Dear Praying Friends:
In this age, God manifests his grace and truth primarily through the Church, the Body of Christ, composed of all those who trust and follow Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Since 1989, China Institute has sought to work with local churches and with the church around the world, to minister to Chinese and to mobilize others to serve God among Chinese.
In the process, we seek to evangelize those who don’t know Christ; edify believers; and equip Christian leaders for more effective ministry.
Forty-one years ago this month, I began teaching at the Discipleship Training Centre in Singapore. In 1980, after two years of language study in Taiwan and two years at home, I started teaching Greek and New Testament at China Evangelical Seminary in Taipei.
Since returning in 1988 to live in the U.S., I have tried to produce books and articles of two sorts: constructive theology and critical theology. Constructive theology presents biblical teaching as clearly as possible. Critical theology seeks to correct errors or misunderstandings.
Chinese Christian leaders need both. Many are not clear about the full scope of evangelical doctrines, so that “the whole counsel of God” is not communicated from the pulpit and in publications. As a result, evangelism and ethical teaching lack balance and depth.
Key issues include: the relationship of Christianity to Chinese culture; the interaction of theology and Western philosophy; the nature of biblical revelation and of God’s grace towards sinners.
To meet this need for constructive teaching, I have published a revised edition of the Greek-Chinese Lexicon; two devotional commentaries (on Matthew and on selected Psalms and Proverbs); a small commentary on Ephesians; and two books of practical theology (The Lord’s Healing Words and Jesus: The Complete Man).
Critical theology seeks to address current controversies, so that errors are corrected by biblical teaching. My major project has been to make the work of Carl Henry and of Lit-sen Chang more widely known and understood. Carl Henry: Theologian for All Seasons has been translated into Chinese and submitted to a publisher in Taiwan.
My abridgment of the first four volumes of the (existing) Chinese translation of Henry’s God, Revelation, and Authority has been available since 1997. Alas, the translation of my abridgment of the last two volumes has still not been completed. Maybe in 2017?
Lit-sen Chang (Zhang Lisheng) was a great Chinese theologian in the last half of the 20th century, but his works are not widely known. Wise Man from the East: Lit-sen Chang (Zhang Lisheng) includes my translation of Critique of Indigenous Theology and Samuel Ling’s rendering of Critique of Humanism. Four lectures on Chang which I gave in Taiwan in 2013 have been posted in English and in Chinese on our website.
Christianity in America: Triumph and Tragedy, is an essay in public theology, in which I explore the relationships between Christianity and American culture, society, and politics.
In order to promote evangelical positions on matters of current concern, I have published articles on our web sites, in scholarly journals, and at www. academia.edu.
This month, I submitted two articles to Chinese publications, one on “the Sinicization [i.e. “Chinafication”] of Christianity,” for the Journal of Research for Christianity and China and another on Lit-sen Chang, for the Yearbook of Chinese Theology 2016.
During the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (November 14-16), I will present a paper on Carl Henry.
I also plan to attend a gathering of Chinese theologians on the night of the 15th. That event will be held in Mandarin.
In coming months, I hope to write several more papers on Carl Henry and a review of a popular volume on the history of theology which greatly distorts the teaching of Augustine and of Henry and which has been published in Chinese.
Please pray for me and others as we “do theology” for the growth of the Chinese Church.
Yours in his grace and truth,