Dear Praying Friends:
In the Great commission, Jesus told his followers not only to bring people to faith, expressed in baptism, but also to “teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28)
Likewise, the apostles, after helping people come to faith in Christ, instructed them in “the whole counsel of God” (Ephesians 20).
We do all we can to share the gospel through a variety of means and media, but we also engage in systematic teaching so believers may become mature in Christ.
Public lectures and teaching
Last month, I gave a series of four lectures to students and faculty of Holy Light Theological Seminary in Taiwan, first in Taipei, where about fifty attended, and then again in Kaohsiung, where I spoke to about 150 at each session.
I had been invited to give the Lit-sen Chang Theological Lectures, so I introduced two of his books which were composed in English and one book which I had translated from the Chinese (Critique of Indigenous Theology, found in Wise Man from the East: Lit-sen Chang [Zhang Lisheng]). The last lecture compared him with Carl Henry.
In the lectures, I tried to show how the writings of this great theologian, who died in 1996, have great relevance for Chinese Christians today. Chang (Zhang) believed strongly that we should know our culture well, and do all we can to apply biblical teaching to all aspects of human life and endeavor, including philosophy, law, government, the arts, etc.
These lectures will be posted soon at chinainst.org in Chinese and English.
In Charlottesville, the Mandarin Sunday school class continues to draw about two dozen people each Sunday. I help in teaching, but we are turning over the leadership of the discussion to Chinese men whom we are training.
Kevin Sawyer speaks to the Chinese Christian Fellowship at U.Va and meets personally with the leaders.
Our other associates have excellent opportunities for instructing Chinese in Asia and England.
Books supplement oral instruction, for they stay behind after the speaker has gone home or go where the speaker cannot. They can be easily obtained and repeatedly read.
Even books in English can have an impact on educated Chinese, especially those from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and those who live in the West.
While I was in Taiwan, my books were offered for sale to those who attended the lectures; others were presented as gifts to church leaders and seminary libraries.
Currently, there are a dozen titles available in Chinese edited or written by me (and translated by Chinese Christians).
In Taiwan, I learned about four other books: The translation of my abridgment of the last two volumes of God, Revelation, & Authority, by Carl Henry, should be finished by the end of this year. One publisher is interested in a revision of New Testament Reference Works. The Greek-Chinese lexicon of the New Testament which my students translated in the 1980s and I corrected a few years ago should come out in a month or two.
This past summer, three books came out in English: Reaching Chinese Worldwide; Christianity in America: Triumph and Tragedy; and Wise Man from the East.
Increasingly, we are placing our emphasis upon making solid Christian materials available for free on our Websites, in English and Chinese. Visit chinainst.org; globalchinacenter.org; and bdcconline.net to see a variety of articles, stories, devotional messages, and book reviews.
For your prayers:
Ask God to continue to work in the hearts of those who attended the lectures, come to the Mandarin Sunday school class and CCF meetings, and read our books and articles.
Pray for ongoing translation work, so that more things may be available in Chinese.
Yours in His mercy,