(CCU Faculty) Good morning from the People's Republic of China. It is the beginning of 2011 here--it's still the old year in the states. And since many a pundit is arguing that the future of the world is here it seems like a good idea to be writing my first blog of the year from this location.
China is, indeed, booming. the signs of growth are everywhere: endless office and apartment buildings being built to the sky. Bustling, booming cities. Brand, spanking new airports built to impress the world. Recently the airport in Beijing jumped to number 2 in the world in terms of passenger traffic with Shanghai at number 11 and Guangzhou--where I am--coming in at number 21. And the spirit of the people is aggressive yet friendly. When I speak in classes at Peizheng University I am no foreign devil--I am treated like a rock star. I have had my picture taken scores of times. Everyone wants a photo. I told my wife that I must be better looking than I thought. She told me to stop deluding myself. Students and faculty are fascinated by America. But they are very, very proud of China and thrilled with her new place in the world.
And what a significant place it is. Mallory Factor argues in this morning's New York Daily News that the man of the decade should be...Deng Xiapeng, the architect of modern China. I couldn't agree more. Deng repudiated the murderous legacy of Mao, liberalized China's economy, and brought several hundred million people out of poverty through the principles of free market economics. I never thought I would see the day when the leaders of China should be brought in to lecture the President of the United States on how to produce economic growth. But that day has come.
China is determining the course of the world in other ways. By itself, it has buried the entire global warming nonsense machine. The only way the purported threat of greenhouse gases can be mitigated is if China goes along. And guess what? China hasn't the slightest intention of reducing her carbon footprint. Quite the contrary. She is increasing it as fast as she possibly can. In George Will's column yesterday he speaks of the expansion of China's coal-burning electric plants.
China has significant deposits of domestic coal but not enough for her exploding energy needs. So just last year China became a net importer of coal. And guess where much of it comes from? Thunder Basin, Wyoming. If you live in Colorado and see all those coal trains spiraling out all over the western United States you now know that some of that product is headed for mainland China, now the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. If global warming is going to kill us then you may as well prepare to die. China has no intention of slowing down her economic growth to please the sensibilities of the rich lawyers in the Sierra Club.
But the biggest news--and this is always the biggest news--is what is happening in China spiritually. And here I am limited to what I can report so I will speak in generalities. The spiritual hunger in this land is ferocious. People want to know about the Bible. They want to know about the Savior the Bible speaks of. They want to know how to live better lives. They want to find purpose in the midst of all the economic mayhem. And guess where the answers are? Yes, in the faith of the followers of the simple carpenter from Galilee.
It is no great risk to say that China now has more believers than any country in the world. And that growth is only accelerating. In Romans 1:16 Paul says that the "Gospel is the power of God unto salvation...." It is the greatest power ever known. It has the power to change hearts. And I am happy to declare on this New Year's day that it is changing hearts in China by the millions. So the critics of the faith can wring their hands all they want. This is one revolution they can never stop.