Posts in Contextualization
A Life Transformed By God, Part 4: “I Need to Let More People Know How Good It Is to Believe God”

There was an old pastor from Hong Kong who told me I needed to go to seminary. He shared his story with me, of how he was willing to give up his salary to go to seminary and become a preacher. He encouraged me as well. I was still fearful, I thought I needed to raise my family and make money. If I went to seminary, who’s going to give me money? 

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A Life Transformed By God, Part 3: “How Do You Believe?”

People would talk about, “Oh, humans are sinners.” But they never talked about what a sinner actually is. Before, I thought, “I’m a pretty good person.” And then all of a sudden, I knew I was no good. I had a bad habit, and I knew that was no good. All of a sudden I thought, “Oh! I understand!” At the same time I thought, “This is what I need.”

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A Life Transformed By God, Part 2: “We Were on Our Guard Against Faith”

My wife and I were on our guard against anything to do with faith. We didn’t want to accept anything like that. But this neighbor, this sister, she was really wise. She loved our daughter. My wife and I would fight and quarrel, and my daughter was hurt by it all. This neighbor was really great to my daughter. She would buy her small gifts, snacks and things to eat, toys. This sister would also take our daughter to church.

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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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Honoring Our Parents According to God’s Will, Part 3: Facing Difficulties as People Who Have Been Loved

Even though we face difficulties and conflicts, and even though we are busy serving the church, we are a people who have been loved. Our whole lives belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, so we should depend on him in all things and glorify him in all that we do. Since we are loved, we ought to have the same mind as Christ, caring for our earthly parents in the Lord with a heart of gratitude. We ought to consider before God how we can practically care for the physical and spiritual health of our elderly parents. 

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Honoring Our Parents According to God’s Will, Part 1: Examining God’s Good Will

As Christians who have been given the great grace of salvation in Jesus Christ, we should strive to discern secular ideas, to war against the sins of our flesh, and to confront and reflect on God's will through the gospel. May the Lord lead us to repentance and back to his will. Because the Lord died for us on the cross and forgave all our sins, making us children of God and giving us the eternal hope of the Kingdom of Heaven, we ought to support our parents with hearts full of gratitude, relying on and trusting in his promises as we testify to the name of our Savior Christ. God will remember our faithfulness and bless us.

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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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