Resources by Brent Fulton

Brent Fulton is the president of ChinaSource and the editor of the ChinaSource Quarterly.

Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of China Ministries International, and from 1985 to 1986 as the English publications editor for the Chinese Church Research Center in Hong Kong.

Dr. Fulton holds MA and PhD degrees in political science from the University of Southern California and a BA in radio-TV-film from Messiah College.

An avid China watcher, Dr. Fulton has written and taught extensively on the church in China and on Chinese social and political phenomena. He is the author of China's Urban Christians: A Light That Cannot Be Hidden and co-authored China's Next Generation: New China, New Church, New World with Luis Bush.

Dr. Fulton and his wife, Jasmine, divide their time between southern California and Asia.

Dec 30, 2016

2016: Not “Business as Usual”

by Brent Fulton

In his recent post, “The Challenges of Localization,” Swells in the Middle Kingdom says developments this year in China are pushing organizations like his own to hasten the process of turning their work over to local believers.

Sep 23, 2015

3 Questions: Carol Lee Hamrin

Regarding China’s National Security Commission

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Question" interview with Dr. Carol Lee Hamrin about China’s National Security Commission.

Nov 9, 2016

3 Questions: David Joannes

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource 3 Questions interview with David Joannes, president and founder of Within Reach Global and author of The Space between Memories

Feb 1, 2016

3 Questions: G. Wright Doyle

Church Growth in the Chinese Church

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Questions" interview with Dr. G. Wright Doyle, director of Global China Center, editor of Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, and co-editor of Studies in Chinese Christianity, published by Wipf and Stock.

Jul 5

3 Questions: High-Impact Networks

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Questions" interview with Kärin Butler Primuth, CEO of visionSynergy, discussing the characteristics of high-impact networks. 

May 17

3 Questions: Honor, Shame, and the Gospel

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource 3 Questions interview with Werner Mischke, author of The Global Gospel: Achieving Missional Impact in Our Multicultural World and coordinator for “Honor, Shame and the Gospel: Reframing Our Message for 21st Century Ministry,” to be held June 19-21 in Wheaton, Illinois.

Mar 28, 2016

3 Questions: Kerry Schottelkorb

A Home for the Forgotten in Qinghai

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource 3 Questions interview with Kerry Schottelkorb, Director of Advancement for Christian Action Asia (CAA).

Dec 2, 2015

3 Questions: Mentoring Chinese Leaders

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Questions" interview based on the "Walking with Leaders" podcast series. 

Aug 16

3 Questions: Remembering the Poor

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

Brother Tom is a grassroots church planter in an Asian city. For the past twenty years he has worked with a global organization on creating access and sustainability for church planting.

Oct 26, 2016

3 Questions: "Salt and Light"

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource 3 Questions interview with Stacey Bieler, co-editor of the Salt and Light: Lives of Faith that Shaped Modern China.

Jan 6, 2016

3 Questions: Spiritual Formation in China

by Brent Fulton

In the final segment of the “Walking with Leaders” series on ChinaSource Conversations, our monthly podcast, we looked at the spiritual formation of leaders. One of our guests was John, an expat and trained coach whose14 years of service in Asia have included facilitating retreats and leading people through creative spiritual exercises.

Here John shares his thoughts on spiritual formation among Christian leaders in China.

Mar 16, 2016

3 Questions: Transparency and Generosity

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Questions" interview with Dr. Gary Hoag, ECFA International Liaison, and Dr. Sas Conradie of Global Generosity Network on the relationship between transparency and generosity. 

Nov 2, 2016

4 Drivers of Change for Foreign Workers in China

by Brent Fulton

A look at the underlying "drivers" that are affecting ministry opportunities and personnel in China.

Apr 27, 2016

4 Takeaways from Xi’s Speech on Religion

by Brent Fulton

At a long-awaited national conference on religion, held in Beijing April 22-23, CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping outlined his vision for “helping religions adapt to the socialist society” under the direction of the Party. Here are a few prominent themes from Xi’s speech.

Jun 15, 2016

7 Trends for Foreign Christians in China

by Brent Fulton

The traditional roles of foreign Christians in China are changing. 

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.

May 18, 2016

Above or Below the Line

Facing China’s New Foreign NGO Law

by Brent Fulton

A look at possible responses to the new NGO law. 

Jun 7

A Chinese Christian Observes Ramadan

by Brent Fulton

Last year, in order to better understand those whom he has been called to serve, Pastor Mark, a Chinese Christian, joined in the Muslim celebration of Ramadan. He learned some unexpected lessons. 

Jul 12

A Chinese Christian says “No” to say “Yes!”

by Brent Fulton

A recent Chinese Church Voices post featured one Chinese believer’s reflections on several related decisions she had made in her struggle to live out an authentic faith. Each decision involved saying “no” to the prevailing social norms, putting the author, Wei Chen, at odds with the expectations of co-workers, family, and even her fellow Christians. While Wei posed her decisions in the negative, they together represent a positive affirmation of the counter-cultural values to which many Christians in China aspire.

Dec 12, 2004

A Church on the Move

by Brent Fulton

Editor's Note: This editorial originally appeared in "Urban Migration" (CS Quarterly, 2004 Winter).

Mar 9, 2016

A Forgotten People

by Brent Fulton

The latest issue of China Source Quarterly shines a spotlight on a people often overlooked in China—those with disablities.

May 19, 2014

A Generation of One

by Brent Fulton

Why China's most privileged youth generation ever is still looking for more.

Dec 7, 2005

A Larger Purpose

by Brent Fulton

Editor's Note: This editorial originally appeared in "Ministry to the Whole Person" (CS Quarterly, 2005 Winter).

Jun 22, 2016

A Message from the Church in China

by Brent Fulton

Does the Christian church require a sympathetic national government to thrive?

May 22, 2015

A New Day for Foreign NGOs?

by Brent Fulton

For decades foreign NGOs trying to work in China have struggled with a lack of legal framework. Rumors have abounded about legislation that was “just around the corner,” but which never seemed to see the light of day.

Oct 26, 2014

Another Perspective on the Wenzhou Crackdown

by Brent Fulton

With literally hundreds of crosses falling prey to overzealous local officials in Wenzhou and neighboring cities, the region once seen as a bastion of extraordinary religious freedom is now the subject of worldwide attention due to an equally extraordinary crackdown on its churches.

Jun 14

An Unforgiving Mirror

by Brent Fulton

Reading Kathleen Lodwick’s How Christianity Came to China (Fortress Press 2016) was disturbing for two reasons. 

Jun 14, 1999

Apologists or Antagonists?

Chinese Intellectuals and the Gospel

by Brent Fulton

The editor's perspective. . .

Apr 14, 2014

Are Confucian Values Biblical?

by Brent Fulton

In a recent interview in the ChinaSource Quarterly, Purdue professor Yang Fenggang is quoted as saying that "the Chinese Christian church has become an institutional base for passing on transformed Confucian values to younger generations." Dr. Yang, a sociologist and Director of the Center on Religion and Society at Purdue University, does not necessarily see Confucianism and Christianity as being in competition with one another. Rather, he encourages Christians to seek common ground where possible.

Mar 20

As China Grows Older

by Brent Fulton

China’s elderly population is burgeoning and the question becomes, “Who will care for them?” Families are finding this difficult, and neither the government nor society are currently prepared to provide the resources needed to address this. However, China’s Christian community has several advantages that would allow them to meet this need. Urban Christians could care for the elderly in their midst and also offer a service to the larger community which would enhance the church’s standing in society.

Oct 29, 2011

A Shared Challenge

by Brent Fulton

Editor's note: This editorial originally appeared in "Building Together to Bless the Nations" (CS Quarterly, 2011 Autumn)

Aug 3, 2013

Asking the Right Questions

by Brent Fulton

The "China Dream" which the country's newly installed leaders are promoting is largely a vision of economic growth and prosperity, couched in terms of national pride and increasing strength vis-a-vis the international community. This vision of a strong and prosperous country is not new; late-Qing reformers and May 4th activists alike sounded a similar call, and progress a century later is still measured against the backdrop of this longstanding national struggle.

May 10

Asking the Right Questions

by Brent Fulton

How do we respond to the trends impacting foreign Christians in China? What questions do we need to ask?

Oct 14, 2015

Assessing Political Reform in China

by Brent Fulton

More than 35 years after Deng Xiaoping’s ascendancy to power, a sober assessment of the political implications of Deng’s reforms is much needed. China’s Political Development: Chinese and American Perspectives proposes to fill this gap by bringing together the insights of two dozen eminent scholars, twelve each from China and the United States, to address key aspects of governance reform since 1978.

Dec 22, 2014

A Window into Catholicism in Today’s China

An Introduction

by Brent Fulton

An introduction to the 2014 winter issue by the editor of the ChinaSource Quarterly.

Dec 9, 2015

Being a Good and Faithful Steward in China

by Brent Fulton

The latest issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly looks at stewardship in the lives of Christians in China. Compiled as part of ChinaSource’s Faith and Generosity in China Initiative, this issue explores the biblical basis for what it means to be a steward in God’s kingdom, as well as the practical outworking of this steward lifestyle in the particular cultural context of China.

Sep 28, 2014

Between Two Eras

by Brent Fulton

The past three decades have seen tens of thousands of Christians from outside China engaged in myriad activities aimed at serving the Chinese church and society. Today their role is changing. New skills – one in particular – are needed to work out what this role and what their relationship to China's church should look like in days to come.

Oct 12, 2016

Beyond Politics

by Brent Fulton

Seeking social change outside the realm of politics—Christians in China are providing examples of how that might be done. 

Feb 2, 2015

Beyond the Crosses

Wealth, Stewardship and the Wenzhou Church

by Brent Fulton

The forced removal of crosses from literally hundreds of churches in the Wenzhou area during the past year has called attention not only to the local government’s heavy-handed approach toward the church, but also to the phenomenon of the church buildings themselves.

Mar 2, 2016

Beyond Theological Education

by Brent Fulton

Advances in theological education over the past 35 years have gone a long way toward satisfying the church’s still urgent need for trained leaders. It is increasingly common, especially in China’s cities, to find pastors who have received formal graduate-level theological training, including many who have studied overseas. But is that enough?

Feb 26, 2013

Beyond "Two Camps": The Complex Relationship between Official and Unregistered Church in China

by Brent Fulton

Attempts by China watchers to unravel the complexity of China's Christian community often result in a bifurcated view depicting a pitched battle between the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the house church. Liberal theology, political control, and collusion in persecuting believers characterize the TSPM, while the "real Christians" are to be found only in the house church, a bastion of evangelical faith set amidst an atheistic state that is out to destroy it.

May 6, 2014

Can the Chinese Church Say No?

by Brent Fulton

The people of China have a history of being ambivalent toward knowledge and technology imported from the West. The ti-yong debates of the late-19th and early- 20th centuries highlighted their desire to enjoy the practical benefits (yong) of Western learning while maintaining the essence (ti) of Chinese culture. The rush toward Westernization that seemed to characterize the 1980s was subsequently replaced by the "China Can Say No" spirit of the 1990s. With China's rise in this century there is a new confidence in China's ability to chart its own unique course.

Mar 27, 2010

Changing Culture

by Brent Fulton

Editor's Note: This editorial originally appeared in "Chinese Culture: Continuity or Discontinuity?" (ChinaSource, 2010 Spring).