Resources on Christianity

Jan 3

Chinese Church Voices—Top Ten Posts of 2016

by ChinaSource Team

Are you wondering which posts you and your fellow readers enjoyed the most in 2016? Look no further; here is the list!

May 20, 2016

A Sociological or Theological Reading of Christianity?

The Case of the Chinese Church

by Kevin Xiyi Yao

Common sense would tell us that what stands at the core of Christianity is its theology, polity, and mission. But when we come to Christianity in China, it is Chinese Christianity’s social impact and its implications for issues such as human rights and China’s international relations, rather than its pastoral and theological developments and challenges, that have received disproportionately large attention in the Western press in the recent decades.

Feb 12, 2016

Practical or Political?

Key Challenges Facing China’s Urban Church

by Brent Fulton

What are the biggest challenges the church in China faces today?

Feb 5, 2016

30 Minutes towards a Better Understanding of China’s Urban Church

A New ChinaSource Conversations Podcast

by ChinaSource Team

Many people outside of China see the church in China primarily as a persecuted church and as a church with many needs. The reality of the situation for the Chinese church—especially with the emergence of the urban house church—is much more complex.

This month’s ChinaSource Conversations podcast—in just 30 minutes—will give you a head start on better understanding the church in China today as Brent, Joann Pittman, senior vice president of ChinaSource, and Mark Swallow, host of ChinaSource Conversations, discuss the key points in his book.

Feb 3, 2016

China’s Urban Christians: A Light That Cannot Be Hidden

A ChinaSource Podcast

Brent Fulton, president of ChinaSource, Joann Pittman, senior vice president of ChinaSource, and Mark Swallow, host of ChinaSource Conversations, discuss the urban church in China and Brent’s new book, China’s Urban Christians: A Light that Cannot Be Hidden.

Feb 2, 2016

The Violin Church

by ChinaSource Team

While officials in Zhejiang province are busy demolishing church buildings they deem to have been illegally built and removing crosses from the tops of churches, in Guangdong province a congregation has built itself a new church building in the shape of a violin! 

Jan 12, 2016

Top Christian News Stories in China in 2015

by ChinaSource Team

What were the stories that generated the most buzz among Christians in China in 2015? The editors at Christian Times have identified the top Christian news stories in China for the past year. The following translation of the original article has been posted to China Christian Daily. It’s a good reminder of the discrepancy between what many in the West think must be “top of mind” for Christians in China and what actually is.

Sep 25, 2015

Chinese Christianity

More Chinese, or More Global?

by Brent Fulton

The church in China—more Chinese or more global? 

Sep 22, 2015

Christianity in China in the Context of Global Christianity

by Todd M. Johnson

Chinese Christians have a unique place in global Christianity and are entering into deeper conversations with Christians worldwide. What do they offer each other?  One of the greatest challenges to global Christianity is navigating fragmentation and diversity. Another significant challenge is interaction with people of other religions. How can Chinese Christians help in these and other challenges? What role do they play on the global scene? The author addresses these questions in his discussion of this topic.

Feb 6, 2015

What Caught the Attention of Chinese Christians Last Year?

by Joann Pittman

If a Christian from the West were asked what the biggest Christian news story out of China was in 2014, no doubt the answer would be the campaign to demolish church crosses in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. In fact, for many in the West, that might be the only Christian-related news story out of China they are aware of.

Jan 27, 2015

Top Christian News Stories in China in 2014 (# 6-10)‬

by ChinaSource Team

Last week we posted part one of a translated article “Top Ten Christian News Stories in China in 2014”, highlighting stories #1-5. This week, we are posting the translation of the second half of the original article (from The Christian Times), with items #6-10: The Almighty God cult murders, the rise of ISIS and persecution of Christians worldwide, the government’s moves towards establishing rule of law for religion, a European Chinese church revival meeting, and a popular Christian singer.

Jan 20, 2015

Top Christian News Stories in China in 2014 (#1-5)

by ChinaSource Team

On December 31, 2014, the mainland site Christian Times published a long article titled “Taking Stock at the End of the Year: Christian Times Top Ten Chinese Christian News Stories of 2014.” Topping their list, of course, was the ongoing church and cross demolition campaign in Zhejiang Province. But there were other events that caught the attention of believers in China, including a church scandal in Korea, a Mandarin-language evangelistic conference in Hong Kong, a celebration of the restoration of the church in Shenzhen, and the banning of two house churches in Foshan, Guangdong Province. We have translated the article and, since it is quite long, will publish it in two separate posts. 

Jan 4, 2015

Most-Read ChinaSource Blog Posts of 2014

by ChinaSource Team

These are the ChinaSource Blog posts that our readers enjoyed the most in 2014. Did you read them? If not, click on the link to see what you missed!

Dec 24, 2014

"Joy Up"

by Joann Pittman

Earlier this month, The Economist published an interesting look at the popularity of Christmas in China, a country that is officially atheist, and makes no room for any official celebration of the holiday.

Dec 11, 2014

Where Can Someone Get a Bible in China?

by Joann Pittman

That's a question I hear quite a bit whenever I speak on China. People want to know about the availability of Bibles in China. Unfortunately many people still believe that owning a Bible is illegal in China, something that hasn't been true for decades. But as with most things in China, the issue of Bible availability is complicated. 

Aug 28, 2014

Is Christianity Transforming China?

by Brent Fulton

A decade ago David Aikman wrote Jesus in Beijing, provocatively subtitled "How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Balance of World Power."

Aug 19, 2014

The Greatest Threat to Christianity in China

by Brent Fulton

Given the prevailing "persecution" narrative perpetuated in media reports about China, one could easily conclude a hostile, repressive regime poses the biggest threat to China's church. But is government persecution really what keeps believers awake at night? Or is the answer found within the church itself?

Aug 19, 2014

Protestantism and the Future of China

by ChinaSource Team

The article translated below is from a Chinese website called Urban Mission (jidutu123.com). In it the author ponders what role Protestantism can play in the future development of China. He begins by talking about the transitional nature of Chinas current social and political systems and where Chinas current reforms may or may not be headed. He then draws on the writings of German sociologist Max Weber to understand the current situation in China today, to the point of comparing contemporary Chinese society with the German Weimar Republic. Finally, he argues that the main contribution Protestantism can make to the development of China is constitutional government.

Aug 14, 2014

A Bottom-Up Faith in a Top-Down Country

by Brent Fulton

According to Rob Gifford, China Editor for The Economist, much has been written about the growth of the church in China, but to understand the church's impact we need to look beyond the numbers.

Jul 29, 2014

China and the Church: The Perennial Questions

by Brent Fulton

"How many Christians in China?"

"Are believers still persecuted?"

Jul 15, 2014

Humility and History: Addressing the Unspoken

by Easten Law

Anyone who has worked in China for even a short period of time has likely been warned about bringing up sensitive topics, especially political issues and certain historical events. There is great wisdom in avoiding these topics. After all, many of our initial perceptions of difficult history and current events are sure to be biased by our own media and education. It is better to observe, listen, and critically evaluate what we think we know with intentionality and in relationship. Our perceptions must be reworked in light of the real experiences of China's people.

Jul 8, 2014

It's Also about the History

by Mark Totman

To better understand the recent Sanjiang church demolition and what now appears to be a coordinated effort on the part of the government to curb visibility of Christianity in the public sphere, it is also helpful to briefly consider the relationship that Christianity has with China historically.

Jun 12, 2014

Can Christianity Impact Chinese Society? Ten Take-aways

by Joann Pittman

Yesterday I highlighted some of the key points of the first of two panel discussions hosted by the Brookings Institute last week. The specific topic of that panel was the political and social status of Christianity in China.

Jun 11, 2014

The Social and Political Status of Christianity in China: Ten "Take-aways

by Joann Pittman

Is Christianity transforming Chinese society? The Brookings Institute China Center recently hosted two panel discussions exploring that question.

May 14, 2014

Is Christianity China's largest NGO?

by Joann Pittman

It's been awhile since a new book has found it's way onto my "must read" list, but I suspect that a new one Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos is going to end up there.

Apr 30, 2014

An Overview of the Church in China

by Joann Pittman

On Saturday night, April 26, 2014, Brent Fulton and I gave a talk at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, titled "The Chinese Church and the Global Body of Christ."

Apr 28, 2014

The Sanjiang Church Demolition: All of the Above.

by Joann Pittman

As of this morning (Monday, April 28) there are wild rumors floating around regarding the situation at the Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou, but what is not in dispute is that the church is, in fact, being demolished.

Apr 22, 2014

China - The Most Christian Nation? Three Comments and a Story

by Joann Pittman

Late last week The Telegraph published a story about the rise of Christianity in China under the attention-grabbing headline "China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years."

Apr 15, 2014

Sanjiang Church: The Basics of Christianity in China

by Mike Falkenstine

As the news of the battle for Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou began to break over the last week and I read the accounts, I was reminded again why fully understanding Christianity in China from the West is so hard.

Apr 8, 2014

A Brief Q & A with Dr. Fenggang Yang at Purdue

by Joann Pittman

An interview with Dr. Fenggang Yang about a new exchange program at Purdue University.

Apr 7, 2014

Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity

by William Bennett

From the series Where Did Eastern Lightning Come From?

The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity (三位一体) is that there is one God (一神) in three persons (三个位个).

Feb 12, 2014

Glorious Things to Learn from Hudson Taylor

by Joann Pittman

At the Desiring God Conference for Pastors in Minneapolis last week, conference host John Piper spoke on the life of Hudson Taylor in a message titled, "The Ministry of Hudson Taylor as Life in Christ."

Feb 6, 2014

The Link Between 1989 and Christianity

by Joann Pittman

I recently came across a piece on PRI's "Here and Now" program about how the Tiananmen Square incident became a "watershed" for conversions to Christianity.

Jan 28, 2014

A Nestorian Grave Site

by Joann Pittman

In the historical news department, the Catholic news service UCA recently wrote about the discovery of a gravesite in Henan Province that is believed to be a burial site of the Nestorians, the earliest Christians to reach China in the Tang Dynasty.

Jan 27, 2014

Unmasking China's "Official" Church

by Brent Fulton

China's "official" churches (those operating under the auspices of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement) are fairly often associated with terms such as "restrictive," "government-sanctioned," or even "Communist-controlled." Granted, one does not have to look too far within China's religious bureaucracy and its associated policies and practices to find evidence that would justify such notions. Unfortunately, however, the perception of the official church which these labels create tends to mask much of what is actually happening on the ground in TSPM-affiliated churches.

Jan 23, 2014

What Day Is This?

by Brent Fulton

I'm already two weeks into my current episode of jet lag, so I know there is no excuse. However, I still find myself waking up in the morning and wondering, "What day is this anyway?"

Jan 21, 2014

Coming to Terms with the Church

by Brent Fulton

An article that appeared last month in China's official press raises interesting questions about how the church in China is viewed by both the Chinese state and society.

Jan 15, 2014

The Church in China: Asking the Wrong Questions?

by Brent Fulton

The church in China is often viewed through two prevailing and related paradigms. The "persecuted church" paradigm positions the church and the Chinese government in perpetual opposition to one another, while the "Christian China" paradigm sees Christianity as bringing a new moral order to China and foresees the day when the church will usher in political change.

Jan 13, 2014

Victor Plymire: A Faith Worth Imitating

by Mark Totman

This article looks at a few key events in the life of Victor Plymire, a pioneer missionary to Tibet in the early 20th century. My prayer is that this brief glimpse into his life will enlarge your view of God so that your faith would be strengthened and you might pursue God with renewed determination. Additionally, I hope that you would see the tremendous value of history and biography for the Christian life and the Church universal.

Dec 9, 2013

Pastoring in a Registered Church

by Kay Danielson

A ChinaSource interview conducted by Kay Danielson

In a recent interview, a pastor of a church, located in a rural district of a northern city in China, speaks about the congregation, its steady growth, its relationship with government officials, the challenges it faces and his responsibilities.

Dec 2, 2013

A Pastor's Reflections on the Asian Church Leaders Forum

by ChinaSource Team

A Beijing house church pastor shares his reflections on the Asian Church Leaders Forum in Seoul, South Korea.

Nov 26, 2013

150th Anniversary of Beijing's Gangwashi Church

by ChinaSource Team

Gangwashi Church, Beijing's oldest Protestant congregation, celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding

Nov 13, 2013

St. Matteo?

by Joann Pittman

The Atlantic magazine just published an article about a move within the Vatican to canonize Matteo Ricci, the first Jesuit missionary to China, titled "Can Matteo Ricci's beatification mend China's rift with the Catholic Church?"

Nov 5, 2013

Western and Chinese Church History

by ChinaSource Team

A Chinese Christina writes about  the history of the Chinese Church, examines the issues and challenges facing the church today, and looks ahead.

Oct 23, 2013

Catholic or Christian?

by Joann Pittman

When I first went to China, I was bombarded with many odd (to me anyway) questions: can you use chopsticks? How much money do you make? Why do American parents kick their children out of the house at age 18? On and on they went.

But I'll never forget the time a student asked me, "What's the difference between Catholic and Christian?"

Oct 18, 2013

Interview with Yang Fenggang on the Oxford Symposium

by ChinaSource Team

An interview with Dr. Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University regarding the Forum for Chinese Theology Symposium. 

Oct 16, 2013

From the Global Times: "Estranged Brethren"

by ChinaSource Team

A Chinese government newspaper covers the division between the Three-Self Churches and the house churches.