TONIGHT: God’s Advocates: Theology, Justice and Us – A Conversation with Dion Foster

 How can ordinary Christians impact the world in timely and substantial ways? How can we ‘perform’ a theology of social justice in a hurtful and hurting world? Is it even possible to connect our theological doctrines to issues like poverty, oppression, ecological problems and so on? Does ‘God talk’ have anything to do socio-political conversations?

Please join us for a conversation with Dion Foster to explore these questions. Through his many years as an ordained minister and globalizing systematic theologian, as well as his work in Christian advocacy, Dion will help us connect our most fundamental theological principles to personal and communal efforts to make real and deep changes in our world today. Dion will be joined by Chris Chong from Friends-In-Conversation.

Date: Monday 9 July 2012
Time: 8.00pm
Venue: Bangsar Lutheran Church
Organised by Friends-In-Conversation

About Dion Foster

Dion A Forster (PhD. Science & Theology) is International Campaign Coordinator of EXPOSED, International Director of Unashamedly Ethical and the Dean of John Wesley College at the Seminary of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa in Pretoria, where he lectures in Systematic Theology, Ethics, New Testament and Greek. He also teaches at the University of South Africa and the University of Pretoria. An ordained Methodist minister, Dion is a sought-after preacher who also has a weekly radio program.

About Chris Chong

Christopher Chong is a member of FIC and holds a political science doctoral degree. His research interests lies in the intersection between faith and politics (with particular reference to Christians in M’sia). He teaches at a private university.

About Friends-In-Conversation

Friends-In-Conversation is a friendship of followers of Jesus who are called to participate in and create a safe space for reflective and constructive conversations on faith, spirituality, community and society, leading to embodied possibilities and deeper engagement. We are also in friendship and conversation with people of other faiths, to deepen mutual understanding and appreciation, as a foundation for constructive partnerships in a pluralistic society. We believe that creating a space for such conversations requires the firm foundation of friendship – hence the importance of trust, humility, generosity, affirming speech and emphatic listening in all our engagements.

The Bible & The Ballot book sale @ BLC

Edited by Joshua Woo & Soo-Inn Tan

ISBN: 978-981-07-0508-4

The Bible & The Ballot – Reflections on Christian Political Engagement in Malaysia Today is a joint effort between Friends in Conversation together with GraceWorks. We’re especially proud to have our very own Sivin Kit and Rama Ramanathan as contributors in this book!

Bangsar Lutheran Church is making this book available to members and attendees at RM13, with thanks to Gladsounds Bookstore.

  1. If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, please fill in your name in the order sheet at church along with your immediate payment of RM13.
  2. We will take orders after church service, over two Sundays – 15 and 22 January 2012.
  3. You should be able to collect your books from the church from 29 January 2012 onwards.

Book overview:

How do we relate Christianity to political engagement in Malaysia today? This is the question that we, as part of the community of believers, are trying to answer in this book. It is our conviction that “if Jesus Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all”. We proclaim the lordship of Jesus over every aspect of life. Therefore, it is important for us to reflect on the relationship between what we confess on Sunday and what is happening in the country every day.

This compilation of articles has been produced within the context of a circle of friends who share a common concern over national issues and the importance of Christian engagement on those issues. Although all of us are Malaysians, some of us are located in Malaysia, some in Singapore, and one in Norway. We come from different traditions and denominations of the Christian faith, but are connected through Friends In Conversation, a network where we discuss relevant issues that concern Christian discipleship in the contemporary world.

Book Content:

  • ForewordRt Rev Datuk Ng Moon Hing
  • IntroductionJoshua Woo
  • Naming Names: Can Preachers Tell You Whom to Vote For? – Alwyn Lau
  • Strengthening Democracy in Malaysia: The Need for a Vibrant Public SphereChristopher Choong
  • Vote!: Voting as a Christian DutyTan Soo Inn
  • Vote for Changes: My Decision at This Point in HistoryTan Soo Inn
  • Prayer and Political Consideration: How and What to Pray For?Joshua Woo
  • Why Am I Attending Vigils For Dr Jeyakumar and EO6?Rama Ramanathan
  • Afterword: Christians: A Blessing to Malaysia?Sivin Kit
  • Appendix: Petition by 34 Leaders of the Christian Community in Malaysia

Contributors to the book:

  • Alwyn Lau is a member of Friends in Conversation. A lecturer in Marketing and Sociology at KDU University-College. He is also pursuing a Ph.D (Arts) at the University of Monash (Sunway). He blogs at wyngman.blogspot.com.
  • Christopher Choong is a member of Friends in Conversation. He holds a doctorate in Political Science where his research interest lies in the interaction between religion and politics (with particular reference to Christians in Malaysia). He teaches at a private university and blogs at cacoescrib.wordpress.com.
  • Joshua Woo Sze Zeng is currently reading theology at Trinity Theological College, Singapore. His writings are posted and referred to at various platforms such as the Singapore Daily, REACH.gov.sg, the Christian Post Singapore, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs website, TheMicahMandate.org, World Reformed Fellowship website, and Australian National University’s New Mandala website. He blogs at szezeng.blogspot.com.
  • Rama Ramanathan graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1982 and has since worked in factories and in regional roles in operations and quality management. He blogs at write2rest.blogspot.com.
  • Sivin Kit is a founding member of Friends in Conversation and one of the initiators of Micah Mandate. He served as the pastor of Bangsar Lutheran Church from 2000 to 2010 and has been actively engaged in civil society in Malaysia since 2007. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D in Religion, Ethics and Society at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. He blogs at sivinkit.net.
  • Tan Soo Inn is a member of Friends in Conversation. He holds a Doctor in Ministry from Fuller Seminary. His doctoral project focused on how one discerns vocation in the context of community. Together with his wife Bernice, Soo Inn directs the works of Graceworks, a training and publishing consultancy committed to promoting spiritual friendship in church and society.