From the desk of the guest editor.
The author delves into the history of how Pentecostalism came to China in the late nineteenth century. He introduces us to early missionaries—including women—Chinese leaders, and revivals.
Church Growth in the “New China” Era
Balcombe brings us into the present by telling us about the Pentecostal church at the end of the Cultural Revolution and on through the years to its present situation.
Prior to 1949, while some of the independent, indigenous Chinese churches were not Pentecostal, the larger church networks had Pentecostal roots. Pentecostal beliefs and practices continue to define a large segment of Chinese churches today.
The religious passion of Christian peasants encouraged them to rethink traditional understandings of Christian life and ministry. Before 2000, house churches focused their mission primarily on domestic China, but after 2000, this focus shifted from China to other countries resulting in two international mission movements.
Liu tells us about Mission China 2030, revival, spiritual gifts, Chinese houses of prayer, and persecution among China’s urban house churches during recent years.
Changing Times, New Approaches
New religious regulations implemented in 2018 have caused churches to be shut down and foreign workers to leave. The author addresses developments in church networks and the emergence of churches with a Pentecostal identity.
Sister Yan recounts how she became a believer in Christ, sought and experienced speaking in tongues, was enabled by the Holy Spirit to minister for Christ, and faced persecution.
Menzies discusses his belief that the Pentecostal churches in China have an important contribution to make to the larger, global body of Christ, and that the Pentecostal movement, in China and globally, need the larger body of Christ.
Drawing on his background as a distinguished New Testament scholar and his years of service in China, Menzies addresses important issues that impact the translation of New Testament terms, particularly those related to the work of the Spirit or other Pentecostal themes.