Posts in Theology
Friday Reflection - A Story of Renewal

 In these few years all of our ministries have stemmed from the gospel and have been renewed by grace. It is not according to our own diligence to accomplish something; rather, when we preach the gospel unceasingly, we know that we will be filled with grace such that it will overflow. When this happens, the church will slowly be renewed.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.  

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More