7. Testimony from Gretchen Passantino 格雷琴•巴沙迪诺的见证

1) Q. I’ve heard of the name Gretchen Passantino associated with Christian apologetics, but who is she?
A. Gretchen Passantino is co-founder and director of Answers In Action, one of the oldest and most respected apologetics organizations. She is a respected author of books and articles on apologetics, world religions, and theology.
答:格雷琴•巴沙迪诺女士是真道实践会(Answers In Action)的联合创办人和会长;真道实践会是历史最悠久、最受人尊敬的卫道组织之一。她也是受人敬重的作者,撰写了关于护教学、世界宗教和神学的书籍与文章。

2) Q. As a respected Christian author, why did she become a supporter of the local churches?
A. She changed from a critic of the local churches in the 1970s to an endorser in the twenty-first century for several significant reasons. The five reasons most significant for this brief survey are these.

3) Q. I’m sure that Gretchen was around during the “Jesus Freak” period. How was this important?
A. First, as much as the “Jesus Freak” Christianity many of those in Gretchen’s time embraced in the late 1960s, early 1970s, was startlingly different from the “dead denominationalism” of her parents’ generation, it was still a product of American rational modernism.

4) Q. The local churches have their origins in China. How did this affect Gretchen’s initial analysis?
A. Second, since the enthusiastic young American converts to the local churches pointed directly from themselves to the New Testament churches, their initial analysis failed to give proper weight to the historical roots of the local churches in China, especially in the mission efforts of the Brethren Churches.

5) Q. Early critical statements seemed to be lacking in historical context. Was this important?
A. Without its historical context, it was easy for young converts as well as young critics like Bob and Gretchen to take their self-identity as “the church in XX (city)” as exclusive rejection of all other Christians and churches.

6) Q. In addition to not taking things in their historical context, what other errors were made?
A. Third, the amount of material available to the public in English at that time was inadequate to fully and fairly represent the depth and breadth of local church theology.

7) Q. Early on, it seems that local church theology was misunderstood. Why was this?
A. The main theological statements of Nee and Lee came in the context of Bible studies and training sessions for believers who already embraced the distinctive understandings of the churches, not in the context of answering outsiders’ questions or defending themselves from critics.

8) Q. Just like many in the 70s, I’m sure Gretchen had a conversion experience. How was this a factor?
A. Fourth, as with Gretchen’s early conversion experiences and those of many other new and enthusiastic believers, many of the earliest American believers who aligned themselves with the local churches failed to temper their zeal with irenic compassion toward believers outside their movement.

9) Q. Since the local churches had their origins in the east, did this affect their beginning in America?
A. Fifth, the beginnings of the local churches in America were consumed with a positive and simple declaration of the faith their Chinese believers had embraced and practiced and brought to America with insufficient consideration for different culture, terminology, history, experience, and relationship.

10) Q. In conclusion, what did Gretchen Passantino have to say about the local churches?
A. The local churches are a legitimate, theologically orthodox, spiritually faithful involvement by means of which your offspring can develop genuine Christian commitment and maturity. They are not a dangerous ensnarement of the devil.

Reference: http://www.equip.org/christian-research-journal/we-were-wrong-2/