Can Christians eat blood?

An oft debated question among Chinese Christians is this, “Can Christians eat blood?” For some, the answer is a straightforward “no” based on Old Testament prohibitions and on Acts 15:20, 28; 21:25, which record the Jerusalem church’s letter to the believing Gentiles. The Acts verses are not so clear cut. The letter seems to blend cultural and absolute prohibitions. After [Read More…]

The Physics of the Church

What happens when we use “the elements of the world” to plant and build churches? [Read more…]

If We Say Chinese Have No Sin, We Deceive Ourselves

It began last summer. I awoke to read an email suggesting that Danny Hsu’s article is “now required reading for all who work among Chinese.” Hsu is a sound scholar of Chinese history. So, I read with curiosity. According to Hsu, I (and others) “question the compatibility between Chinese culture and the idea of sin.”[1] [Read More…]

What we learn from “worldly” physics

We know “the elements of the world” are enslaving. But what about “the elements” of the church? This question comes from reading Peter Leithart’s study in Delivered from the Elements of the World. He helps us regained much needed biblical vocabulary about “the elements.” Now we ask, how might it shape our ministry? At the [Read More…]

Is the Chinese Church a Test-Case for “The Benedict Option”?

If you’ve been on the web but haven’t heard of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, you need to loosen up your internet filters a bit. David Brooks is correct when he says the book is “already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade.” Any book that both Al Mohler and Stanley [Read More…]

Redefining “the elements of the world”

In a significant book, Leithart suggests a novel interpretation of “the elements.” It shifts how we see ourselves, society, and the world. If he’s right, it has important implications for engaging culture. [Read more…]

Check out “The Good News for Honor-Shame Cultures”

In the recent March 2017 issue of Lausanne Global Analysis, you’ll find an excellent article from my good friend, Jayson Georges. The article is short but very full. It explains… (1) the meaning of honor & shame, (2) how honor & shame is a feature of God’s mission,  (3) how honor & shame equips us [Read More…]

What Christianity in China Is Really Like (recommended reading)

The Gospel Coalition has a good introduction to Christianity in China. I love Colin Clark’s opening disclaimer: First, a disclaimer. I can’t tell you what anything in China is really like—that is, unless we’re comfortable with saying it’s like a bunch of contradictory things all at the same time. A faithful and honest description of [Read More…]

Word studies when you don’t know Hebrew or Greek

If you don’t know Greek and Hebrew, how do you do a word study? How can we teach those we serve? [Read more…]

Which box do you belong in?

Humans always identify with groups. This is natural and good. Everyone simultaneously is an “insider” and an “outsider.” The former tends to bring honor; the latter shame. But few people recognize the pervasive power of group identity on their daily life, moral judgments, assumptions, sense of worth, and ways of doing ministry. We seemingly think [Read More…]