Posts in Church
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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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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