On September 10, we will be hosting our fourth webinar, “How Relevant Is the Gospel for the Chinese?” The presenter will be I’Ching Thomas, the International Director for Leadership Development at Operation Mobilization and author of the book, Jesus the Path to Human Flourishing: the Gospel for the Cultural Chinese. A review of her book can be found here.
In the webinar, I’Ching will talk about how we can articulate the gospel in terms that are attractive and significant to our Cultural Chinese friends. She will also talk about how Cultural Chinese can be followers of Christ without having to shed their ethnic identity.
The webinar will be held on September 10 at 7PM, US Central Daylight time. The event is free, but we do need you to register. You can do that here.
To whet your appetite for what I know will be a fantastic webinar, here are ten quotes from her book:
How is accepting the lordship of a foreign man who was shamefully executed as a criminal in a time past good news to the Cultural Chinese who take pride in being one of the most self-sufficient people that ever lived? (p. 5)
While it is undeniable that at some point in Chinese history Westerners who called themselves Christians were involved in oppressing and exploiting the Chinese, we need to differentiate Western imperialism and colonialism from Christianity. (p. 7)
The story of redemption is God’s complete and multifaceted movement through history among all people and nations. This cannot be reduced to the mere background of “God’s wonderful plan for you” without compromising the reach and heart of God’s redemptive mission. (p. 16)
Any mercy or relief work that is done in the name of Jesus must involve careful study of religious, intellectual, social, political and cultural ideas that war against the human being. Aid in relief and development, education and healthcare, and business and social involvement alone are inadequate to achieve radical and sustained transformation. (p. 21)
Before we set out to make disciples, we are to do some housekeeping. We are to become conscious of our worldview. Our personal background and historical setting have no doubt influenced our reading of Scripture and our view of the world. (p. 23)
I realized that merely sharing my personal story as the reason for my belief in Jesus was insufficient. Though the positive transformation that I experienced after becoming a Christian was real, my Buddhist neighbor could easily relate her parallel experience of how spiritual discipline according to Buddha’s Eight-fold Path had brought her inner peace and strength. (p. 25)
The individualism we see in present-day Christianity is not part of the biblical heritage but rather a cultural shift from the emphasis on community to individual. (p. 108)
Culture is the means and never the ultimate goal because when we make any cultural ideal, preference, or aspiration so central, we place it in competition with God who is the only ultimate. (p. 109)
Within the Chinese honor-shame culture, what Jesus did on the cross becomes very powerful for the Cultural Chinese when it is seen as “Christ’s shame-bearing death.” And as we demonstrate how the resurrection is “honor-giving,” the gospel narrative immediately becomes recognizable and indeed very desirable. (p. 117)
If we are to be faithful to the task that Christ assigned us in making disciples of all nations (Matt. 28: 19, 20), then we must also be diligent in learning about the cultural roadblocks that are standing in the way of the nations embracing the Christian faith as their own, and seek to articulate the gospel in terms that are attractive and significant to the peoples of the nations. (p. 118)
We are thrilled to have I’Ching delivering this webinar for us and hope you can join us.
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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