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Top 10 Posts of 2018


It’s the first week of the new year, which means it’s time for the annual “Top Ten” post. Of the more than 150 blog posts we published in 2018; these are the ones that were the most popular:

1.  Bibles in China: The Gray Zone Shrinks, by Joann Pittman
Bibles are now no longer for sale online in China, and that is, indeed, bad news. But we need to be clear what hasn’t happened and what has happened. There have been no new regulations concerning Bible sales. There hasbeen increased enforcement of existing regulations. In other words, the gray zone has shrunk considerably

2.  What is Chinese Christianity?, by Swells in the Middle Kingdom
As mainland Chinese Christianity goes through this process of “glocalization,” expatriates need to find ways to support and encourage the Chinese church’s search for its theological and cultural identity without dictating the direction (or result) of its explorations. Even if the end result doesn’t look Chinese to me.

3.  China and the Church: 5 Trends to Watch in 2018, by Brent Fulton
Today it faces growing scrutiny by a Party that sees both the church’s domestic impact and foreign connections as problematic. While many developments within the church itself would seem to bode well for the future, 2018 finds China’s church potentially on a collision course with the current regime, as China’s leaders tighten their grip on all sectors of society, including religion. How the church weathers the uncertain days ahead will depend on a number of factors. 

4.  The Three Cultures of a TCK, by Tanya Crossman
The three cultures are not a count—not a number of countries that influence a person. If this were so, most TCKs I know would be well past three or even four. Rather, the three cultures are three types of cultural influence. This is crucial for understanding how an international childhood shapes a person, even into adulthood.

5.  China’s New Approach to Religion: Implications for the Church, by Brent Fulton
China’s increasingly repressive political environment presents new challenges for Christians in China, many of whom came to faith during the past two decades and have, until now, enjoyed a period of relative openness and tolerance toward religious activity.

6.  Christians United for China, by Clarence Chan
Thanks to the openness of the internet and the new global village, we can voice our concerns internationally with little interruption. We are calling on Christians worldwide to pray for China and the church in China. We are praying for the unity of the Chinese church, and that this time of suffering and purging would call forth a new awakening and revival of our brothers and sisters.

7.  Want to Work in China?, by Joann Pittman
Under the slogan of “Encourage the Top End, Limit the Ordinary, Restrict the Low End,” the new system rates foreigners and assigns them to one of three categories: Class A: top talent; Class B: professional talent; Class C: unskilled workers (labor and service industries).

8.  Funny or Beautiful?, by Barbara Kindschi
Teaching is full of first impressions. Students meet the teacher they’ve “heard” about. Will they agree with what they’ve heard or return to the dorm with their own story? Do they see a smiling face before them or a silly unprepared instructor? I once taught at a university where the English majors told new students about their two foreign teachers. “One is beautiful and one is funny.” We both struggled with the pictures that had formed in their minds.

9.  7 Trends: Why You Need to Pay Attention, by Brent Fulton
Chinese believers are leading in ways that would not have been possible 20 or 30 years ago. As a result, some contributions that foreigners made in past decades are no longer as critical today. Expatriate workers may still have an important role to play, but that role is shifting.

10.  Which Chinese Bible Should I Recommend People Read?, by Jane
Choosing a Chinese Bible involves not only choosing a version, but choosing a script and other factors as well. These are identified by a range of symbols that appear with the abbreviation for the name of the Bible translation.

Happy New Year! We look forward to producing more great content for you in 2019.

Image credit: Shanghai, by Hans Johnson, via Flickr.
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

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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