"ICS was like a water fountain that quenched my
thirst for knowledge and spiritual understanding."
Joshua Lie brings the ICS classroom to Indonesia.
I came from a family whose background was not Christian, and I also lived in a neighbourhood that was predominantly composed of Betawis (a tribe of Jakarta) who were Muslims. So, it was no surprise when I became a Christian that I struggled with the question of how to be a Christian, not only through my participation in the Church, but also with my interactions at home, school, and the local community with people of other faith traditions.
Many years later I discovered the Institute for Christian Studies and it was here that I was challenged to think beyond the norm; to ask the tough questions about my faith, religion, culture and social justice.
My first church guided me to a new way of life, one that was faithful to Christian living and fellowship. However, I realized that the church was just another sphere of life that remained separate from my daily existence. As a result, I strove to find direction through immersing myself in books. My struggle continued when I was called to be a pastor while attending seminary school, acknowledging that I had learned theological doctrines without having integrated them in all aspects of my life.
My life changed when I came to study at ICS. I am glad that I chose ICS over other schools. At ICS I was challenged to look deeper at issues and to ask questions that engaged me in discussion with my professors and fellow students. ICS was like a water fountain that quenched my thirst for knowledge and spiritual understanding.
My studies at ICS left a desire for outreach and teaching so I returned to Indonesia and began to introduce an integrated Christian worldview in the evangelical churches. I started the Reformational Worldview Studies program that is growing among the Christian schools and churches of Indonesia.
At this time of great transition in Indonesia, we cannot rely on doctrine alone. We will undoubtedly require a good understanding of how our confession of faith can shape the foundation for a frame of thought that offers Indonesian Christians guidance on how to participate in dialogue with people of other faith traditions, in politics in business, in education, in every area of our lives. This is where I am able to utilize what I learned from ICS in an applicable manner within the Indonesian context, primarily with my ministry that includes enthusiastic politicians and other community leaders.
I believe my research related with my thesis with Prof. Olthuis will make my ministry fruitful. In addition to my work in Indonesia, I have planted Indonesian churches in Mississauga and Toronto in an effort to exemplify the development of strong Christian faith that can be integrated in the whole of people’s lives and society for the glory of God and His kingdom.