This is week 2 of a 4 week series introducing my book Saving God’s Face, where I’m giving my book away along with other books related to the week’s topic. This week’s theme is China. Since I know some people may not have an interest in China exactly, I’m offering the choice of two packages of free books. Someone will  get my book and one of the following two book packages: #1) China Saving Face in China: A First-Hand Guide… Read more

How do we define contextualization? Judging from the books and articles I’ve read on the subject, it might be easier to explain the Trinity than contextualization. One person’s “contextualization” is another person’s “compromise.” How can we do contextualization if we can’t explain what it is? In this post, I want to suggest a way of organizing the most common evangelical views on contextualization. By clarifying our categories, I think the following taxonomy can help us to stop talking past each… Read more

What is “contextualization”? It is one of the most popular buzz words in evangelicalism today. When a word is heard enough times, it’s easy to assume that one understands its meaning. However, what happens when we assume this? For some, prejudices are reinforced without good reason. For others, the concept is oversimplified and effort is not given to solving the hard problems of contextualization. In Saving God’s Face, I suggest that evangelicals have largely assumed a particular view of “contextualization”… Read more

How do fallible people contextualize God’s infallible word? To put it more sharply, does it matter that the Bible is infallible if fallen sinners are interpreting and applying it? Yes. It does. (This is week 1 of the book giveway. I’m giving away free Kindle books every week. Click here to enter the giveway. For the next 4 weeks, I’m writing about the topics covered in the four major sections of my book, Saving God’s Face: A Chinese Contextualization of… Read more

This is week 1 of the book giveaway. Each of the next four weeks, I’ll discuss a different theme that follows the major sections of my new book Saving God’s Face: A Chinese Contextualization of Salvation through Honor and Shame. This week, someone will get 3 kindle books. Contextualization in the New Testament Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes A Theological Analysis of Insider Movements Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to a Christian Worldview Transforming Worldviews At the end of… Read more

Is “Saving God’s Face” a book that only “scholars” will understand? No. That doesn’t mean everyone will understand every argument being made. What it does mean is that there is a substantial amount of material that I think anyone could benefit from. Although the book was originally defended as a dissertation, there are definite reasons it is not merely for “scholars.” I’ll mention two. (By the way, next week, I begin a four-week series that includes my giving away a… Read more

In order to reach the nations, we will have to cross cultures academically. What God has joined together . . . At some point in the past, missiology and theology, as split as academic disciplines. If you examine the literature, it would seem there is a great chasm that few can ever cross. At times, theologians will write on missiology (e.g. Andreas Köstenberger, Peter O’Brien, Christopher Wright). Rarely does it work the other way. This is not surprising. Seminaries tend… Read more

I once had a good friend jokingly say, “I can’t tell if you are a liberal or a fundamentalist.” I think that is one of the nicest things someone could say to an evangelical. The Protestant Reformation happened in part due to Catholics’ overemphasis on tradition, which had come to trump Scripture as the church’s functional authority. However, we are not for that reason immune to the same tendency. This is one way some denominations sustain their existence. Everyone within… Read more

In some ways, one might say the one true God is no different from false gods. In a recent article, translated on Chinese Church Voices, a Xinjiang pastor writes on the topic of discerning true and false gods. He specifically seeks to help churches wrestling with cults like Eastern Lightening. Accordingly, the pastor suggests one focus on the essential attributes of God. He mentions the following: 1. God is spirit. He not only has life but also person-hood. 2. God… Read more

What is the personal history behind my book, Saving God’s Face? Why did I write this book? Years ago, I had a startling realization. Theologians and pastors have long taught on the glory of God and its central importance in the Bible. However, because I was living in East Asia, it also dawned on me that this sort of talk about God’s glory, praising him, and magnifying his name was simply another way of talking about honor and shame. When… Read more

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