Guest / Limited Access /
A Fresh Encounter with Jesus
Courtesy of Atsuyoshi Fujiwara

Atsuyoshi Fujiwara has been a pastor and scholar in Japan since 1999. Immediately after the March 2011 disaster, he joined volunteers in relief work and believes the Japanese church's rapid response is a key reason why some Japanese are giving Christianity a fresh look.

A professor of theology at Seigakuin University and founding pastor at Covenant of Grace Church in Tokyo, Fujiwara recently published Theology of Culture in a Japanese Context: A Believers' Church Perspective (Wipf and Stock). He is helping to plan the third theological conference at Fuller Seminary to examine the Christian response to Japan's triple disaster. Christianity Today senior editor of global journalism, Timothy C. Morgan, interviewed Fujiwara by e-mail.

You say that Japan has had three separate encounters with Christianity. What went wrong with each of them?

Each period was different. Yet there was a pattern: Christianity came in chaotic periods when Japan lost peace and order.

Sixteenth-century warfare preceded the arrival of Jesuits and the Roman Catholic mission. Then, after 250 years of the Shogunate era, Japan's isolation ended in 1844, and Western missions groups arrived. After World War II, Christian missions increased.

Initially Japan accepted Christianity, yet gradually rejected it when the nation recovered peace, order, and confidence. The Roman Catholic mission was remarkable. We had numerous Christian martyrs. In the latter two periods, Christianity became more success-oriented around the idea that "Japan needs democracy and Christianity to be successful." When Japan became successful without Christianity, it abandoned it.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueSex in Leviticus
Subscriber Access Only Sex in Leviticus
It's part of a much broader teaching in Scripture.
RecommendedCover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Subscriber Access Only Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'--or dangerous?
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickLet's Kiss Dating Hello
Let's Kiss Dating Hello
A sociologist reveals her research about “ring by spring” culture on a Christian college campus.
Christianity Today
A Fresh Encounter with Jesus
hide thisJuly/August July/August

In the Magazine

July/August 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.