Posts in Church
The Comprehensive Soteriology of the Reformers - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

The main difference from medieval soteriology is that Luther does not believe in the infusion of grace into the soul of man, by which he is progressively made righteous before finally being justified. Luther believes that by faith, God unites the soul of man with Christ and instills the external righteousness of Christ directly into a man’s life so that he becomes righteous. But Luther does not believe that this alien righteousness of Christ is instilled into man all at once. Rather, it is progressive in nature, continuing throughout a man’s entire life.

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The Middle Ages and the Reformers - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

In retrospect, the Reformation is truly a Copernican Revolution in the history of soteriology, a kind of paradigm shift from “geocentrism” to “heliocentrism.” The soteriology of the Roman Catholic church and its corresponding pastoral practices are remarkably cumbersome and complicated, akin to geocentrism, with its focus on us – what kind of person Christ makes me become through God’s grace. The soteriology of the Protestants, on the other hand, is simple and clear, akin to heliocentrism, with its focus on what Christ has done – what kind of person Christ became on my behalf through God’s grace.  

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Interview with a Xuzhou Pastor — A Life Driven by Grace

Before I knew Jesus, I was a prodigal son. My mother is a Christian. She used to pray for me day and night, for about ten years. During those ten years, I had fallen into being a part of society’s debauchery, just like the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke. In that almost decade-long period, I could not find my life’s purpose or direction. In the months before I put my trust in the Lord, I felt the significant emptiness of my heart. I had sought my own happiness by living the way I lived, but I was not happy, and I had no peace.

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Interview with a Changchun Pastor – The Struggles of the Chinese Christian Professional

They are bound by these unspoken rules in Chinese society, and the tension between faith and work is huge. This tension is what marks the life of Christian professionals. The relief they feel at church on Sundays is short-lived; as soon as they return to work on Mondays the same struggle begins again. They face tremendous pressure from society. 

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Interview with a Chengdu Pastor - A Church Built on the Prayer of the Saints

We also covet your prayers for the revival of the church, for you know that the Chinese church is growing at a very rapid pace. We are not facing issues of monetary need. Rather, we are short of laborers in the field. We lack a firm foundation in the Bible.

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A Conversation on New Regulations - The Large Churches Must Suffer to Protect the Small Churches

When we talk about the problem of fear, this new regulation would be a greater threat to the pastors than to the believers. If they were to apprehend any, it would be the pastor; thus, the pastors face the greatest risk. Thus, this is a test to the generation of pastors in house churches, in order to test their courage in the gospel. If they are timid and weak, how can we help them? We should not rebuke. On the one hand, we should have fellowship with them in the gospel, but on the other hand, we should be courageous.

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A Conversation on New Regulations - The Testimony of the Church in Times of Trial

The problem with testimonies from the past are, first, not very many people know about them, and second, they are in the past. But how the Chinese house churches react to the new regulations and bear witness for Christ today could have an unimaginably positive influence on the future of the gospel movement in China.

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A Conversation on New Regulations - Is Your Response Pragmatic or Based on What You Believe?

Some churches’ responses are not based on theology, but are based on different sources of information, different understandings of the situation, personal experiences, and even fear. There is lots of worldly stuff here that we try to dress up as theology, and this is extremely dangerous.

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A Conversation on New Regulations - Small Groups and the Struggle for Power between God and Man

My biggest concern is the response to the New Regulations by downgrading into small groups. Christ built up the church, not to fulfill personal needs, but to fulfill the need to worship God… This in essence is a struggle for power between God and man. Small groups reflect human power while the church reflects God’s power, that is, hallowed be your name.

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A Conversation on New Regulations - Understanding the Government's Motivations and Strategies

After several decades, the CCP regime still faces the problem of establishing authority in the country, and it clearly feels that the existence of house churches threatens and challenges its legitimacy. In fact, the government today sees the church-state relationship as a competing relationship between two kingdoms. But the church to a large extent does not look at the issue this way.

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