Peoples of China
Proposed Questions for Exploration
When interacting with church leaders in China, questions about the church inevitably emerge. At some point, issues concerning church structure will be brought up. How they respond will deeply affect the long term growth of the church. It is both exciting and agonizing to observe.
Peoples of China
The shaping of Christian leaders in modern China.
Learning from Modern Chinese Intellectuals
China has always been an anomaly. She is open to the gospel, she is resistant to the gospel. She is hungry for things modern and Western, she is stubbornly proud of things traditional and Chinese. How do we make sense of all this? More importantly, how do we gauge the mindset of China's intellectuals and leaders? How do they view Christianity as a religion, as a Western cultural construct, as a world and life view?
Of the many adjectives that could be used to describe the church in China, “diverse” is one of the most appropriate. The Body of Christ in China is indeed multi-faceted, a microcosm of the diverse population of China itself. Here we present four views of the church in China, each reflecting a different aspect of God’s working among the peoples of China.
Lessons from History
Cross-cultural workers in China service are increasingly aware of the strategic importance of reaching China’s urban intellectuals. Some of these intellectuals, often (mis)named “Cultural Christians,” have taken up Christian thought as a subject for serious academic study. At the same time, these are exciting, confusing days. China is stepping onto the international scene as a member of the WTO. She is searching for new ideas and values. What can the history of China, and the history of Christian missions in China, teach us as we seek to understand China’s intellectuals?
Today, the church needs to commission and groom a new generation of middle-management “China experts” with China experience. These individuals must learn the language, they should have a firm foundation placed by seminary training which believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, they must have much experience among the Chinese, and perhaps a doctoral degree in Chinese history or intercultural studies. And they must hold to a strong, unqualified confidence in the Bible, the inerrant Word of God, and a high view of God, Scripture and the cross. More than anything else, what China needs is a clear message of the sound, complete gospel.
Looking at one of China's "Cultural Christians," Liu Xiaofeng.
The role that Chinese intellectuals play in the spread of the gospel in China.