Recent Blog Entries
It had been an engaging but exhausting two days. Pastors and ministry leaders from all across China had gathered with a smaller number of expatriate China workers to reflect together on some of the key trends in the mainland Chinese church. The meeting was conducted almost entirely in Chinese, and the range of topics addressed was dizzying, but also encouraging: indigenous mission and sending agencies, social engagement, theological education, Christian schooling, global partnership—in all these areas interest is high and progress encouraging.
Obtaining China’s New Unified Foreign Work Permit (November 25, 2016, China Briefing)
On November 1, 2016, China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) launched the new unified work permit in select regions across the country. The limited release targets the regions of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Anhui, Guangdong, Hebei, Shandong, Sichuan, and Ningxia, as the government seeks to gauge the program’s success before the nationwide rollout on April 1, 2017.
China was not exactly top of mind as my wife and I sat down to read a chapter of John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping. We hardly expected to find any profound insights into the thinking of Chinese Christians in a book written by an American pastor primarily for an American church audience.
One of the more popular praise and worship songs in the Chinese church is “Qing Qing Ting,” or “Listen Quietly.” Based on Psalm 23, the song reminds us to listen quietly to the voice of our Good Shepherd.
The good folks at the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University recently published the results of a survey they conducted among Chinese university students. If you are working with Chinese students in the United States, it is a must-read.
If you haven't bought Christmas cards yet this year, consider sending hand-cut cards from Yangqu County, China.
Why Grace Is Hard for Me as an Asian American (November 17, 2016, The Gospel Coalition)
A gift given means a gift must be repaid. That’s what my Chinese culture taught me. For my family, this meant mental tallies of who gave what on which occasion, so that when the time came the Yong family would be able to return a gift of equal or greater value. Welcome to the principle of reciprocation. But what does one do when a gift cannot be repaid? More specifically, what do Christians do when they’re in a position of eternal indebtedness, incapable of reciprocating God’s gift of grace in Christ?
Celebrating Thanksgiving with a food tale from Chengdu!
Many Christians in China today are seeking to be salt and light in their communities and in society. But what does that look like? In the translated article below, originally posted on the mainland site Christian Times, the author summarizes a talk given by a pastor in Henan Province on the topic of being salt and light.
Fifteen years ago, a Chinese writer who goes by the name of Huo Shui, wrote an article for the ChinaSource Quarterly called "Keys to Effectiveness in an Ever-Changing China." While China has continued to change, the things he talked about have stood the test of time. Or, as a friend of mine used to say, “things are the same, only more so.”