Academy for Christian Thought - ACT

Academy for Christian Thought - ACT THINKING THINGS THROUGH...IN A THEOLOGICAL SAFE SPACE
ACT is a non-profit organization based in New York City. We provide a climate of inquiry within a sanctuary of doubt that we call a theological safe-space (TSS) for people of good will to encounter the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1. Invite Christians to consider the reasons for and the implications of their belief and skeptics to consider what their reasonable objections are. 2. Address the challenges of the sciences and the religious pluralism. What is the role of the sciences in making sense of reality? What is Christianity's relationship to other religions and what can we learn from the wisdom of other faith traditions as we try to understand our own? 3. Promote interdisciplinary research for a transformative renewal of the mind, to make the message of the Christian Bible relevant to the urgent questions of the day. How do the sciences, history, the arts, philosophy and ethics (SHAPE) have influenced our interpretation of the biblical texts as we engage the world of commerce, academia, media, politics and sports (CAMPS). 4. Seek to formulate a Christian worldview by thinking things through, theologically. We engage the pressing concerns in the cultural spheres of influence (CSI) and human inquiry (CSHI). 5. Develop globally relevant and conceptually holistic discipleship teaching programs. Through carefully thought out apologetics, effective evangelism, missions and discipleship can thrive. a. In the sciences, we inquire into their methodologies to distinguish science from scientism and evolution from evolutionism. In history, we teach global, rather than a Eurocentric Christianity. In the arts, rather than their indulgence, we teach their origins, redemptive power, and nexus to worship. In philosophy, we scrutinize the justification of assumptions that buttress arguments for atheism, agnosticism & belief. In ethics, we teach the divine moral command and its implications in every decision we make. b. In biblical theology, we teach a method of interpretation that respectfully engages other religious convictions and inferences of the sciences while remaining faithful to the confessional integrity of the texts. We employ exegesis and hermeneutics to understand the Bible as a trustworthy, divinely inspired writing of fallible humans. c. We reach out to the community of international students and scholars to share how the Gospel has shaped the intellectual cultures of Western civilization to which they have come to learn. International Board of Reference: Rev. Richard Bewes, OBE All Souls Langham Place, London Rev. Timothy Keller Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York Rev. John R. W. Stott, CBE Langham Partnership Pastor Richard C. K. Toh Community Baptist Church, Malaysia
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04/27/2019

FIDES QUAERENS INTELLECTUM - Faith in search of understanding

03/15/2019

TIMKAT in ETHIOPIA:

Memories of Ethiopian Christianity at their celebration of Timkat, when Christians across the country undergo a symbolic baptism to affirm the Oriental Orthodoxy Christian tradition.

In a different time, Western Christians condemned them as heretics and they returned the favor.

In the 17th century, the nation briefly turned Catholic, before the people’s revolt led their king to abdicate and his son to reinstate Oriental Orthodoxy of Monophysitism (Jesus has only one nature, not two) in contradistinction to Chalcedonian Orthodoxy (two natures).

Wars were fought and people died over this, not just here but all over Europe as well.

Today, changes in beliefs makes this disagreement OK.

In the future, who knows?

Makes you think and rethink about the role of doctrines in a faith that is supposed to celebrate love.

CHRISTIANITY IN ANCIENT AFRICAThe incredible Stelae Field of AXUM in Ethiopia. Built by pre-Christian rulers of this Afr...
01/24/2019

CHRISTIANITY IN ANCIENT AFRICA

The incredible Stelae Field of AXUM in Ethiopia. Built by pre-Christian rulers of this African empire, they stand up to 21m tall with a 33m stela lying fallen.

Axum is the origin of Christianity in Ethiopia and the reputed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Axum is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

According to the New Testament, Christianity entered Ethiopia when an official in the Ethiopian royal treasury was baptized by Philip the Evangelist.

The Kingdom of Aksum was one of the first to officially embrace Christianity, when Frumentius of Tyre, called Fremnatos or Abba Selama ("Father of Peace") in Ethiopia, converted Emperor Ezana and his twin brother, Saizana in 330/340 CE.

In 524, King Kaleb invaded Arabia to defend Najran Christians from persecution by the Jewish king of Himyar. This later led to the Year of the Elephant when Christians attacked Mecca, then ruled by the Prophet Muhammad’s grandfather.

In the 6th century, two of the 9 Saints, Pantaleon & Likanos, arrived from Byzantium and built churches in Axum.

Saint Yared of 6th century Axum write important Church liturgical music.

In the 7th century, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s daughter Ruqayya and a future wife, Umm Hind, found refuge from the Meccans under the protection of the Axumite king.

When the Persians conquered Yemen, it spelt the beginning of the end as their Red Sea trade fell to the Arabs. Queen Guidry of the Agau sacked Axum and paved the way for the emergence of the Zagwe dynasty of Lalibela.

Ethiopian Christianity was centered around 5 capital cities:
Axum (4th-8th century),
Lalibela (10th-16th century),
Gondar (17th-18th centuries),
Mekele (19th century) and
Addis Ababa(since 1889).

Now that the seminar has come to an end, I wish to thank all the participants for their support of this ministry and loo...
01/13/2019
Christian Beliefs Seminar (The Trinity: Father, Son & Spirit)

Now that the seminar has come to an end, I wish to thank all the participants for their support of this ministry and look forward to the next one in June

Welcome to the Academy for Christian ThoughtLearn the story of how Christian beliefs became Church doctrines. Many teachings were inherited, adopted and adapted. Others were abandoned while some were replaced by new ones. Spiritual insights, secular pressures and discoveries of the natural world con...

01/09/2019

It’s 2019, a new beginning, a chance to celebrate life and all that it offers. What are your 3 major goals for the year?

I plan to consolidate what I have learned over the past 30 years of field research in ministry.

I hope to be bolder in expressing my thoughts in the appropriate fora, be it at professional conferences, closed groups of thoughtful enthusiasts and on public portals.

I desire to up my spiritual game by reflecting more about God than about institutions, doctrines, even though these are inescapable factors of modern faiths.

Trying to get broader perspectives from God’s POVs is more important, more meaningful but also more dangerous than to remain parochial and imagine God exists only for you and your loved ones. Important because with only one life to live, we should make every bullet of our resources count. Meaningful because we are spiritual beings and desire connections the our creator. Dangerous because unless we check our prejudices and biases by engaging the real world outside our comfort zones, we are likely to believe any lies we tell ourselves.

Happy 2019

Tucking into some seriously good Szechuan Eats at Szechuan Mountain House (23 St Mark’s Place), with Chris Ong and Gene ...
12/28/2018

Tucking into some seriously good Szechuan Eats at Szechuan Mountain House (23 St Mark’s Place), with Chris Ong and Gene Yuan, both of San Francisco.

Gene has been a friend of the ministry for over 20 years and served as a tutor for Project Timothy for 6 years before he relocated to Basel and recently, to San Francisco.

Chris has been a student at ACT for 3 years and enjoys a good meal whenever he hops over to Manhattan to meet up with the Gang.

Register: http://bit.ly/act-origin-christian-beliefs-2018Welcome to the Academy for Christian Thought here in New York C...
07/25/2018
Origin of Christian Beliefs promo

Register: http://bit.ly/act-origin-christian-beliefs-2018

Welcome to the Academy for Christian Thought here in New York City.

Our GOAL is to learn the story of how Christian beliefs became Church doctrines. Many beliefs were inherited, adopted and adapted. However, others were abandoned while some were replaced by new beliefs.

Spiritual insights, economics, politics and discoveries of the natural world, all contributed to the evolution of beliefs which became doctrines. In this seminar we shall trace the developments of 3 of the 16 doctrines as they evolved in response to new knowledge from scientific discoveries, technological innovations and medical advances.

Classes from 3.00pm - 6.00pm

Sep 09: Geohistory & The Apostles' Creed
Sep 16: Doctrine of Man (Theological Anthropology)
Sep 23: Doctrine of Sin & Reconciliation (Soteriology)
Sep 30: Doctrine of the Bible (Bibliology)
Oct 07: Theological Implications of History of Science, Technology & Medicine

The earliest followers of Jesus had no Bible, no statement of beliefs for professional pastors.

By the 2nd century, all the writings of the New Testament had been written. By the 4th century, Christianity was a distinct religion from Judaism.

The confessions about Jesus were discussed at councils that influenced creeds.

In this way, oral expressions became written statements.
This is why the Church became a community of the Book and writings became the most important source for faith.

Today, every preacher relies on the Bible as the final authority for every sermon.

We shall begin with the earliest Christian writings, the creeds, some of which predated the Bible itself. The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creeds of 325 and 381 continue to be the most popular ones in use to this day.

This online version of this course may be taken at anytime from anywhere.

If you have ever wondered how and why Christians came to believe what they do, this seminar is for you, crafted for the busy lay person.

No background in theology is necessary.

Join us for this exciting learning opportunity alongside students from around the world.

Tutor: Dr Ron Choong, LLB, STM, PhD

New York: $499 (Early Bird fee of $249 by Aug 11)

Online via YouTube: $200 (Early Bird fee of $99 by Aug 11)

https://vimeo.com/279533109

Register: http://bit.ly/act-origin-christian-beliefs-2018 Welcome to the Academy for Christian Thought here in New York City. Our GOAL is to learn the story…

https://www.facebook.com/rhemarad.10/photos/a.561988924160165.1073741839.102857356739993/647053482320375/?type=3
06/30/2018

https://www.facebook.com/rhemarad.10/photos/a.561988924160165.1073741839.102857356739993/647053482320375/?type=3

THE CONVERGENCE OF SCIENCE, HISTORY & FAITH - Dr Ron Choong (Academy for Christian Thought - ACT)

Listen now: https://soundcloud.com/rhemaradio/r80a

Description: Dr Ron Choong is an independent interdisciplinary scholar. Born in Kuala Lumpur, educated in the UK and the USA (Princeton & Yale), he is now based in New York. Although his academic training is in biology and chemistry, law, international relations, history, philosophy and theology, he is more interested in the web of knowledge across all disciplines of inquiry. He has published many books and articles and teaches in seminaries and universities.

More about Dr Ron Choong at https://actministry.org/ron-choong-phd

Song: Carmen Sarah Chung 黄燕萍

#RhemaRadio

Announcement: Date: May 6 (Sun)Time: 4.00pm - 5.00pmTopic: ACT’s 2017 Expeditions along the Silk Road in the footsteps o...
04/30/2018

Announcement:

Date: May 6 (Sun)
Time: 4.00pm - 5.00pm

Topic: ACT’s 2017 Expeditions along the Silk Road in the footsteps of Chinggis Khan

In my quest for the origin and history of the Christian faith, I systematically studied the Bible and associated writings of the Church from the 21st century backwards in time. This journey has been both scintillating and liberating. The missional advances of this Palestinian faith ranged far and wide, first throughout the Roman Empire, then across Eurasia, deep into Africa and finally to the Americas and Australasia.

At this public lecture, I shall offer a one hour discussion with slides of recent expeditions to Mongolia, Xinjiang, Central Asia & the Transcaucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia).

1. The rise of the Mongols and their 13th century invasions across Eurasia had theological implications for religions along the Silk Road and the Christian faith in particular.

2. The Uighurs, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Sogdians and a dozen other kingdoms rose and fell along what was then called Turkestan. Their economic and political fortunes shaped the three great faiths of Buddhism, Christianity & Islam, resulting in hundreds of denominations as local faith communities grapple with the implications of the Mongol path of destruction despite the divine promises of priests, pastors and imams.

3. The Transcaucasus is known as the land between Christianity and Islam. Geohistory sealed the fates of these peoples since the 4th century. We will also go back in time to the two oldest Christian kingdoms before Rome adopted Trinitarian Christianity as the national religion in 381. Both Armenia & Georgia celebrate apostolic foundations and both national churches suffered the onslaught of Mongolian wrath.

Caution: Lots of maps & charts. Each tells the story of God, the faithful and their pilgrimages across space & time.

An intense four days of lectures totaling 15 hours ranging topics as diverse as missions, archaeology, paleoanthropology...
02/11/2018

An intense four days of lectures totaling 15 hours ranging topics as diverse as missions, archaeology, paleoanthropology, cognitive neuroscience, A.I, robotics, s well as the histories of science, technology and medicine.

We examined the possibilities of an abiological resurrection in a multiverse and the persistence of mathematical patterns of memory.

The final lecture explored the implications of the noncanonization of the Bible to this day, for a Christian doctrine of revelation.

National Geographic
12/16/2017
National Geographic

National Geographic

The growth of Islam in the seventh century sparked a golden age of scientific discovery—in which doctors pushed the boundaries of medical science into bold new places.

ANNOUNCEMENT:ACT Lecture & Museum Tour: Topic: The Greco-Roman World & the BibleDate: October 22, 2017Lecturer & Guides:...
09/09/2017
M3. Biblical Tour of the Greco-Roman Galleries

ANNOUNCEMENT:

ACT Lecture & Museum Tour:

Topic: The Greco-Roman World & the Bible
Date: October 22, 2017
Lecturer & Guides: Dr Ron Choong and Mr Danny Lee

Jesus conducted his ministry as a Jew in Galilee and Judea. These areas were influenced by the trade, culture, and political structures of the larger Greco-Roman world. How might Greco-Roman culture have influenced Jesus, Peter, James, John and Paul? We shall dip into this amazing period in history to better understand the Bible.

Dr Choong will share his thoughts on the main influences of Hellenic, Hellenistic and Roman cultures on the writing of the Bible with specific references to artifacts in these immense galleries.

Three themes of Greek Religious Thought
1. LIFE & SUFFERING: Creation accounts and the healing arts.
2. DEATH & THE AFTERLIFE: Moral cognition and preparation for the next life.
3. RELIEF & BELIEF: Emergence of religion and belief in the resurrection.

Public Lecture: The Greco-Roman World & the Bible
Time: 2:00-3:00 PM
Location: Central Presbyterian Church, NYC. Fifth Floor
Registration: FREE but please register at http://tinyurl.com/ACT-greco-roman-bible-lecture

Museum Tour : The Greco-Roman Galleries
Time: 4:00-5:00 PM
Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 82 Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028. Meet at the Wall Map of The Ancient Greek World in Room 150
Registration: $20 at http://tinyurl.com/ACT-Greco-Roman-2017

On this inaugural tour, Dr Choong will share his thoughts on the main influences of Hellenic, Hellenistic and Roman cultures on the writing of the Bible with specific references to artifacts in these immense galleries. Three themes of Greek Religious Thought 1. LIFE & SUFFERING: Creation accounts an...

ANNOUNCEMENT:Public Lecture on MISSIONS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD: Silk Road Christianity.Date: Sunday Sept 10Time: 2-3pm...
09/09/2017
L5. Missions to the Ends of the Earth - The Silk Road

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Public Lecture on MISSIONS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD: Silk Road Christianity.

Date: Sunday Sept 10
Time: 2-3pm
Location: Central Presbyterian Church, 593 Park Avenue and 64th Street, New York City

Lecturer: Dr Ron Choong, MDiv, ThM, STM, PhD

Please register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/l5-missions-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-the-silk-road-tickets-30748862676

In 431, the 3rd Council of the Church led to great disagreement so that by the end of the 5th century, there were essentially 3 traditions of Christianity: European Christianity based on Latin. African Christianity based on Coptic. Asian Christianity based on Syriac. This lecture will outline how Ch...

"MISSIONS TO THE END OF THE WORLD: SILK ROAD CHRISTIANITY"This lecture will outline how Christians from Persia led missi...
08/24/2017

"MISSIONS TO THE END OF THE WORLD: SILK ROAD CHRISTIANITY"

This lecture will outline how Christians from Persia led missions that reached China in 635 AD. In 1625, physical evidence of this was first discovered in Xian, China.

Sept. 10 @ Central Presbyterian Church, NYC - 2 - 3 PM

Cost: FREE

Register: http://bit.ly/act-silk-road-2017

How Deep Sea Creatures Emit Their Own Light
08/23/2017
How Deep Sea Creatures Emit Their Own Light

How Deep Sea Creatures Emit Their Own Light

The depths of the ocean are a lot brighter than you might think. New research from the Monterey Bay Aquarium shows that nearly three quarters of deep sea creatures emit their own light using bioluminescence.

No matter how much some atheists claim to disbelieve in the existence of a divine creator, I continue to observe how fre...
07/16/2017

No matter how much some atheists claim to disbelieve in the existence of a divine creator, I continue to observe how frequently these very same people take the trouble to "turn" the karmic prayer wheel when they visit Buddhist countries.

I saw this again here in Mongolia, where a local fusion of Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Daoism and Mongolian shamanism dominates the life & thought of the locals.

Visitors from the West, many disillusioned with organized religion, unconsciously go up to spin pray wheels in the hope of a beneficial quid pro quo.

This raises important soul searching questions of how and why the faith of their childhood and youth did not meet their expectations in a way Eastern religions do.

Check out of new website and it's links to articles on medium.comOur next event is tomorrow on April 30th, where I shall...
04/29/2017
Medium – Read, write and share stories that matter

Check out of new website and it's links to articles on medium.com

Our next event is tomorrow on April 30th, where I shall lecture on Persia and the Bible followed by a one hour tour of the Metropolitan Museum's Ancient Near East Gallery for their artifacts on ancient Persia. My associate Danny Lee will co-lead this tour with me.

Please sign up at Eventbrite.

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