Swells in the Middle Kingdom
A Book Review of Sparks
At its most basic level, Sparks presents readers with a host of remarkable women and men who persist in talking about what really happened. In an environment focused on silencing certain aspects of the past, these are the stories of the Chinese citizens who say the quiet part out loud.
Learning from the 18th-Century Church Under Authoritarian Rule
Given China’s place in the world order today, it is very unlikely that they will completely ban all foreigners.... We can be confident that no matter how few the foreigners or how persecuted the flock, our God who makes the rocks cry out in testimony will ensure that his witness is never silenced, and his kingdom continues to advance.
Studying the 18th-Century Church under Authoritarian Rule
The study then takes a closer look at the brief emergence of a comparatively Chinese underground church…before concluding with a fascinating reflection on martyrdom, comparing the Chinese notion of suffering perseverance motivated by filial loyalty to the saints who have gone before with the European concept of sacrificing one’s life for the gospel.
For at least the foreseeable future, China will be an increasingly difficult place for expatriates to live and work. However, for those who find a way to meet the requirements to remain in the country, there is a general openness to new ideas that provides fertile ground for the gospel.
Recent Developments, Future Prospects
Many of China’s expatriate ministry professionals, increasingly finding difficulties in ministering, are turning to serving the church in China remotely. The author explores the issues influencing whether expatriate Christians can continue to live and minister within China.
Church leaders first need to learn to see missions as organic to their fellowship’s identity in this world…. Cross-cultural workers need to recognize and embrace their role as messengers to their home churches…committing more time and energy to communicating well with their supporters back home.
The End of an Era?
As expatriates move from founders and leaders to colleagues, and now consultants, foreign contributions are increasingly in the nature of support and encouragement from behind the scenes, providing practical help in a few key areas as requested.
The End of an Era?
The experiences of the few remaining expatriate cross-cultural workers in China suggest that while we are not at the end of Christian development work in China, we are confronted with a substantially different ministry context.