Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Jon L. Dybdahl
P. Gerard Damsteegt
Peter M. van Bemmelen
China is a country with the largest population and second largest territory in the world. During the past millenniums she has not had a considerable Christian background, but was strongly influenced by Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. In addition, from 1949 to 1990, atheism and evolutionism have been rampant under the Communist regime. By God’s grace and power, and through His faithful children’s witness, the Chinese church (including the SDA church), though experiencing severe trials, has not only survived but thrived. Church membership has increased dramatically.
The future of 200,000 SDAs and the progress of the Three Angels’ Messages in modem China obviously depends on one decisive factor—Does the Chinese SDA church have sufficient workers that are equipped to live out and teach the biblical truth?
We do not have even one SDA school or seminary. The government as well as the officially sanctioned church is not accepting any denominational efforts or missionary work in this so-called post-denominational period of mainland China.
The most urgent need facing this church is how to train its local church leaders and tens of thousands of lay workers to serve its members and finish the gospel work in China.
In light of these conditions, this paper presents the way I have discussed to use the mass media-shortwave radio broadcasts and printed materials—along with organized study groups in China to train leaders and lay workers with sound biblical doctrines contextualized in the Chinese cultural, political, and spiritual setting. This doctrinal training with its theme, The Way That Leads to True Happiness, Wealth, and Longevity, is justified by the Holy Scriptures as well as encouraged by Ellen G. White’s writings. It fits in with the present Chinese setting. My observations and personal experience also confirm it.
It is hoped this program will prove to be one of the best ways to train our Chinese lay workers now and wisely prepare for the great evangelistic thrust in the near future of China.
Wong, Robert C., "A Doctrinal Training Program Adapted to the Current Chinese Setting" (1993). Project Documents. 248.
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