If only the church were like a gang….

The following is one of the most significant quotes I’ve read in a long while. It comes from Francis Chan’s talk at Facebook last month. Recalling a sober moment he had while at Cornerstone Church, Chan said he baptized a kid from a gang but that kid later left though he was quite involved in [Read More…]

Students “borrow points” to pass test

Here are a few noteworthy articles reflecting on contemporary Chinese culture. 1. “Teachers Loan Students Points to Pass Exams” I think you’ll like this one. It’s Chinese ingenuity at its best. Wang Yiwei explains that a high school in Nanjing has implemented a system that allows pupils to boost low grades by borrowing marks on future tests. The [Read More…]

Why collectivists grow rice and individualists grow wheat

One of my favorite books is Richard Nisbitt’s Geography of Thought, where he surveys many social and psychological studies tracing the difference between Eastern and Western thinking. He also considers the historical origins of each perspective. Accordingly, I was glad to see a recent BBC article touching on similar themes. It’s call “How East and [Read More…]

10 Characteristics of an “Individualistic Gospel”

What is an “individualistic gospel”? It’s common to hear people criticize evangelistic presentations as “individualistic.” However, that is a rather vague description. How do people know if their gospel is “individualistic”? In this post, I’ll suggest 10 features that tend to characterize an “individualistic gospel.” I don’t claim that such a message always has every [Read More…]

The Biblical Story is Collectivistic

  From beginning to end, the Bible primarily talks about groups, not individuals. This is another reason why we should reconsider our traditional methods of evangelism. As I’ve said throughout this series, our typical use of the Adam story breeds an individualism that may not serve those with whom we speak. Click on the following [Read More…]

How to Babel on the Gospel in China

I want to briefly illustrate the idea from my previous post. I suggested that it may be better for us to begin with the Babel story (rather than with Adam & Eve) when preaching the gospel. The Babel account is especially meaningful for collectivistic, honor-shame cultures. Previously, I interpreted Genesis 11 and discussed issues of [Read More…]

The Chase for Face: The Shame of Western Collectivism

Ever wonder what Western collectivism looks like and why it matters? My recent article attempts to deal with these questions. You can find it over at the Missio blog, which is hosted by The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture. The article is called “The Chase for Face: The Shame of Western Collectivism.” Here [Read More…]

Why Not Begin with Babel?

Previously, I examined common problems that emerge when we start with the Adam story (Part 1, Part 2). I also suggested another way one could start with Adam and Eve without succumbing to individualism or running into a number of apologetic questions.

Today, I offer an example whereby we can start with the group rather than the individual, i.e. the nations rather than Adam as an individual. [Read more…]

Leadership Lessons from the Party?

People often overlook a key feature of honor-same societies. Honor-shame cultures are inherently collectivistic in orientation. Have you ever thought about how people lead others in a collectivistic context? Over at Inside Story, you’ll find an excerpt from a recent book by Kerry Brown called The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China. What [Read More…]

The Church is a Gospel Issue

Is the church fundamentally collection of individuals OR a single entity? Another way of asking the question is this: Does the Bible have a collectivistic or a individualistic perspective of the church? Check out the video above and let me know what you think. I did not want my accent in the video so I [Read More…]