Grace to the City: Studies in the Gospel from China, edited by S.E. Wang and Hannah Nation. Independently published by China Partnership, 2019. Available from Amazon.
In May of 2017, the Grace to the City network hosted a conference in Hong Kong to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. More than 3000 people attended, most of them from the mainland. Several members of the ChinaSource team were in attendance, and had the opportunity to interview a few of the participants. We posted those interviews here and here. In addition, Jackson Wu shared his thoughts on the event here.
While there were three prominent speakers from the United States who addressed the conference, most of the speakers were pastors from China, whose churches are affiliated with the Grace to the City network.
The book, Grace to the City: Studies in the Gospel From China, edited by S. E. Wang and Hannah Nation is a translated collection of five of the plenary talks given at the conference by five different Chinese pastors, including Pastor Wang Yi, who was recently sentenced to prison for “inciting to subvert state power.”
Writing in the introduction, Nation states that the aim of this book is to “step away from delivering thoughts about the Chinese house church and instead offer the English-speaking world a chance to sit directly at the feet of our Chinese brothers and sisters.”
The speakers are from a variety of urban locations around China, including Beijing, Chengdu, and Xiaman. Each sermon focuses on a particular aspect of the gospel: grace, God’s glory, faith, knowing Christ, and the love of Christ. Those familiar with reformed doctrines as currently taught by Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, John Piper, and others, will find the theology that comes through in these sermons to be recognizable. What is fresh is seeing how these gospel truths are applied in the unique cultural and political context that is modern China, offering interesting insights into some of the issues and challenges that Christians in China face today.
As foreigners who seek to “serve” churches in China, our posture is often one of being the speaker/teacher. We would do well to listen more.
This book gives us the opportunity to take on the role of listener, something we should probably spend more time doing.
Image credit: Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay
Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource 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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