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…]

How Story Structure Can Clarify Ideas

“Story” is an extremely useful tool for clarifying our key ideas and bringing focus to our message. This won’t make sense to some people. Whatever you think about “story,” set that aside for a moment. [Read more…]

Individualism with “Chinese Characteristics”?

“Traditional” views of Chinese culture as so Qing dynasty. That’s what Danny Hsu argues in his recent article in Missiology. In many respects, Hsu is right. My saying this might surprise some people. Last year, he directly challenged my work in a published article. And, yes, he reiterates his criticism in this recent essay. However, [Read More…]

Let Us NOT Praise Famous Men: Success in Ministry

Today’s guest post comes from ANDREW T. KAISER, PhD, author of Voices from the Past and The Rushing on of the Purposes of God, has been living in Shanxi with his family since 1997, serving the people of the province through professional work and public benefit projects. As we turn the corner and enter the [Read More…]

Learning from the Past: Language Study

Today’s guest post comes from ANDREW T. KAISER, PhD, author of Voices from the Past and The Rushing on of the Purposes of God, has been living in Shanxi with his family since 1997, serving the people of the province through professional work and public benefit projects. The past is a laboratory for testing new [Read More…]

Contextualize. Don’t Merely Theologize.

I was a math major. But it was my college soccer class that made me feel dumb. In our first scrimmage, the teacher told me to kick off the ball. Since I attended school in America, I knew what a “kick off” is. So, I naturally ran up to the ball and kicked it as [Read More…]