June 20, 2018

“You’re not going to bed until I hear about what you’ve been doing in Palawan,” I impetuously dictated to Trevor McIlwain in 1980. Our conversation went deep into the night. What I heard was something that would change Christian communicators and their recipients around the globe. Read more

June 14, 2018

Last week, I wrote a post explaining the structure of many Chinese churches and the influence of patronage in pastoral relationships. By coincidence, ChinaSource Quarterly just published an entire issue discussing denominationalism in China. Read more

June 13, 2018

When Moses taught Genesis 1, he wasn’t thinking to himself, “Hmm. What would Darwin say?” Most people will concede, “Yes, I know the purpose of Genesis 1 is not to refute evolution or the Big Bang.” In practice, however, they routinely use the chapter for the sake of apologetics at the expense of its message. The Purpose of Creation In China, like elsewhere, believers and non-believers debate the meaning of the Bible’s opening account. I personally think most of these… Read more

June 6, 2018

How do Chinese house churches organize themselves? How does Chinese culture influence church structure? What are the implications? Read more

May 23, 2018

Many of you read about Paige Patterson’s comments a few weeks ago. Here is the latest in a long sad story from Christianity Today. School trustees announced early Wednesday morning that Patterson, one of the most powerful and influential figures in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), had become the seminary’s president emeritus overnight, appointing theology dean Jeffrey Bingham as interim president. After deliberation that went on past 3 a.m., the board voted him into paid retirement, complete with an on-campus… Read more

May 23, 2018

Many people have heard about China’s plan to “sinicize” Christianity. What does that mean? The government has published its “sinicization” plans online, both in Mandarin and English. Here are some of highlights. Read more

May 16, 2018

  Here are a few phrases I’ve grown tired of.   China is so “Western” now. X-city isn’t “real China.” I feel like I don’t live in China anymore. Why do people lament like this? What exactly do they call “Western”? Who are you calling “Western”? Time and again, they refer to various technological advances and conveniences found all around China. Everyone and their clothed dogs own a cell phone, maybe two. Buildings exceeding 20, 30, even 40 floors are… Read more

May 9, 2018

When we silence or cover scandalous actions and speech “under the blanket,” we only fool ourselves. In reality, we are not showing love. It is not loving to permit or tacitly approve when men objectify women or misuse their power. Read more

May 8, 2018

Still don’t understand ancient patronage systems? Well, now you can thank Donald Trump. His presidency helps us better see what ancient patronage looked like. Read more

May 3, 2018

A student working with Muslims wanted to develop a story that takes honor and shame seriously. As a motif, he explored the link between clothing and honor-shame. After verbally sketching several passages that use clothing in this way, I encouraged him to try it out. Here is what his group came up with. Read more

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