For the first time in two thousand years of world history, Christianity has the opportunity to influence an enormous, non-western, and heterogeneous culture, having direct access to its fundamental core values and shaping its understanding of humanity. So far the gospel has spread along with the advance of the West, and it has not yet thoroughly encountered and transformed another culture as it did the Greco-Roman world. But China has the potential to become a nation greatly shaped by the redemptive grace of Christ and the next great cultural center to be influenced by the gospel.
Now is the time to work and devote our lives to the gospel capturing the Chinese mind and heart for the glory of our resurrected Lord. It is a time of opportunity and it is also a time of life and death. We are convinced that genuine change of heart, mind, and lifestyle are the true marks of God’s reign among his people and we hope the church will be a lasting, renewing force as it takes the posture of a servant within Chinese society. We pray that just as the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected transformed and reconstructed the ancient Roman world, it will also capture the hearts of the Chinese, eventually impacting the culture for Christ.
Though personal salvation is the core of Christ’s work, the gospel according to the Bible is of cosmic proportions that are bigger than the individual. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and its eternal implications for humankind and all creation is the central message of the gospel and the ultimate reality of life. It is this message that will redeem God’s people and generate genuine Christ-followers. It has the power to transform neighborhoods and cities, and to renew the culture. It will establish strong counter-cultural, yet culturally literate, life-giving, and grace-centered churches. It is this big, cosmic, eschatological gospel that the Chinese people need to hear as they go through a time of cultural reconstruction.
The first step is the personal salvation of individuals, along with the rise of God’s people corporately. Time and again, God’s salvation plan has repeatedly started with a man, a family, a tribe, a nation, and onward into the entire world. It is within this redemptive-historical metanarrative that the story of a nation can be retold and reconstructed; therefore, the gospel has a unique opportunity to enter and reconstruct Chinese culture as a whole. Change and transformation must start from God’s people and flow out from this kingdom of heaven on earth. This huge task has to start small and it may take a hundred years, but we look to Christ in hopeful expectation.