Dick Fischer wrote:
> ... where there is "wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Yes, I'm sure that God draws a line somewhere, although
it is probably not where any of us would expect it.
The problem is not just that "they" have heard and rejected
the Word. In China, for example, the err "word" was
promulgated under the guns of Western Imperialism.
Few Chinese at the turn of the century could forget
the British ships that were sailing on their rivers.
If anyone has fallen short on the following the
Word of God, I think a mirror would be the wisest place to
This is probably what the majority of people in the encounter
first when the topic of Christianity comes up, and this is what
most needs to be healed to put forward an appropriate Christian
message. The churches here in the east have to find a way
to shake off the "foreign religion" notion before they can
minister to the people who need to *understand* the gospel
--- not simply hear it.
The reasons for lack of growth of the Church in Japan are
more complicated, and I suspect it is as much a Japanese
problem, as it is a "foreign religion" problem. In short
the church in Japan is rarely meeting the needs of a rapidly
changing society built on rampant consumerism and fads. Most
of the people we can draw in are ones who have falling out
of the loop and need to have a place to be somebody. Too
many churches in Japan have the same sort of worship style
that met the needs of people after the war, the pastors are
thoroughly worn out in their ministerial duties, and the
congregations seem unable to pick up the slack.
Indeed, by Grace alone do we proceed,
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