• Engage,  Uncategorized

    How Then Shall We Live? (Contextualization, Part III)

    “Will you burn incense for your dad?” My mom looked at me expectantly as she asked. Within a month, we fly back to Taiwan to take my dad’s ashes home. My grandparents have already purchased a family lot, where we will lay his remains. Because they practice Buddhism, they will expect us to burn incense in honor of their deceased son. According to traditional Chinese belief, the smoke from burning incense carries one’s prayers to the heavens. A person can burn incense both to honor a deceased family member and to ask them for blessings. For example, one relative would ask her deceased husband to bless their grandchildren’s studies. Because…

  • Archive,  Engage

    Contextualization, Part 2: Making Known the Unknown God

    Part two in a series on contextualization from my former intern, Crystal. “You need more rice.” I watched my mentor scoop more of the starchy grain onto another student’s plate. We were dining at a Chinese restaurant, courtesy of the head of the research lab where I was interning. “Chinese people eat a lot of rice. It’s a staple in our culture. Like how Americans eat bread or potatoes.” Now, I can think of some American cuisines where the meat seems more indispensable. (Have you feasted at a Texas barbeque?) But my mentor’s analogy had served its purpose. My peer’s face lit up with understanding. Biblical Precedence for Contextualization My…

  • Engage

    Submission: The truth about Ephesians Chapter 5

    Submission is one of those subjects that many people like to tip toe around. It often conjures up ideas of cringe worthy male chauvinism or maybe for you, it brings about the dark idea that women are to be seen and not heard. It's understandable that so many women like you and I have this type of reaction to the idea of submission because it has been distorted, misused and abused for centuries. Before digging into what is laid out for the wife and the husband in Ephesians 5:22-33 one must undo these distortions by putting this passage of scripture into context. By doing some ground work and taking a…

  • Impact

    “Christian” Homosexuality Advocates?

    “Rebuke your neighbor frankly so that you will not share in his guilt” (Leviticus 19:17b, NIV 1984). This column is the first in response to a man named Donald who wrote some replies to my column entitled, “Should a Christian Attend a Homosexual Wedding?” In light of recent events, I believe it would be best to answer Donald’s comments in a more visible way, not only in the response section of my previous column. Two things first: 1. If this column appears to start in the middle of a conversation, it does not; it simply follows from the above mentioned column. 2. I have slightly edited the responses to make…