Review of “Becoming Native to Win the Natives”

A review of succinct and significant book with practice advice for missionaries who want to “be all things to all people.” Read more

Contextualize. Don’t Merely Evangelize.

As I waited for my plane, I was stumped by what I was looking at. If Chinese understood the English on the KFC sign, no one would want to eat there. It simply read, “finger lickin’ good.” (See the pict below) For anyone who knows Chinese culture, this slogan would be like Colgate advertising that it will make our teeth “toilet bowl white.” Uh, maybe that’s true but no one will want to buy something that promises to give me… Read more

Educated Chinese Christians and Wang Mingdao’s Popular Theology

Why do educated Chinese Christians both believe and leave the church? And does Wang Mingdao’s popular theology have relevance for today’s Chinese church? Read more

Relating the Biblical Covenants (in 1 picture)

What is a simple way to explain the major biblical themes and covenants? If we do not have a sound understanding of the covenants, we’ll struggle to interpret the Bible. The graph below is a helpful tool for you and those you work with. It interrelates essential themes that shape the Bible’s plot. If you study the Bible in any depth, you discover the intricate ways biblical writers interweave allusions from other passages. For example, Abraham is presented as another… 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 article opens, “Students at a school in Nanjing need no longer fear the shame of failing their exams, now that their teachers will lend them… Read more

Creativity in Ministry

Who knew Pixar had so much to teach pastors and missionaries? 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 West think in profoundly different ways.” David Robson looks at research by psychologists are uncovering the surprising influence of geography on our reasoning, behaviour, and… Read more

Advice for Chinese Returning to China

A Chinese student in the States emailed me recently with a question that I know others have as well. How should I equip myself in America now to be better prepared to be a faithful servant for Christ when I go back to China in 3-5 years? I’ve pasted my response below. You ask a good question but one is pretty big as well. I can really only give broad lines of thought since there may be ideas that are particularly… Read more

Contextualizing Christmas in China

If you are interested in contextualization in China, you might want to check out Ruth Wang’s article, “Yellow Christmas.” She points out that many Chinese people complain that Christmas is a “Western” holiday, so it shouldn’t be celebrated in China. How are churches responding? She writes, The programs designed by Chinese Christians to celebrate Christmas always include the birth of Jesus, testimonies of believers and calling of pastors. What’s more, they have added traditional Chinese culture to these programs, which… Read more

Are you wasting time church planting?

Even Paul knew his labor in planting churches could be a waste of time. If Paul felt this way, shouldn’t we take notice and figure out how to avoid wasting our efforts? To the Galatians, Paul wrote, “I went up [to Jerusalem] because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.” (Gal 2:2)… Read more