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MARCH NEWS 2021
This semester in chapel at Bible College SA, we are continuing to preach through a selection of the Psalms – and as we have done this, we have gained such great insights for our own faith and experience. We have been reminded of the importance to prioritise reading God’s Word, and that God deserves our reverence and worship simply because of who he is. We have also seen the place for lament, with deep sorrow expressed over sin in our lives, as well as for the suffering experienced at the hands of others.

Yet even though we see all of this variety across the Psalms, one thing is common in them all – they point us back to the LORD, that is, Yahweh.

Yahweh was the name God declared to be his own before he freed his people from slavery in Egypt. This name reflects the deep relationship that God shared with his people, even if they often failed him. It also reminded the nation of Israel of his faithfulness to the covenant despite their failures!

When the Psalmist rejoices, he attributes blessings to Yahweh. When he laments over sin, he calls on Yahweh to redeem him. When he experiences suffering at the hands of others, it is Yahweh he asks to vindicate him. It is because he remembers the faithful works of the covenant-keeping Yahweh that he is able to respond in this way.

Our lived experience might be different to that of the psalmists – we may not encounter armies and wars as they did – but we certainly face our own hardships and difficulties. And we still, of course, still experience sin and its consequence in our lives. But just as the Psalmist was quick to look to Yahweh, we too can look to Jesus, the one in whose name we have our salvation. Because of his faithfulness to the new covenant, we can call to him in whatever situation or circumstance we face. Just like Yahweh for Old Testament Israel, he is our help, strength, source of joy and focus of our worship.

As we seek to be men and women that grow in our faith, may we be quick to remember the faithfulness of Jesus and his works in our lives. And may it compel us to adopt the same humble posture we see exemplified in the Psalms, that we would be drawn to worship him more fully.   
Formal teaching at Bible College SA has well and truly kicked off for the year now, with our students already several weeks into their classes. It is interesting and encouraging to glimpse in at the different classrooms to see all that is being taught and learned.

This year, we have quite a large group learning Hebrew which is a lot of work, but it will be an excellent grounding for deep study of the Old Testament in the years ahead.

Then, we have solid enrolments in both our introductory and upper level New Testament and Old Testament classes. The former give students a thoroughgoing overview of the entirety of the Bible and the latter draw them into detailed translation, exegesis and theological investigation of the different parts of Scripture.

We also have a good number taking the first of our four units in Systematic Theology where they’re thinking about some of the critical doctrines related to the Bible such as revelation, inspiration, inscripturation, canonisation, illumination and more. Of course, these underpin our whole approach to our faith and ministry.

And this semester we are also running a practical ministry course on Christian Worship, which teaches about different styles and traditions of worship, and the core principles that should underlie all Christian church services.

This is just a snapshot of one of our semesters at Bible College SA where we want not only to teach a good breadth and depth of courses, we also want to make sure that they are all directed towards the goal of equipping women and men for faithful and fruitful gospel service in our city, state and beyond. The biblical classes lay the bedrock; without this grounding, ministry risks being shallow or even just semi-Christian. The theology classes help us to ‘think God’s thoughts after him’ and to shape an entire balanced Christian world-view. And the practical ministry courses give training in actually doing the things that need to be done—under God—to grow and strengthen the church and Christian believers.

Even though you may not be able to wander the corridors and see into the classrooms, we feel that our supporters are very much a part of all that we do. Indeed, we couldn’t do any of this without you! We’re so thankful for your partnership with us in our ministry and pray it would all result in a stronger healthier church in Adelaide and South Australia, and more glory to Jesus.

 

At Bible College SA, we believe it is vitally important for those in vocational ministry to be continually learning and growing in their knowledge of the Scriptures and also to be regularly sharpening their ministry skills. For this reason, each year we offer a number of postgraduate intensive subjects that are designed to ongoingly equip people already serving in ministry.

For one week in July, we are very excited to have Professor Graham Cole with us teaching an intensive subject on the Holy Spirit. Prof. Cole brings with him a wealth of pastoral and academic experience, having lectured at many theological colleges, both in Australia and overseas. He is currently the Dean and Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He has published many important books including He Who Gives Life and Engaging with the Holy Spirit both on the Bible’s teaching about the Holy Spirt.

This will be a great subject for anyone currently working in Christian ministry; perhaps it would be an ideal week of professional development for you or your pastor (could your church send them along as a way of blessing them and investing in them?) For more information, please visit our website or contact our Registrar, Rebecca Vincent, at vincent@biblecollege.sa.edu.au or on 8291 8188.
 
Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
So originally I'm from Adelaide but spent most of my childhood in Cambodia where my parents worked at an international mission school. My time in Cambodia grew in me a heart for the lost and a desire to with those less fortunate than us here in Australia. Still not sure what that looks like yet, but have taken a year's leave from my engineering job to come to BSCA as part of that journey. Another very exciting part of my life is having been recently engaged to Izzy this last week who is also taking a year off to study at BCSA this year.

What are you currently studying?
I'm currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Divinity full time.

What excites you about Bible College SA?
I have found the whole experience so far really spiritually enriching and am so grateful for the privilege to be able to study God's word full time. I also love the community aspect of BCSA after working from home last year and have been really blessed already by the rich conversations and new friendships.

In what ministry do you hope to work when you finish at BCSA?
I'm hoping that my time at BCSA will empower me to serve Jesus better in the workplace when I return and also at my church. But also looking to the future, I hope it will stand me in good stead wherever God leads me in the world.

What is one thing you are learning at the moment that is particularly insightful?
I'm reading a book on Luther right now and have been blown away looking back at some of the beliefs of the church at his time and how subtlety the true message of the gospel had been perverted. How important it is for us to stand firm on the truth of God's word!
 

• Please pray for our faculty as they are starting to mark assessments for the Semester. Pray that they would approach this with clear thought, and that their feedback would be helpful to students for future assessments. Pray also that they would continue to teach with wisdom and application for all of life.

• We are thankful for such an excellent cohort of new students for this Semester. Please pray that they will continue to settle into the rhythm of study well. Pray that they will see their time at College to be an opportunity for them to be well-formed for ministry.

• We continue to give thanks for our group of regular financial and prayer supporters, which has steadily grown over the past few years. They remain a constant encouragement to us; but we continue to ask that more would be added so that we can continue building our ministry of training future gospel workers.

• Please pray for one of our sister colleges, Queensland Theological College and its principal Gary Millar, as they continue to train workers for the harvest for the church in Queensland and beyond.
 

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