Over on Karl Dahfred’s blog, he has posted my review of Garrison’s book Church Planting Movements. Join in the conversion. By the way, Karl has written a book himself, entitled Theology Drives Methodology. I’ve read it and will be posting my review of it next month. Read more

QUESTION FROM A FRIEND: Does the Chinese church have denominations? No, at least in the sense most people in the West would think of denominations. Strictly speaking, you won’t find a network of PCA, Vineyard, Methodist, or Baptist churches. Theologically speaking, local churches will tend towards being more or less baptistic, reformed, charasmatic, etc. Churches are generally divided up into networks (which of course functionally act like denominations). These networks may be linked geographically (a city, province, region), stem from… Read more

This is from Chinese “Christianeze” | Chinese Church Voices.How Some Christians Today Greet One Another“Beloved Brother, Peace in the Lord.”“Thank the Lord for his Grace.” Read more

I’m convinced that 80% or more of our disagreements would be settled if we could first agree on the definitions of our words. If we could agree on the terms we’re using, countless implications would flow from that common starting point. In this post, we’re going to try to somehow define “honor.” We’ll consider “shame” in the next post. I use the word “define” loosely. I really prefer “to generally describe” honor. Westerners love definitions because we can then start… Read more

When people think about the cost of being a missionary, they typically think about being martyred, thrown in prison, or something like that. On the other extreme, many never become missionaries because they can’t imagine “suffering” without iPhones and college sports on the TV. In reality, missionaries leave the field because of what I call “death by a thousand cuts.” The daily stresses of living cross culturally are like numerous small cuts upon the mind an emotions. Some things include… Read more

I could use your suggestions on a matter. We recently met with a couple soon to be married. First, there are a few things one needs to understand about how Chinese view the “getting married” process. Chinese faced extreme pressure to get married by the age of 30. There’s even a word for unmarried women 30 or older––剩女, which means a “left over woman.” Men face similar pestering though it’s a bit less intense. For Chinese believers, the pressure is… Read more

How might social psychology contribute to our theological and missiological thinking? Nisbett’s book The Geography of Thought : How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why (Free Press, 2003) is one of the more exciting books I’ve read in terms of both explaining differences between East-West thinking and also backing it up with empirical research. I won’t do a full review here. One qualifier for those who decide to read it––he starts off with some (pretty reasonable) historical conjecture, then defends… Read more

I quickly found out when writing my dissertation that Westerners have very little grasp for concepts like honor, shame, and face. Today, I begin to address this problem. Future posts will hopefully shed a little better light in the matter. Westerner really don’t “get” honor and shame. This is really unfortunate for multiple reasons. 1. These are human ideas, not merely eastern or medieval notions. 2. The Bible is saturated with honor-shame language. To understand so much of Scripture, one… Read more

Read a new book recently and posted my thoughts on it under book reviews. I’ve included below some of what I say in my review: “The Chinese Way––Contextualizing the Gospel for the Chinese is based on a Master of Theology dissertation written by Tan Hann Tzuu, a researcher and the Director of the Malaysia Baptist Centre for Christianity and Malaysia Studies. At present, The Chinese Way is only available as an eBook from Amazon. This short, easy to read book… Read more

“Context is King” is should be the first thing Christians learn as soon as they start reading the Bible. My family and friends can recite this adage in their sleep because they hear me say it all the time. Unfortunately, I have found I shouldn’t expect even seminarians to grasp the significance of this majestic phrase. “Surely you exaggerate,” you might say, “what is all that significant about a simple little three word phrase?” Let me first explain what the… Read more

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