Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Critical Issues Facing the Church in Japan

Here is a list of critical issues facing Christians in Japan. I plan to expand on each item but want to get the list "out there" and invite readers to comment.

1. The relationship of the church (all believers) to the mainstream culture of Japan.
2. Communicating the gospel effectively to not-yet-Christian, mainstream Japanese in ways that they can receive it. Closely linked to this is the desperate need for a new Bible Translation that "connects" with younger Japanese.
3. The perception that Christianity is Western, the Western "face" of Christianity in Japan.
4. The need to rapidly develop new leaders.
5. The entrenched attitude that very few Japanese are interested in the gospel. This results in negativity that affects every aspect of life and ministry. Specifically, it results in a failure to connect with the large number of Japanese who are indeed open to the gospel.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Is Japan "Postmodern?"

"Yes".... and "no"... but, mostly "no."

The popular terms "modern" and "postmodern" are grounded in Western history and culture. So, unless Japan has been thouroghly Westernized over the past five hundred years, Japan can't be labeled either "modern" or "post-modern." The label "pre-modern" is a much better fit for Japan.

There is a small percentage of Japanese who could be labeled "modern" because thier thinking has been strongly influenced by Western ideas. This type of person tends to be very well-educated and has spent time living in the West. They are far more likely than the average Japanese to make logical arguments based on reason.

One extremely interesting aspect of this discussion is that "postmodern" Westerners and "pre-modern" Japanese share a lot of similarities with each other. In other words, the West is moving East.

What does this mean for the church in Japan which has been so heavily influenced by modernism?

How do we effectively present the gospel to "pre-modern" Japanese?

Here is an excellent article on postmodernism:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mujo No Kaze

In Jan. of 07 a group of eleven from Biola University spent 12 days in Japan shooting a short film called "Mujo No Kaze." We are now in the post-production phase. This class was hosted in Japan by CLTC (Christian Leadership Training Center), one of the projects of CAN (Christians in the Arts Network).

For photos, reports, the script and more: MUJO NO KAZE BLOG