my first time there and being surrounded by those people was not really as ideal as i thought. The discussion ended at 10:15pm, reached home at 11:30pm, and i almost slept in the shower.

Thursday was the Young Adult Fellowship and, as usual, bought my dinner from KFC (the same meal that i had for the past 4 weeks)and rushed to the Hide Out. Discussion ended at around 10:10pm.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were busy evenings. Divine strength and joy as well as prayers from nao and dawn hav kept this culprit saved through the busy weekend. Praise God for sending 2 helpers: William and Janice to my rescue on Saturday evening.

My worst disappointment for the past week are:
1) I still couldnt locate time for john 7.
2) Still haven't reply Jonathan's queries.


*sigh*

So many things to do, yet so lil time and energy.

Neway, new week ahead.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Confession

It had been a while since i thought of blogging about this. The situation that i am in now is confusing and difficult to thread because of my up bringing. During secondary school days, i had always been bombarded by materialism especially whenever some friends bought branded stuffs. I was filled with envy and jealousy all the time right up. The most remembered event that pushed these resentments to the optimum was when i saw one of my classmate's new Honda Civic. He was then 18, while i was 17. Me and Sim Chee Keong spent numerous hours planning out big money plans for both of our futures. Though most were day dreams but what lies below them were overflow of coveting desires.

This habit followed me into my college days. In those days, my covetousness was elevated to a higher ground. That was the time when i was exposed to cars magazines, friends of diverse backgrounds, college girls, more exclusive branded stuffs, and "college activities"'. Things which happened around me was all about hedonism and materialism; even the drive to attend church. Atteding church where the speaker preached about promises of good lives on earth was not helping to reduce my covetousness, rather boasted it higher with fake hopes.

The climax was reached when i was involved in a BGR at that time. The frustration of not being able to spend as desired was burning in me 24-7. Thus, me and a few friends builded up our first business. It was tiredsome to attend college in the morning when staying up through the night to work but the motivation was none other than RICHES. But that business wasnt really favored by my parents especially when i failed 2 subjects in my second semester and eventually all of us decided to close it down and wait until when we finish our studies. This did not eliminate the burning flame in me, instead it was flamming more furiously than before. This was the time when i started clubbing. There was once when i club 4 times a week just to enjoy the my own hedonism and pride, while motivated by those fake hopes that were in me.

My dream of being rich was intense in the final semester. Even before the results came out, i was already attended a few job interviews. But i decidedly to join Starcruises in hoping that i will learnt more stuffs and gain a wider view of the world and of life. This was when i explore more on hedonism. After i ended my term with Starcruises, i started to plan for my own business, but the plan was postponed because lack of capital. That was a desperate moment for me. Then i journeyed to Singapore to work and i deliberately chose a sales job which i am not familiar with at all at that time. I was into hospitality management before that but figured out that the foundation of getting rich is Sales and not hospitality management.

But something happened when i was in Singapore. Besides learning about sales, there was another area in my life that had not been taken seriously before, and that is my spiritual-knowing compartment. Sim Chee Keong introduced me to C.S Lewis during my earlier days in Singapore. I remember having both Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Mere Christianity placed next to my bed. And through the guidance of God, i was slowly molded to contradict my own desires. As days went by, my conscience grew and my identity was in ruin. I no longer worship hedonism and materialism as much. The whole process was painful especially when my conscience keeps condemming even till this day. Though filled with head-knowledge, i was like (or less than) an animal. BGR/love was then instinctual. There wasnt any real reason for me to involved in a relationship with anyone except for sexual gratification. Those who know me since teen hood would know what kind of hedonist i was. I was nicknamed "X-pien Ong" (porn king in hokkien) among my peers during my secondary school days. Friends would started off conversation with me by asking me for pornographic materials. Even though i dont really have those stuffs but i was nicknamed because i talked widely and freely on pornography and sex. I was a premarital sex promoter. I sketched nude. I surfed porn. I was exposed to all kind of sick stuffs imaginable. Vulgarities was nouns, verbs and adjectives then. Ask Sim Chee Keong (a.k.a Jacksaid) for further info. He literally saw through my growth. He was the one who helped me to destroyed my dreams and build up new ones. Isn't it funny for me to do theology now? Many times i think that i am unworthy to read even the Bible.

What a wretched man i am!!!!!!
How could i be saved from God's wrath and condemnation?!?!?!?!?

Why did i bring this Confession up is because in the afternoon, today, me, N, R, AB and K were talking about our past BGR/love. All of us are Christians, but all of our past were ugly, distasteful, filthy, and dark. We shared, and in many ways, confessed our sins. N's testimony was most commutative to mine. I could relate to her very personally. When she talked about it, it was like listening to another person who is talking about myself. And she is now a totally new person. She died to her old self and is now new. That's what i saw in her and that is what i want to see in myself.

My life neither holy nor righteous than anyone thinks. Those who can accept people like me (or us) are very few. I didnt really shared with any of the people in the church about my personal stuffs all this while but i blog it on now. Readers, please have mercy on me. Pls pray for me. I dont want to go back to my previous lifestyle. It was sickening when i think about it.

Things that invites God's wrath (Col 3:5):"..sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed.."<------- i had them all.....

I am hopeless in myself... there is no other place i can turn to...
My conscience never stop condemming even as i am typing now...

The only hope that i can cling to is from Colossians 3:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.



There are alot of times when i saw some of my peers who acted like i was really shut me off. I didnt know how to react. I couldnt get angry or being glad about it. I just speechless as the conscience keep condemming.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Deleted

What for keeping the address when the home is belonging to someone else?
Delete it and get on with life. Get a new home. Find somewhere near my place.

Prisoner

Feel terrible.. somehow, feel like a prisoner who keeps shouting aloud in the cell. Thought that i have reason and it is reasonable for me to do so, but who cares?... No one is listening... No one borthers... Why should anyone listen to a prisoner? Is there anything good from prison?

Doubt it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Updates II

Just got back from an outreach... tired... and disappointed...
Feel so bad... Should i or should i not?... 2 years older, u know...sophisticated character...baptist dancer somemore...

Anyway, hahaha... finished NT Wright's Who was Jesus two days ago... I'm still not convinced that Jesus see Himself as Israel (or the real Israel), JAckSaid! If U wanna convince me, get me the Resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, and The New Testament and the People of God!

Ok..sien..

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Updates

Two weeks ago:
Was at Genting Highlands spending time with family and friends in KL. Talked alot with parents and their friends. Guess what were the topics?
While sitting at the table, surrounded by them with their questions and objections thrown to me as i tried to handled each one as consistent as i could. Felt as though the character of Jet Li in the movie 'Hero' when he was being executed. Anyway, through grace, i survived.


A few days ago:
Attended a seminar by a theologian cum historian, Samuel Ling, on the title "Introduction to Reformed Apologetics". Didnt, i expect much from the talk. He criticized classical apologetics and evidentialism, which i camped at, just as he breathes. So, in return, during the Q&A session, I did my part. And after the session, i approached him to share what i think about his printout on Classical Apologetics. It took a while for us to come to agreement to disagree. He is surely articulate and definitely not a cheap presuppositionalist. It appears that he is a student of both Conerlius VanTil and John Frame. The part that i appreciate most was when he shared on Generation x and Y.

Besides that, i learnt from a mentor that my english standard is very poor, which i do realized and admit without a doubt. I dont know what is adjective, adverd, pronoun and etc. He passed me some papers for me to go through, in hoping that i would make some improvement, which i hope too.


Today afternoon:
Finally, i finished writting my presentation on the upcoming Christ Seminar in KL. It was not what i had in mind when i was first being asked by Steven Sim (the chair of N.T Wright of CDPC, Founder of Christ Seminar, and a senior fellow of AGORA). The end product is rather a different one compared to my earlier envisions. Anyway, hope this essay would serve in no other way than Soli Deo Gloria.


Every night:
Had bad sleep for almost the whole week.


New and exciting stuffs:
Finally, finished Ben Witherington III's book. Was exposed to a lot of new views on the 3rd Quest. Was planning to get his other books next month or so. Almost see myself as his fan until i found out that he is a not a Calvinist.

Am reading Peter Jensen's view on Revelation. Hope that i could finish it by this month so that i could start with New Perspective on Paul by Guy Prentiss Waters.

Am able to understand Ravi Zacharias' Deliver Us from Evil now. When i bought it a year ago, was really blur and confused of his rhetoric in the book.

Listened and read some of N.T Wright's. Really good exposition but controversial.


New and exciting ideas:
Found a new hair-do.

Watched a very artistic show the other day. Was impressed by the director's way of making the movie. Good exemplification of human's inner void and dignity but controversial.


Favourite musics:
JEM- Just a Ride
Bodyrockers- I like the way you move
Rihanna- ....Replay