Interview with Bishop Emeritus Robert M Solomon
Hi, Bishop Emeritus Dr Solomon!
As a bestselling author for Armour’s Genesis imprint, which book have you most enjoyed writing? What inspired you to choose that topic (your favourite publication) and what do you hope your readers will discover through that book?
In some ways, books are like an author’s children; each is special and has its own unique relationship with the author. One of my books that is special, because it was written outside Singapore, is The Race. I wrote it in Shanghai in 2008 while visiting my daughter and her family there, and finished the first draft in eleven days, writing every day in the quiet and inspiring early hours of the morning while waiting for my new-born granddaughter to wake up.
China was preparing for the Olympics Games that year, and I thought it would be good to seize the opportunity to write a book on life as a race. God enabled me to write quickly and smoothly, and the book was done before my wife and I flew home to Singapore. Eventually, The Race was also translated into Chinese and the Chinese edition was published in China by the China Christian Council. I remember preaching in two churches in Shanghai where the Chinese version was launched.
With Christmas round the corner, how does Boundless Love uplift both Christians and pre-believers on ‘Why God Became a Man’?
Boundless Love seeks to present the true significance of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christmas today has become very commercialised but the real meaning of Christmas is largely unknown, forgotten or ignored. Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us and it would be tragic if we do not recognise this or fail to receive God’s Gift because our eternal future depends on it. The book sets out to lay out the full significance of Jesus and how He saves us, and what that means. It deals with life’s deepest needs: our need to be forgiven, healed, and changed – and how God accomplishes this through Jesus. We are also led to appreciate the profound love that God has for each of us, and the length to which He goes to get through to us to bless us.
What message would you want to share with your readers this Jubilee Christmas?
Jubilee represents a time to celebrate and speaks of restoration, freedom, and new beginnings. Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost”. Most people are caught in a rut, seeing life as an endless series of demands, abbreviated by brief and ultimately meaningless entertainment and shopping sprees. Surely there must be something more to life than merely recognising that it is eventually meaningless.
Besides a sense of emptiness or loneliness, others face life’s stresses and disappointments, living in the shadows of darkness and pain. Whatever our situation, Christmas brings the wonderful reality that God has come to us, even though we may not have fully realised it. Christmas is a holy divine interruption that will change our lives if we pause and reflect on how its message – the Person of Jesus Christ – can change our lives forever. Whatever we have lost in our souls can be restored. If we pay attention to what God is doing in our lives, then we open ourselves to the mystery of Christmas, ready to experience Jubilee blessings. Then we can truly celebrate as we discover eternal truths and a heavenly Friend who has come to stay in our hearts forever.
Bishop Emeritus Robert M Solomon was Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000–2012. He had served previously as a medical doctor, church pastor, principal of Trinity Theological College and president of the National Council of Churches of Singapore. Dr Solomon has degrees in medicine, theology, intercultural studies, and a PhD in pastoral theology from the University of Edinburgh.
His latest titles are: