"Should Missionaries Learn Classical Literature as well?" (A Response to a Question)

Someone left a comment on the previous post about Hudson Taylor and the state on contextualization and cultural adaptation among missionaries today. I know multiple people have similar questions. I think some people might be interested to join the conversation. Ethan’s Question: “Wondering about your point regarding classical Chinese literature… What kind of competence level are you advocating? Should missionaries set aside time to develop this competence (much like many do to work on language competence)?” Here’s my reply: The… Read more

Contextualizing Hudson Taylor (Part Two)

This post interacts with the second part of a blog series posted by Global China Center, entitled “Respecting Chinese Culture: The Example of Hudson Taylor.” Dr. G. Wright Doyle looks at how Hudson Taylor responded to the political circumstances that confronted him and his fellow CIM missionaries. In short, England had won victory in the Opium Wars, forcing the Chinese to open up trade harbors and grant foreigners rights that fostered greater resentment among locals. While there is not exactly… Read more

Contextualizing Hudson Taylor (Part One)

The Global China Center ran a two-part series entitled “Respecting Chinese Culture: The Example of Hudson Taylor.” Since Hudson Taylor is an iconic missionary figure not only in China but throughout the Protestant world, I thought it worth a look at their comments. In the essays, D. G. Wright Doyle defends Taylor against the charge of some modern “liberal” scholars like Timothy Richard who claim Taylor was not as respectful of Chinese culture as some make him out to be…. Read more

FREE BOOK NOTICE: Theology drives Methodology

I just got word that Karl Dahlfred’s book Theology Drives Methodology, which I reviewed recently, is FREE ON KINDLE until midnight on Dec 25th. To see my thoughts on it, CLICK HERE. I’ll be posting an interview with him in a few weeks. If you read it before then, you may appreciate his answers a little more or be able to pose to him some constructive reply questions. Until then, Merry Christmas! Read more

Democracy is Not the Goal of the Gospel in China

Here are some good reminders that what missions is not about. The gospel concerns politics inasmuch as it concerns social power, but that is not the same as equating the gospel and democracy. After all, there will be no democracy in the kingdom of God. Chinese Democracy is Not the Goal Do you really want a democratic China? Read more

Theology Drives Methodology: Is Evangelicalism a Modern Synthesis of Finney and Nevin?

In a previous post, I summarized Karl Dahlfred’s Theology Drives Methodology: Conversion in the Theology of Charles Finney and John Nevin, highlighting a number of its key insights and questions. The book contrasted the theology and methods of two men, Charles Finney and John Nevin, who represent two ends of a spectrum. Finney characterizes the Arminian, revivalistic tradition. Nevin represents a Calvinistic, church-based approach to evangelism. In this post, I consider the potential ways that each view may get synthesized… Read more

Are Secondary Doctrines Unimportant?

I recently saw a Tweet by someone asking whether secondary doctrines were nonessential or non-important. It got me to thinking. Certainly these “secondary” issues distract us from our mission. However, it dawned on me that there may be an inherent problem with the way we pose this very commonly asked question. First of all, let’s be clear. So-called “secondary” doctrines are important precisely because God himself has revealed them in his word. We must not functionally slice up Scripture like… Read more

A Summary Review of Karl Dahlfred's "Theology Drives Methodology"

I recently had the privilege of reading Karl Dahlfred’s Theology Drives Methodology: Conversion in the Theology of Charles Finney and John Nevin. It is a published version of his Th.M thesis (Talbot School of Theology). It is well written and organized so that readers can clearly understand the the relevant history and theology being discussed. Dahlfred is an OMF missionary living in Bangkok. In a few weeks, he’ll answer some of my questions about the book and how we might… Read more

If Joseph Were Chinese, Would He Have Adopted Jesus?

There is No Christmas Without Adoption For years, I heard that of the two NT genealogies of Jesus (in Matthew 1 and Luke 3), one traced his lineage via Joseph and the other through Mary. After all, if Mary is not a blood relative of David, how could the prophecy be true whereby Jesus becomes David’s offspring who would rule the nations (cf. 2 Sam 7; 1 Chron 17)? Adoption, . . . that’s how. Here are the relevant verses… Read more

Understanding the Implications of Honor, Shame, or Face

I want to briefly follow up on the “(Mis)Understanding Honor, Shame, or Face” series (Part One, Two, Three), giving at least some nod in the direction of application. The implications are so vast, one could not suppose to tease them all out over a lifetime of writing. In broad strokes, what are some spheres of daily and church life that are affected by honor and shame? Everything. All people have a sense of identity and a system of values that… Read more

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