Posts in Church
Friday Reflection – Common Grace and Learning from the City

In the past, my perspective was that the church should be separate from the culture, because it is separated as holy; I neglected common grace and I refused to learn anything from non-believers. But I have come to realize the radiating sparks that God gives to both believers and unbelievers alike in the city.

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A Prayer Over Hong Kong

Ultimately, the church in Hong Kong can show the very real hope they have in Christ by living as people who are truly free. It is right and just for churches to speak out against unjust laws and defend freedom, but they will never have to do it from a place of desperation. They can perhaps learn from their brothers and sisters in the mainland, and from Pastor Wang Yi, who is now in prison for his faithfulness to the gospel. Even though individual rights can be violated and religious freedom can be limited, the church of Christ cannot be bound.

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We Are Determined To Press On, Part 2

We deeply believe God has been using and preparing us for this moment. When I travel in China, I hear, different leaders saying again and again, “Gospel renewal and all the things we have learned in the past several years have prepared us to deal with this pressure and to stay true to the gospel of our calling.” This is not just a moment we need to survive. God is defining the churches in this moment in order to prepare for the next five, ten, and twenty years to come. 

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Determined To Press On, Part 1

Chinese churches think suffering is about identity, mission, and hope in union with Christ. If we are united with Christ, then suffering is natural; we will experience what Christ experienced in this world. They believe suffering is not about seeking after suffering, but rather about following of Christ. Whenever one follows Christ, there will be different forms of suffering. What they are now experiencing is normal. Suffering is the agony of the process of recreation. God is recreating us. He is recreating pain and birth, and that process means suffering.

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Interview with a Qingdao Pastor: “Gospel Growth is an Inevitable Trend.”

“When we are renewed by the gospel, then the whole church — from our ministry culture to our ministry direction — will become united, and things will be easier. I cannot do it all by myself. I believe this is no longer a generation in which it is possible for one person to lead or influence the church of an entire region. We need to move forward as a community.”

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We Know What We Fight For, Part 1: I Have to Be Accountable Before My Lord

“In past years, every time you have come we have respected you, talked with you, and answered any questions. But if you ask us to register in the Three Self movement, we are done with this kind of talk. Since the first day I was ordained as a house church minister, I have been ready to pay the price for my faith. If some day you come to take me, you are welcome to do that. I don’t hate you —really — but I have to be accountable before my Lord.”

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Interview with a Chongqing pastor: “We all need God’s grace”

The people of Chongqing do not think life there is all that pleasant or easy. To many missionaries Chongqing is hard ground. The people [care] very much about what they eat and what they wear, and the lust of the eyes—this is Chongqing culture. It is very worldly, and it places great value on the pleasures of this life. It has also been said that Chongqing is one of the cities in China with a higher percentage of homosexuality.

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Which Direction Should We Go? - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

Justification and sanctification are vital and inseparable in Protestant soteriology. Though there is great discontinuity between many aspects of Protestant and medieval soteriology, there is also significant continuity in other aspects, especially in their efforts to maintain consistency in their exegesis of all of scripture and revelation relating to salvation and in their efforts to construct a comprehensive soteriology. As we emphasize justification by faith, we must also simultaneously strive to preach and practice a comprehensive soteriology, so that God’s glorious grace might be praised. Theology is a response of the church toward the redemptive work of God and the revelation of scripture. All knowledge is personal, and this necessarily includes knowledge relating to the worship of God and its practical implications. Thus, the history of theology is also the history of the church.

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Practical Problems in Pastoral Ministry - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

Anthropology is deeply connected to soteriology because it determines the structure, depth, and breadth of soteriology… In an emaciated anthropology, emphasizing justification by faith, or even attempting to construct an entire identity on the doctrine of justification by faith, can very easily reduce soteriology to “justification by faith” while losing the motivation for sanctification. Sanctification becomes merely an adornment or addition to justification, no more than a proof that man has been justified.

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