Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) has a distance learning programme for those interested to study theology but unable to come to the campus to attend classes. The FEBC prospectus says, “Information Technology (IT) has made possible to offer distance learning efficiently and effectively. Many colleges and universities today see distance learning through IT as the answer to educating self-motivated learners who desire to gain knowledge and experience in an academic setting. Video or audio lectures are delivered online and students are required to complete reading and writing assignments and take an exam at the end of each course. Courses are offered according to the academic calendar of the College.”
True Life BPC is paying the course fees ($80 per course) for these lay workers and pastors in the Philippines so that they can take the courses for free. For six years, many pastors and lay workers have enrolled in the FEBC online courses. Two have already received their Certificate of Religious Knowledge (20 credits), namely Pastor Romeo Laraño and Mrs Patria Solidum. Pastor Laraño is now pursuing the Master of Ministry (MMin) degree online.
Dr Jose Lapapa had completed teaching the four parts of Systematic Theology through the Bible Equipping Seminar and Training (BEST) programme to rural/country pastors who did not have the opportunity of theological training. These pastors desire to continue their training. Those who have access to the computer and internet are now studying more of God’s Word systematically through the online courses of FEBC. Eight former BEST students are now taking online courses.
These rural/country pastors are overseeing small congregations and cannot afford to purchase computers for their use. It is also difficult for them to access the internet because they are not located in the city. But our God is good and generous to them. A few months ago, love gifts received for Philippines Missions were used to buy four laptops for them. They were told that the laptops should be used mainly for their online studies. If and when they stop their studies, they must return their laptop so that it can be passed on to others. They all agreed to this condition and signed a letter of agreement.
One remarkable student is Pastor Rene Morales of New Camiling Fundamental Baptist Church which the FilBF had supported when they needed funds for their church building. Pastor Morales was bedridden for more than ten years until he believed in the Lord Jesus and was saved. When he surrendered his life to serve the Lord full-time, the Lord enabled him to get out of bed and move so that he could do the Lord’s work. Before that, he could not do most of the basic routines of life like taking a bath, putting food into his mouth and other things which all of us take for granted. Yet, he who seemingly cannot do anything is mightily used of the Lord for he not only pastors New Camiling FBC, the Lord has lately opened a new work for him in another place. The new church had their first worship service on February 2, 2020. Pastor Morales, in spite of his condition, is also studying online to further his knowledge of God’s Word. At the start, he had challenges in working with computers such as downloading the video lectures/questions, and uploading the answers. But just a few weeks ago, as he started to understand the process, he said he could complete the lectures and submit his answers as early as Thursday.
These Baptist pastors had an “allergy” to the name “Calvin”. But thank God, the Holy Spirit illumined and clarified to them what is Calvinism through the BEST programme. Most of these BEST students are taking Calvin’s Institutes this semester. Hopefully, they can learn more of the Word of God and teach their congregation so that God’s people can know and receive the truth. Please pray as we seek God’s leading on how we can provide further training to the many untrained pastors who are overseeing small churches in far-flung villages. (Extract from Dr Lagapa’s report in the FilBF bulletin, 9 Feb 2020.)
CHRIST B-P CHURCH
Praise the Lord for the successful registration of Christ Bible-Presbyterian Church, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu, Philippines. Dr Jose Lagapa wrote, “The Securities and Exchange Commission of the Republic of the Philippines has granted the personality of Christ BPC as duly recognized corporation under the Philippines laws. The Commission requires an annual general meeting for all registered corporations to which minutes shall be submitted to the said government office.”
To fulfill all righteousness, this AGM is scheduled to be held on March 15, 2020 at the rented premises of Christ BPC at 5 pm after the worship service. The pro tempore officers of Christ BPC are as follows: Chairman: Jose Trinipil Lagapa, Secretary: Deccarlo Igot, Treasurer: Jude Thaddeus Gabales, Auditor: Mary Vesper Napoles. Sister Agnes Gabales is appointed bookkeeper to assist the Treasurer.
This is the latest addition to the Bible-Presbyterian Church movement in the Philippines. Lapu Lapu City which is near the airport is about an hour away from the city centre where Gethsemane BPC Cebu is located. The proximity between the two churches would foster fellowship and mutual cooperation in the gospel work. The Rev Reggor Galarpe, pastor of Gethsemane Cebu, is scheduled to preach and conduct the first Lord’s Supper in Christ BPC on the first Sunday of March.
To make the rented premises more conducive for meetings, an aircon system will be installed. An individual has pledged to pay for the installation of the system. The FilBF will assist with the monthly electricity bills.
THEOLOGY FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN
Theology for Every Christian: A Systematic Theology in the Reformed and Premillennial Tradition of J Oliver Buswell by Timothy Tow and Jeffrey Khoo (Singapore: FEBC Press, 2007) is now in its 3rd printing, 1000 copies. Buswell’s Theology originally published by Zondervan in 1962 has been out of print for some time. This tome, which is an abridgment of Buswell by Tow and Khoo plus their substantive notes on theology, is the only theological textbook currently in print that presents the Reformed and Premillennial system of theology. It is Bible-Presbyterian theology made easy. It has been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese.
What Others Say…
“The new book Theology for Every Christian ... is very easy to understand and I can see a use for many applications. The Reformed Premillennial section is a big improvement in clarity over Buswell’s work and to me makes the work about indispensable.” Howard Carlson (Director of GO International Mission and former lecturer at Faith College of the Bible, Kenya)
“This worthy edition will prove eminently useful in educating believers in those glorious truths we hold dear, especially the blessed inerrancy of the inspired Word of God.” D P Rowland (General Secretary, Trinitarian Bible Society, London)
“Your new book, Theology for Every Christian, is a most attractive volume, and I am confident it will bring blessing to all who read it.” Homer A Kent (President Emeritus, Grace College & Theological Seminary, USA)
Know Your B-P Heritage
In a time when a new generation of Bible-Presbyterian pastors, especially from Zion and Carmel BPCs, are undermining the historic and doctrinal foundations of their Bible-Presbyterian Faith, it behoves all true Bible-Presbyterians to rediscover the rich biblical heritage and legacy they have inherited from their founding fathers so that they do not lose the rich theological treasure of Bible-Presbyterianism by default.
If you do not already have one, get your hardcover copy from FEBC Bookroom or Tabernacle Books, or download freely a softcopy from www.febc.edu.sg
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