Both Reformed (or Calvinistic) theology and church practice are finding growing appeal among Christians in China, reports Paul Peng in China Source (June 26), an online evangelical Chinese newsletter. Peng writes that Reformed thought has becoming increasingly influential among Chinese Christians, largely due to the translation of Reformed literature into Chinese and the evangelistic and teaching ministries of such church leaders as Pastors Stephen Tong and Samuel Ling. More recently, these Calvinistic currents of thought have been translated into church practices and church planting. Peng writes that churches are formalizing their confessions and church bylaws based on classic Reformed documents, such as the Westminster Standards.
Presbyterian forms of church government are also being implemented to connect churches that share the same confession, as well as to create a broader structure to enforce doctrinal authority. A similar structure is developing among a network of Reformed Baptist churches. The growth of Christian schooling is also related to this trend, as a large percentage of these fledgling institutions in China have a Reformed background, seeking to teach a “holistic, biblical worldview.” The practice of Christian disciplines prominent among the Reformed, such as holding family worship, pastoral care, and other spiritual disciplines has also proved attractive. Spreading these practices and structures are several Reformed church planting initiatives that are informed by what Peng calls a “kingdom theology” that has broken “away from tribalism” and is strongly outreach-oriented.
(China Source, http://www. Chinasource.org)