We all have perceived notions about how registered churches are in China. We look at them as compromisers, liberals and bedfellow to a suppressive government. This issues surfaced as recent waves of persecution hits the unregistered church. However, as they saying goes, there is another side of the story. And it is quite a shocker to me as I read The Registered Church in China how I was so wrong about these fellow believers. It was an eye opener for me and I hope it will be to others as we focus our attention to the state of Christianity in China. I reach out to Wayne Ten Harmsel, author of the latest book, The Registered Church in China published by Pickwick Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers to know about his time as a missionary in China and about the registered church in China.
Please tell me about yourself and how you got to know Christ?
The answer to this question is both simple and complicated. I could simply say that I have always known Christ. I grew up in a Christian home. I attended church and Sunday School. I went to a Christian school. But during high school I moved away from Christ. I considered myself to be an atheist. But due to the influence of professors and other students at Calvin College, during my college years I began a long slow process towards acknowledging the centrality of Christ in my life.
Have you read my Top 10 Best Books I Read in 2020 yet? Want to know what I read last year? Do you know what made it on the list? Click this link to check it out.
Anyways, here are my favorite quotes from the book A Poetic Orthodoxy by Benjamin P. Myers, published by Wipf and Stock Publishers. If you like these quotes and want to support the authors, consider grabbing a copy of the book by clicking here.
“Art is something that God has given to all the creatures made in his image. God is so good that he allows even his rebellious creatures—looking at artists in the modern world, some might say some of his most rebellious creatures—to echo his creative goodness through creations exhibiting great beauty and containing great depth.”
This day marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the self-titled album of the band, Jars of Clay. This debut record changed the course of modern Christian music. This band and the album paved the way for Christian acts to go to mainstream. There will be no Casting Crowns, Switchfoot, Creed or P. O. D. on the radio or music channels without Jars of Clay breaking the barrier.
Do you remember this album? Where were you when Floodhits the airwaves? What was the impact of this band, the album or song to you? What’s your favorite song in this album aside from the big hits? I don’t own a CD or cassette tape of this album. To tell you honestly, the only time I listen to the whole album was just recent and over Spotify (I’ll tell you why in a bit).
Had a blast with my family for a 4 day staycation over my parents house. Minimal online time, had a short road trip, chatting, watching TV together, ate Ramen noodles and long sleeps. I thank God for the quality time we had.
Anyways, sample these quotes from the book, Raising Kids With A Heart for Mission by Daniel Akin published by 10 Publishing. If you like these quotes, buy the book by clicking here.
“Obeying the Great Commission should begin in the home, though it should certainly not end there.“
Summary: After the fall of the nation of Israel, the focus is now on the lives of the captives of Babylon and their dealings with the powerful King Nebuchadnezzar. Unknown to the king, he will encounter the God of Israel and subdue him to bow to the only true King.
Happy Monday! Do you miss waking up early and going to work? I know this because my wife is staying home because of the pandemic. But the good news is that she has more time for me and our daughter.
Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. If you’re new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.
Also since I’m not 24/7 monitoring the latest freebies of publishing companies, I’m posting their e-mail sign up page, so you’ll be in the loop whenever they give out freebies. You can find it at the end of this round-up.
FREE ebook “Behold I Come Quickly” by Davideo Engelsma and Andrew Lanning- This free book discusses the end times with a scholarly and reformed treatment of “dispensationalism”.
FREE ebook “A Practical Treaties of Fear” John Flavel –A 123 page free book on with a much needed message for this pandemic to overcome fear victoriously.
It seems to me that, everyone had a certain goals from the previous years that been in the basement of ideas. It’s brewing for so long then simultaneously set it on 2020 to launch it. 2020 feels like having a new leaf for some to set an “out of the comfort zone” projects. It’s like starting a new beginning. And podcasting is not exempted.
Of course there is nothing magical with the year 2020. Nor will it bring good fortune to these newbies on the podcasting universe. But having new and upcoming podcasts will give us new choices to listen to and eventually new favorites.
Kevin Halloran posted something last January of 3 newish podcast and encourage me to post my own list. So here’s my list of new and upcoming podcasts you might want to check out:
The Disrupters – A collaboration between Christianity Today and Inter Varsity Press. The focus of this podcast is to lay down disruptions and how it affects the church. It will be a mix bag of guest and will be hosted by Fr. Esau McCualley. You can read more about it on this article.
TGC Q & A – A new addition to TGC podcast network, the podcast invites two council members to answer a specific question. So you wont get one but a collaborative answers that hits some angles most Q and A podcast don’t. The podcast is already on the roll with few episodes so please do check it out. By the way, podcast is one of the ways you can find answers for your pressing questions. There are five more on an article I wrote last year.
Pardoning Grace – I just saw this on my Facebook feed and I dont have any idea of what this podcast will be. I like surprises and I know you like it too. But based on my Facebook friend Jason Boothe who is a pastor and uploads his preaching over Youtube and him being a blogger, I think it will be a discussion on theology. So to clarify I might reach out to him but this podcast will be good. So keep our eyes over the FB page of this podcast for further updates.
Anchored North/ Virality Podcast – Anchored North went viral because of the Love is Love video. From there, they constantly making video tracts and eventually a podcast. They use multimedia as a tool for evangelism to reach this generation. This 2020 they will relaunch the podcast with the aim to spark evangelistic conversations. You can find updates from them by joining the FB group.
I know this is a shortlist but I would like to encourage you guys to post in the comment new and upcoming podcasts you might have stumble upon. Happy listening!
It’s the first month of the year but it feels we need a year ender special. A death of a celebrity basketball star, Taal volcano erupting and a deadly virus. In these times, we need to humbly seek God for His guidance.
Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.
Free e-book “Knowing God the Father” family devotion from David C. Cook – Free till the end of the month is this devotional for the family from David C. Cook.
FREE e-book “Unstuck” by Tim Lane – It’s there free ebook of the month and by simply signing up in the link you can have this free from Good Book Company.
FREE collection of devotionals from Log College Press- What better way to start the year by having a devotional book during your quite time. Log College Press uploaded some free devotionalsfrom unknown Presbyterian preachers that you might want to use and enjoy.
FREE “Book of Romans” ESV digital journaling – Because of the tremendous benefits of journaling, Crossway is releasing it’s online digital journal. So to give us a sample, the have a Book of Romans for free.
FREE e-book “The CSB Study Bible” from Logos Software – For those who love study Bibles here’s something free for you. If you have a Logos app or atleast an online free account you can download this for free.
Free audiobook”Competing Spectacles” by Tony Reinke- I was part of the book launch team of this book last year and I’m glad it’s a free audiobooks for the month of January on Christian Audio. I have a book review and selected quotesfrom this book that I hope you’ll check it out.
By the way, to my Pinoy friends do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:
Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:
Before you get into this review, I would like to encourage you to check out my post of some of the favorite quotes from this book.
A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman presents the life a woman (or women) ancient Ephesus named Anthia. It opens with the death of her friend after giving birth. Then the story shifts to her own pregnancy as she experience it going through her daily life, her dealings with society and eventually her encounters with the Christians. It’s part of a series which I haven’t check all of it yet but I read A Week in the Life of a Slave, which safe to say it goes along with that kind of story.
However unlike A Week in the Life of a Slave, the social and cultural details in this book are very impressive (kudos to Dr. Beers!). A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman has a great emphasis on food, clothing and everyday life in Ephesus that you’ll feel that you’re living with these people. Social and economic status are also included in the story however, the detailed life of characters here are strong. The treatment of women and children in this society will grab your hearts and how Christianity turned their world upside down will spark a fresh appreciation to the reader. Stay also with this book as it mentions slavery, honor and shame culture and pagan gods.
Now for the rants. As much I enjoyed reading the culture and biblical backgrounds going on with this book, the later part became fillers for the story. The thing is, the book started strong then in the later chapters it became uninteresting because of the fillers. Fillers that are fascinating in itself but unnecessary to the story. So skip it and it won’t disrupt the story. Then the names of the characters are quite confusing especially women starting with the letter “E”. Finally the anti-climatic ending which it’s not a big let down but I think it would be better if its something else. It could end with the healing of the main character, finally meeting Paul or book burning on Ephesus which will leave the reader stunned. The author has couple of ways to end this book memorably but settle for something soft.
A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Roman is a good read with a strong initial premises but had a bumpy ride towards the end. Read it more for cultural backgrounds that will help you understand the Bible.
4 out of 5
(InterVarsity Press provided the digital copy for this review)