Posts in Trey Nation
Holy Living or Holy Thinking? Reflections on Sanctification Going into 2016

While working in campus ministry, I routinely find that my conversations with international friends cast new light on the things I believe. Conversation with others is always stimulating to thought, but cross-cultural dialogue is particularly fruitful. Conversations with my Chinese friends are fascinating and difficult. Recently I have had semi-regular lunches with a Chinese friend who is a PhD candidate studying philosophy at Harvard. He is not a Christian, but is very interested in Christian faith and ideas. Although I am not a philosopher and he is not a theologian, our disciplines try to answer similar questions, and the history of western philosophy and western theology is entwined. The cultural differences add another layer to our discussions; ways of thinking I take for granted are often not obvious to him, and vice-versa. Every time we meet, we are both surprised and intrigued by our discussions. It’s great fun.

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Strangers in the World of the Old Testament: Orthodoxy, Academia, and the Chinese House Church

Much of my time is spent doing ministry to Chinese graduate students at the universities of Cambridge, MA, but the rest of my time is spent studying the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East. It is not uncommon for me to finish a class at Harvard’s Semitic Museum, then walk down the street and read Scripture together with a Chinese student elsewhere on campus. In the eyes of many, I have found, these two aspects of my life appear unrelated or even at odds with each other. Why am I learning ancient Babylonian when I could be learning Chinese? Any believer with an interest in academic theology or biblical studies knows that the Old Testament is a minefield for debate. The past two centuries of historical-critical academic work have typically sought to push the dating of the Old Testament books forward in history, and have called the historicity of the key events into question. The liberal critical school is balanced by a tradition of conservative scholarship, which has drawn on archaeology and ancient history as well as the text itself to defend traditional orthodoxy. Of course, even within the evangelical camp there is disagreement and debate. So the question stands: does the messy state of Old Testament studies in the have relevance for the growing church in China? Aren’t they better off without our baggage?

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