Posts in Contextualization
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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People Seeking the Truth, Part 5: “Our Hearts Are Still in China”

I have a strong passion to disciple Chinese students and young workers in full-time ministry. I am very passionate about helping people with the fullness of Christian growth. I want to help them see how Christian faith can change not only their belief, but also their relationships with their parents, other people, their choice of work, parenting, marriage.

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People Seeking the Truth, Part 3: “If Jesus Could Change My Life, I Wanted to Follow Him”

After one year, I slowly found my life was changed. I didn’t feel the need to smoke, or have a desire to get drunk. When I felt lonely or stressed, I could go to God. At about this time, I started sharing my faith with other students and faculty. Some people believed, and we formed a Bible study.

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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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