Seminars By Dr. Sam Tsang
Preaching Biblically: Making Your Studies Count on the Pulpit
Does your staff need help in top-notched biblical exposition? This seminar may be your answer. Seminary preaching courses tend to focus on delivery and communication, much like a speech class in secular colleges. Most seminary preaching classes are completely disconnected with academic biblical studies. Many preaching professors themselves have no expertise in the Bible. Yet, the same evangelical seminaries claim that they are teaching biblical preaching. For biblical preaching to be truly biblical, the preacher needs to adjust his style not only to the message but more importantly to the method of the biblical text. This seminar connects genre study of biblical texts with sermon formation. Originally, Worldwide Bible Society invited Dr. Tsang to give this seminar for pastors in Hong Kong and Singapore because of Dr. Tsang’s multicultural/multilingual preaching ministry and his new handbook of modern preaching (2009). Dr. Tsang will adapt the lecture to whatever culture within which the sermon is preached because the basis is biblical studies and not cultural communication theory; the preacher can flexibly apply the principles to whatever culture. He will also make time to answer questions and facilitate discussions with the audience, as he has done in Hong Kong and Singapore, if such a need arises.
Simplifying Paul: Reading Paul within His Environment
Are your Bible study leaders having trouble interpreting one-quarter of the New Testament (i.e. Paul's letters)? Is your staff having trouble holding the congregation's attention in a book study series on longer book like Romans? This seminar may help you work out the kinks. Paul is so complicated that many modern Christians simply ignore him in favor of Gospel narratives. However, no one can afford toignore Paul and still call himself a biblical Christian simply because a quarter of the New Testament is written by Paul. Dr. Tsang will use this seminar to take the mystery out of reading Paul. The reason why many find Paul puzzling is because of our reading style as modern readers. Paul did not live in the 21st century. He did not even live at the time of the Reformation. He lived as a first-century letter writer. As obvious as the above statements are, these facts are usually ignored in reading Paul. This seminar seeks to recover the first-century letter writer who remains the most important person for Christianity. Dr. Tsang who received his PhD on Paul and has written many works since will show how modern research does not complicate but actually simplifies the reading of Paul’s letters not just for scholars but also for lay people. Many students who have taken the Pauline courses at the seminary have all remarked that Dr. Tsang method has helped them both in leading Bible studies and preaching Sunday sermons.
Revealing Revelation: How Revelation is Relevant for Today
Does your church avoid Revelation like a plague in both Sunday sermons and Bible studies? When was the last time your church has had a strong series or Sunday school on the WHOLE book of Revelation? If all the above questions result in negative answers, you are not alone. No one can blame your church because Revelation is a maze, but it does not need to be. Sadly, the book has been viewed from being a crystal ball for the future to a springboard of many fantastic novels (e.g. the Left Behind Series). In reality, the entire book has relevance for the modern reader in surprising ways. Having written two books on the subject, Dr. Tsang will look for interpretive clues not in contemporary events or in prejudiced theological commitment but in material and literary evidence from the Roman Empire. In by creating that interpretive distance, he actually creates a much easier way to apply Revelation for this age. Revelation should not be feared after this seminar.
Simplifying Romans: From Doctrine to Practice
Have you studied Romans for many years and find that it contains many messages? Actually, Romans, just like any letter of Paul, contains only very few themes with very specific applications. If the above statement seems like a surprise to you, you may need this seminar to help you sort out your findings. Romans had been the bedrock of Reformed doctrine, but Paul was neither Luther nor Calvin. How will the modern New Perspective impact the reading of Romans. Dr. Tsang balances contemporary scholarship and Reformed doctrine in his approach to Romans. By taking in consideration of HOW the letter functions instead of WHAT the message is, he is able to present a fresh reading of Romans that has significance in modern application to the Church. Having written two books on this subject,and taught the course for many years, Dr. Tsang brings his expertise to bear on the often read book with new insights.
Characterizing John: Lessons from John's Characters
John is at once simple in the original language and complicated in theology. Dr. Tsang’s award winning book (his first ever in Chinese) points to something quite obvious but often missed by interpreters: John’s characters are themselves vehicles of John’s message. By diving deep into the narrative world of John, Dr. Tsang will show that John has a very strong message for the 21st century Christian. Unexpectedly, John’s message is quite relevant in our modern discussion not only on propositional truth but more importantly the practice of it.
Living Out The Kingdom Mandate: A Text and Community Oriented Reading of the Sermon on the Mount
Do you know that Jesus did not really mean for people NOT to judge each other in Matt. 7.1? Do you know that the teachings about alms, prayer and fasting are not really about those items in Matt. 6? If these seem surprising to you, this seminar will certainly stimulate your thinking into the TRUE meaning of Jesus' sayings. Since The Sermon on the Mount has been so frequently quoted and often abused, Dr. Tsang has written a book that is based on a careful reading of the sermon from Matthew. In the winter of 2009, Dr. Tsang was invited to give lectures on this topic by Koinos Ministry (www.koinos.org) headed now by Regent College founder Dr. Ward Gasque. This seminar explores not only the meaning, but the misreading of this great discourse of Jesus. The final goal however is ACCURATE application towards Christian life today
Reaching Rome: Reading Acts Through Lukan Eye
Is your church in need of revitalization? Does your church need to define what it means to be missional? Does your congregation need to live out community life? Luke has much to say about these and many other topics. Luke has often been studied apart from Acts with great result. The time to explore the two books together has finally arrived. Dr. Tsang has already been contracted to write some four books on this subject. It has been his latest interest. In this seminar, he will present various perspectives to look at Luke-Acts with a literary emphasis. He will show that Luke himself presents interpretive clues as to how to read Acts. This journey towards Jerusalem started by Jesus is to be finished by Paul in Rome. This same journey has implication towards modern Christian mission. More importantly, one reason why we should treat Luke's writings with seriousness is because about one fourth of the New Testament is written by Luke. What was Luke really saying? Find out from this seminar.
Scoundrel Leadership: Lessons from Characterization of Judges
"Leadership" is an overused word today in both secular and Christian circles. Rarely is the idea of leadership connected with Judges. Judges has been considered an odd book open to many misinterpretations. Not many Christians pay attention to it. Dr. Tsang will soon come out with the second book on Judges. His research into Canaanite culture will make relevant what seems so far-away in the world of Judges. The seminar started as a series of messages in the 2009 opening semester chapel at Singapore Bible College. Dr. Tsang goes beyond these messages to explore how the interpreter can tease out the leadership lessons of Judges. The interpretive method will be a balance of text and history. The answer to leadership may not come from the plethora of modern books on the topic, but from a much neglected ancient book called Judges.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Family Value: Family Lessons in Judges
“Family values” is a buzzword concept today among evangelicals. Many books have been written on the theme. However, not many have understood the concept from the perspective of Judges. The author used vocabulary and characters to convey the importance of family identity in Judges. This seminar will explore the modern significance of family in Judges and will find the message to help modern family to be rock-solid in our volatile time.
Interpreting the Right Text the Wrong Way: Common Exegetical Fallacies in Popular Christianity
Did you know the Luke 21 story about the widow’s two mites is not about giving? Did you know that Matthew 18 is not about excommunication? These and many other texts are very often misused because the average Christian does not use consistent and sound interpretive method. Dr. Tsang will walk through some of the most misunderstood passages of the New Testament in order to illustrate the difference between having hodge-podge hermeneutics and a consistent interpretive paradigm. Everyone, whether new or mature believer, can benefit from this exercise.