DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Know the History…Know the People

Written by: on June 7, 2018

“A Modern History of Hong Kong is clearly written and easily read; it is fully referenced, but unobtrusively so. Tsang offers a mix of narrative and analysis, and covers social and economic history as well as politics .” This review by Daniel Yee seems to demonstrate the instructive benefits of learning the history of Hong Kong. Some reviews seemed to see the reading as a little dry, but they also appreciated the knowledge passed on through it. However, for myself, the real challenge comes in regard to finding its potential for growing a ministry in Hong Kong. How does the value of opium to a past British Empire help to spread the Gospel in a modern Hong Kong?

As I pondered the above question, I was confronted first with the fact that though this is book was not a “ministry” book; however, to believe that ministry can be achieved without first understanding a country’s history and government is naïve. Specifically in regards to Hong Kong, the author demonstrates its specific variance in regards to the rest of China in its willingness to learn from Western civilization . The doorway for Christianity to move into a community is sometimes very narrow; a principle that was demonstrated even more successfully in last weeks reading by Pullinger. Even Scriptures demonstrates that Paul the apostle reached out to the Jews first, but when the opening to extend ministries to Gentile groups, he capitalized on it.

My second realization was that the same information that reveals open doors, can also show potential roadblocks to ministry. Ironically, I believe one of those roadblocks came in the “flirtation with democracy ” discussed in the reading. The early, somewhat dominant nature of Chinese government may have actually been more beneficial for understanding an all-powerful God, omnipotent and omniscient in His power, than the god of America who seems to change at the will of man. The concept of freedom is nice, however, it is also very easy to corrupt. Viewing the ranges on both could actually be the difference of ending up in the sketchy neighborhood that affords years of ministry and bragging about that “one time we went to Hong Kong.”

In regards to a beneficial help with my own dissertation, I saw better evidence for the value of one’s culture in ministry growth. My point being that the historical culture is so much older than the American culture I have been raised in, and as a result, I believe that someone fully immersed in that culture would definitely have much greater potential than a foreigner trying to penetrate a culture they fail to understand. Furthermore, though the reading was a little slow at times, it was obvious that Tsang seems to possess a strong understanding of the culture and history of Hong Kong; which would be extremely valuable in converting locals, as well as training potential missionaries for future ministry.

Bibliography
Tsang, S. (2004). A Modern History of Hong Kong. New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.

Yee, D. (2006). A History of Hong Kong. Retrieved from Danny”s reviews:       http://dannyreviews.com/h/Hong_Kong.html

 

 

[1] Yee, D. (2006). A History of Hong Kong. Retrieved from Danny”s reviews: http://dannyreviews.com/h/Hong_Kong.html.

[1] Tsang, S. (2004). A Modern History of Hong Kong. New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd. P 10.

[1] Ibid, p 73.

[1] Ibid, p. 231.

About the Author

Shawn Hart

5 responses to “Know the History…Know the People”

  1. mm Kyle Chalko says:

    I share your same excitement for our hong kong trip. Just about 3 months left. This whole history of HK has made me appreciate the story of Jackie Pullinger that much more.

  2. Mark Petersen says:

    Shawn,

    I agree with your statement that: “I believe that someone fully immersed in that culture would definitely have much greater potential than a foreigner trying to penetrate a culture they fail to understand.” As we can tell from the complex history of Hong Kong, there is so much we only vaguely know, and to impose our idea of change onto it is rather audacious.

  3. mm M Webb says:

    Shawn,
    The distribution, sale, and addictive use of Opium does not help spread the Gospel, especially for the end user! I think the “flirtation” with democracy helped Hong Kong achieve its unique blend of capitalism and socialism that “works” for the people and the geographic context. I see the early Christian churches (Catholic and Protestant) that the British established were the “light” and ministry of presence that made the long-term difference. There were “just enough” faithful Christians present that it did not end up like Sodom and Gomorrah! (Gen. 19:24)
    I look forward to the upcoming Advance too. Good post!
    立场坚定

  4. mm Jason Turbeville says:

    Shawn,
    I agree with your statement about being fully immersed. As pastors it works the same where ever we find God planting us. If you do not know the neighborhood, community or city where God has set you, it matters not how hard you work. You have to understand your setting. Have you found it hard moving into a culture you where not raised in (northwest)? As opposed to the south?

    Jason

  5. Greg says:

    If those representing Christ come like the British did imposing their culture and not learning as a child the culture one needs to be taught then we are not bringing Christ but ourselves. Thanks Shawn for your thoughts.

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