Introduction: Often, the Chinese harbor two kinds of wrong attitudes toward “foreigners”. One is to fawn on them subserviently and the other is to turn them away blankly. They either swallow everything exotic, hook, line and sinker; or reject anything alien altogether. It’s sad to admit that such extreme attitudes prevail not only in the world, but also in the church. Some Chinese churches consider “imported” preachers the best; others won’t have anything to do with them. In fact, neither extremes are healthy, for we who are in Christ all belong to the one and same Body (Eph 4:3-5), either Chinese or Caucasians. We should complement and serve one another in Christ.
Biblical Christianity has entered China a little more than 200 years, and in a time of political turmoil and severe persecution. Consequently, few Chinese preachers have the opportunity to be trained and grounded in the Word. The English-speaking world, on the other hand, has produced many prominent theologians and preachers in the good tradition of the Reformers and Puritans in the 16th and 17th century. Just take the spiritual books written in English for instance. There may be hundreds, even one thousand times as many as those written in Chinese. Only a few have been translated into Chinese; even the ones translated may not be the best. For this very reason, we have decided to start this “BRIDGE CONFERENCE” by inviting our brethren in the English world who are both faithful and well grounded in the Word to minister to us, so that we may bring the spiritual resources from the West to the East and from heaven to earth. This spells the CROSS; it’s like a BRIDGE. May we become the bridge and channel of God’s grace and blessings to China!
Paul Washer & Larry Pan