The essays in this ebook, written by a Chinese scholar, were originally published in the ChinaSource Quarterly. Writing from a sociological perspective, Hou Shui offers a unique perspective on the church in China and its role in society, as well as its relationship to the Party-State.
Written over a period of time from 1999 to 2011, they provide a fascinating look at the issues and challenges that society in general, and Christians in particular, faced. What were the key issues and challenges? How did the church respond? How did society’s perception of the church change over time? How did the church’s relationship with the government change? What role did foreigners play in serving the church as she managed the shifting environment? What cultural values must foreigners understand in order to serve effectively? These are some of the issues Huo Shui tackled in the collection of essays included in this book.
For those who have been engaged in service to the church over the years, reading these essays will bring back memories and fill in gaps of understanding on some of the events that they remember and experienced. For those new to China ministry, these essays are a reminder that there is a social, political, and historical trajectory that has brought the church in China to the place it is today. And for anyone interested in ministry in China or to the Chinese diaspora, these essays provide a fascinating look at how a Chinese Christian was thinking about the role of the church in a changing China.