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MARCH 2020 NEWS
At Bible College SA we have strong commitment to respecting the word of God as God gave it to us. That means that we do not only teach our students how to understand certain passages of Scripture abstracted from their context, but we encourage the study of whole books of the Bible, as we believe they have ‘macro-messages’ and knowledge of the whole helps us understand each part better too.

Recently in chapel, we heard a sermon on the second half of Matthew 15, which is interesting because it recounts a number of events that are similar to those in earlier chapters of Matthew. The clearest example of this is the feeding of the four thousand coming just one chapter after the feeding of the five thousand. Why did God see fit to give us these two stories so close to each other?

When we look closely at these two feeding miracles, we see that they happened in different places—the first in Jewish territories and the second in regions a little further afield. This immediately helps us learn one of the key lessons of the second passage: even though he has a particular focus on showing how Jesus fulfils the Jewish expectations, Matthew also makes clear that Jesus is Lord and Saviour of all. He abundantly feeds all who come to him, irrespective of their cultural, ethnic or racial backgrounds.

This passage challenges us is in our thinking about how we minister to our near neighbours. Oftentimes we focus on those near us and like us, and of course there is something practically sensible about this. At other times, we think of the wider world and how we can support the cause of the gospel in far off lands. But how often do we think about our near-neighbours?

There are many who don’t live in our suburb, but who are on the other side of town. Many without the same level of education as us. Many with different hobbies. Many working in completely different types of jobs, and many without any regular work. There are many much older or younger than us. How will we show the same love to them as we more naturally show to the people like us? This is a good question for us to pray through as we hope to contribute to gospel impact across our whole city and state for the glory of our King.

PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
Tim Patrick

At Bible College SA our primary focus is on preparing the next generations of gospel workers for our city, state and beyond. However, we are also very committed to supporting current gospel workers and faithful Christian believers in their ongoing labours.

To this end, we have the following three excellent events coming up soon —
 

On Monday 23 March from 9am–1pm, we are hosting The Gospel Coalition’s ‘Ministry For Life’ half-day conference. This is aimed at helping us protect ourselves, and those we lead, from burnout in Christian ministry; something that is sadly too common. It is great to have Dr Grant Bickerton—a professional and leader in this field—as the presenter for the day. You can register here.
 

From 9–11 July, we are running the ‘Theology for the Life of the Church’ conference that will highlight the huge benefits for churches when they draw on the best work being produced by the Christian academy. One of our keynote speakers is Rev Prof Graham Cole, the Dean of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago—one of the world’s foremost evangelical seminaries. This is not to be missed for anyone serving in ministry! You can register here.
 

We are blessed and privileged to have Prof Cole stay on with us from 13–17 July to teach a Masters level intensive subject on the Holy Spirit, the subject of his important book ‘He Who Gives Life’. This would be an ideal professional development or in-service training course for any pastors who already hold an undergraduate degree in theology. Enquiries about this course should be directed to our Registrar at registrar@biblecollege.sa.edu.au
 

Who is in your family?
My wife, Steph, and two kids, Joshua (4) and Hannah (2).

What have you been doing prior to working at Bible College SA?
Last year I finished my PhD in New Testament with Bible College SA. I was able to devote several years to exploring the concept of belief in John’s Gospel. Before turning my attention fully to that, I was a Baptist pastor, and I pastored at several smaller Baptist churches around Adelaide. I have also taught New Testament as part of the BCSA program for students from non-English speaking backgrounds.

What excites you about Bible College SA?
I really appreciate the combination of academic rigour and personal spiritual formation. If we are going to equip people well for ministry, they need to know and understand their bible and theology, with depth and the ability to think and discern the truth. But we also need to form people with a real personal relationship with God, people who are walking with God, addressing sin, listening to God and obeying him in their own lives. I benefitted from this combination in my own study, and it’s great to see many more being equipped and sent out having been developed in both these areas. Alongside this, I love the community here, the friendship, support, and encouragement that sustains and brings me joy – that was especially valuable during the long months of PhD writing and editing.

What are you looking forward to in your first semester?
I am looking forward to the challenge of teaching Greek. I’ve taught New Testament before, but not Greek, so it will be a new and exciting for me. I expect it to be exciting to watch students develop from not even knowing some of the letters to being able to understand whole sentences and more.
 

FOR YOUR PRAYERS:

• Give thanks for all that God has for us in Matthew’s Gospel, and pray that we would all do better at serving our near neighbours, as well as those who are near and like us, and those who are far off

• Give thanks that Bible College SA serves as something of a hub for evangelical ministry in Adelaide and South Australia. Pray The Gospel Coalition’s ‘Ministry for Life’ half day conference, our own ‘Ministry for the Life of the Church’ conference and Prof Cole’s Masters intensive on the Holy Spirit would strengthen the church across our city and state.

• Give thanks for all the faithful supporters of Bible College SA who continue to enable our ministry to flourish with their generosity. Pray that many would be able to continue in sacrificial generosity, and perhaps even to increase their gifts to our work.
 

Give thanks and pray for Ridley College, one of our sister colleges, and their work of preparing the next generations of gospel workers for Melbourne, Victoria and beyond.
 

Monday 23 March 2020
TGC-SA: Ministry for Life

Thursday 9 - Friday 11 July 2020
'Theology for the Life of the Church' Conference

Monday 13 - Friday 17 July 2020
Masters Level Intensive - Prof Graham Cole
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