The Gospel

From the start, probably the most important thing to be said is what we believe about the Gospel. In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:21 is one of the clearest statements you can find. Here it is in both English and Mandarin:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

哥林多后书 5:21 (CNVT) 神使那無罪的替我們成為有罪的,使我們在他裡面成為 神的義。

The basic premise of the Gospel is this, we are deeply loved by God because we are His creation, in essence His children and from the beginning, we were made to be in a relationship with Him. However, we broke that relationship. Breaking a relationship with God is unlike breaking a relationship with another person because the terms are so different. Creator and created is different than two equal partners. (Genesis 1-3)

Because the break in our relationship was so deep, there was no way for us (the created) to repair it. We did try however, through a lot of effort and good works, but it was never enough. We just didn’t understand the depth or magnitude of the break in our relationship with God. We were absolutely and completely loved by Him and therefore our rebellion against him was an act of cosmic betrayal. Therefore a few good works here and there could never compensate for the original betrayal and the ongoing rebellion.

What does that betrayal boil down to? Simply stated: There is only one God and it’s not us. But we wanted to be our own master, we didn’t want to live under authority. And not just that, we wanted to usurp the authority He held over us and take ownership of our lives, the world and everything else. This is what the Bible calls sin. One of my favorite people, Tim Keller, says it like this, “Sin is seeking to become oneself, to get an identity apart from God’, so ‘according to the Bible, the primary way to define sin is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things. It is seeking to establish a sense of self by making something else more central to your significance, purpose and happiness than your relationship to God’.

In response to our rebellion, the Bible tells us that God, rather than write us off, in love took things in his own hands to restore our relationship. He sent His son Jesus Christ to pay the debt that our rebellion had created. This is why all of our human efforts had failed over the years. A cosmic debt could never be repaid with human effort. It could only be repaid with something of cosmic magnitude. So, only God himself could repay it. (Ephesians 2)

Jesus came and lived the human life we were meant to live. A perfect life without fault or sin. He never said, thought or did anything against the law of God. Actually, Jesus did the opposite, in every case. He always spoke, thought and did the right and perfect thing on the one hand so he could be a perfect substitue for us on the cross and on the other hand to build up a treasure house of good works that could be credited to our account.

So then, on the cross at the time of his death, his sacrifice on our behalf was accepted by God as truly perfect and pleasing. He had no debt of his own to pay for so he could willingly offer his perfect life as a substitute for ours – which because he was not just a man, but the God man, and not only that, but the Son of God – the most valuable thing in all the cosmos, his sacrifice was ultimately acceptable and pleasing to God in order to satisfy the debt we owed. And in addition, God takes the righteousness of Christ and transfers it to our account so that in God’s view we are now “counted” righteous in Christ.

So the verse means this: When someone believes and trusts in Jesus, God transfers their debt to the account of Christ where it is paid in full by his death on the cross and at the same time he transfers Jesus goodness to that person’s account so they are made right with God.

This is the good news of the Gospel!


Taichung International Fellowship meets on the campus of Taichung Baptist Church, 台中浸信會 which is located near the Taichung Train Station and main bus depot. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from Taichung Park 台中公園, the YiZhong Night Market 一中街, 15 minutes from ChongYo Department Store  中友百貨 and easily accessible from most anywhere in the city by bus.

The address is: Taichung City, East District, ZiYou Road, Section 1, #99
In Chinese: 台中市西區自由路一段99號
GPS: 24.137360, 120.679183

CLICK HERE for a Google Map

Our pastor is Todd Blackhurst
LINE ID: toddblackhurst

Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below or through Line.

Here is a map of our location. From anywhere in the city, you can take a bus to the train station and it’s about a 5-10 minute walk to the church. If you know how to use google maps to plot a bus route, you can take a bus to a stop on ZiYou Road and MinQuan Road and it’s about a 1-2 minute walk. In addition, there is plenty of parking, both for scooters and cars.




Taichung International Fellowship meets on the campus of Taichung Baptist Church, 台中浸信會 which is located near the Taichung Train Station and main bus depot. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from Taichung Park, YiZhong Night Market, 15 minutes from ChongYo Department Store and easily accessible from most anywhere in the city by bus.

The address is: Taichung City, East District, ZiYou Road, Section 1, #99
In Chinese: 台中市西區自由路一段99號
GPS: 24.137360, 120.679183

Our pastor is Todd Blackhurst
LINE ID: toddblackhurst

Would you like to support our work in Taichung? Please contact me for more information. 

Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below or through Line.

Here is a map of our location. From anywhere in the city, you can take a bus to the train station and it’s about a 5-10 minute walk to the church. If you know how to use google maps to plot a bus route, you can take a bus to a stop on ZiYou Road and MinQuan Road and it’s about a 1-2 minute walk.


In addition, there is plenty of parking, both for scooters and cars.

TBC Parking Map

Skeptics Welcome

At TIF, we think it is worth wrestling with the questions, doubts, objections and skepticism around the Christian faith. Not just that, if you personally have doubts, questions and skepticism, we invite you to come and listen in. We would appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and discuss the claims of Christianity in detail.

After every service we will have a time when you can ask questions about what you have heard, what you are thinking or about Christianity and Faith in general. Honest questions and interest are invited and welcome.

Visit us on Sunday evenings or make an appointment to talk one on one.


TIF is an English Church located in central Taichung.

Are you looking for a place where you can be part of a community and hear the Bible preached in English? Are you missing a sense of connection and friendship? Then come and join us every Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m.

CLICK HERE for a map.
Join our Facebook Group

For more information please contact:
Todd Blackhurst – Who is Todd? Click Here
LINE ID: toddblackhurst

Todd Blackhurst

So who is Todd Blackhurst?

Todd and his family moved from Amarillo, Texas to Taichung in June of 2013. They are independent missionaries sent from their home church in Texas to work alongside of Taichung Baptist Church as well as the International Mission Board in Taiwan.

They have been married for twenty four years and have three children, ages 19, 16 and 13.

Since moving to Taiwan, Todd has learned to speak, read, listen and write Mandarin Chinese.

Todd believes the Bible is God’s Word, God’s complete and sufficient revelation to man. It is the story of God and tells us everything we need to know in order to have a true and right relationship with our Creator, to live a full and meaningful life and to make sense of the world He has given us. In addition it tell us the truth about existence, both the physical and spiritual world.

A Marriage Overseas

Recently, my wife and I have had some opportunity to think specifically about our experience of living overseas as a married couple with children and it’s effect on our marriage and family. And to be honest – it hasn’t been easy and sometimes it hasn’t been pretty.

In my former life in the states, I was a pastor, so I spent some of my time counseling couples before they got marriage, during their marriage and at times, post marriage. Now 20+ years into our own marriage, we find ourselves in a new stage of life yet again that we didn’t exactly prepare for, but thankfully because of our commitment to each other and faith, able to navigate.

First, why this note about “Expat Marriages”? Well, living overseas in an expat environment has some particular challenges that are not usually found in our home countries. In our home country, we would usually live in a neighborhood of people with similar values, culture, income, etc. We would participate in activities where we would rub up against people we could easily talk with, our children would attend school together, we would be able to easily speak with our neighbors, join social groups and clubs, participate in religious functions, etc.

The point is, in our home culture the ability to share our common experiences with others is much easier, so, whether we are up or down, it doesn’t feel abnormally high or low at any one time, because we have others who are similar to us by which we can measure how we are doing. But here in another culture – the ups and downs, highs and lows can easily feel extreme. We easily lose our sense of what is normal when we don’t have the cultural gauge of our home environment. Add on top of that the other pressures, language, culture, traffic, whatever it is that you find personally frustrating – and you have a potential recipe for disaster. So that’s why I think it’s helpful to be reminded as an expat married couple – take a breath and center your relationship before things get too far out of whack.

As I’ve learned over the years, giving other people advice on how to live their lives is usually unwelcome, so I won’t do that here, but I have learned that wisdom often comes from observing principles that seem to work across culture, race, age, etc. So that’s what I will share here. Principles that my wife and I have learned from others, the school of hard knocks and our faith that have helped us not only survive, but thrive.

First – Fight Fair. What do I mean by this? When we fight, argue, disagree, whatever you choose to call it, and we do, we keep it about the issue, not about each other. The most dangerous thing you can do in any relationship is turn personal. So we made a commitment early on that we would never attack each other. Once you start down this road, the words that you say are not easily forgotten, they leave scars that never go away, even though forgiven. So I would encourage you to make a commitment to yourself and your spouse – fight fair.

Second – Fall Back. In our lives, their always seems to be a somewhat frantic pace. There is always something to do, somewhere to be, another crisis or problem to solve or work through. Because we live in a foreign culture, there is always something that seems to be pressing. Because it’s harder to do almost everything, it creates an underlying sense of pressure. Some people deal with pressure better than others. But in the long term, stress always has negative consequences, both personally and relationally. So, you have to give yourself and each other permission to “fall back”. Build space in the weekly and monthly schedule where you don’t have anything to do but just relax. Make time for each other or give time to each other to do something you enjoy, whatever that is, even if it is just sit on the couch, take a nap or sleep in or go to bed early.

Third – Find Friendship. And no I’m not talking about the casual relationships we all have and make. The truth is, we all need a few people in our lives that have some unique characteristics. What do I mean? For me, a friend is not just someone to hang out with, but someone who can contradict me without fear of rejection. Someone who can tell me they see something off in my life and I won’t be devastated because I know they have my best interests at heart. A friend is a rare find, takes time and effort to develop, but in the long run, is not only worth it, but necessary for me to function as a real person in the world, otherwise my own view of myself gets a little off kilter.

Fourth – Find Purpose. In every relationship there is what I call a “center of gravity”. It seems that generally speaking, for men, it is their work and a deep seated need for respect. For women, it is relational and will tend to be more focused on their husband, children, friendships – often with a romantic interest. The problem with this is – none of these things have enough “weight” to really keep everything in balance. I actually think the “center of gravity” must be something greater than work, money, power, children or even each other. For us, because we are Christians, we find our center of gravity in the purpose we believe God has given us. It keeps us moving forward, it give us hope, it keeps everything in our universe oriented. For me, if I make something smaller than this my center, then what happens when I lose that something, say my job, my relationship, my hobby – then I am potentially devastated. But If my center is outside my self, bigger than any of these things, then actually it can bring meaning and purpose to all of those smaller things.

Finally, Foster Love. When I say finally, I don’t mean last by any means. Love is the bedrock of any marriage and will help you weather any storm. What I do mean is you must tend the garden of love in your relationship. Maintain intimacy, communication, friendship. We have found one of the best ways to foster this is to serve each other. Rather than thinking of what my spouse is not doing for me, I just try to find ways to do for them. Here is something that is often said at many marriage ceremonies, a good reminder for all of us:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

One of my favorite speakers, Tim Keller, said it best when he said, your marriage is like this – like a vortex – everything in your life rotates around it. When things are going well in your marriage, it doesn’t matter how bad things are in the rest of your life, you feel like you can take it. But when your marriage is failing, then it doesn’t really matter how great things are in the rest of your life, it seems like everything is failing.

If you find your relationship in a bad place and need some help. I and my wife are certainly not professional counselors, but we are a safe place where you might find some help. Please feel free to contact us.

Kick Off Sunday!

Come and join us for Kick Off Sunday! Or any Sunday!
January 10, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

It’s a little like that first day of school. Of course you’re wondering who’s going to show up? Will you like them? What will the preacher be like? Will I be okay? Will I have any friends?

All valid questions.

Who’s going to show up? I’m not sure, but I can assure you we’ll be friendly and welcoming. Whether you are outgoing or shy, don’t worry, no one will put you on the spot to say or do anything that might make you feel uncomfortable. I can assure you that you will be greeted and made to feel welcome. We are a family and we want you to feel like you just came for a visit and perhaps you’ll want to stay.

Will you like everybody? Maybe, maybe not. But being a part of a church is like being in a family. You probably don’t like everybody in your family, but you’re stuck with them because they are family. The Bible says that God uses this unique group of people to help you become a more beautiful person. You learn how to love people who aren’t like you, appreciate the differences, see life from different viewpoints. You may find friends who appreciate you for the first time in your life, just for who you are. In the church, we love each other as we are, but we love each other so much, we won’t settle for less than what we can become.

What will the teacher be like? Since I’m the one writing this, I guess I would tell you, I am very friendly and I really enjoy people a great deal. When I see someone, my first thought is, “What’s your story?” I really want to know you.  At the same time, I love Jesus and the Bible as well. So in the context of church, I really enjoy finding the most creative and powerful way to teach the Bible so people can meet Jesus. I see the Bible not as a book of rules, but a story about God. So I hope you will come and listen to me tell the greatest story ever told. I really enjoy laughter and having fun, so our fellowship will be filled with a lot of joy.

Will you be okay? That’s a good question. Because you are coming to a place where you will possibly encounter God, I can’t promise that you will be okay. One of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis. In the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when Susan finds out that Aslan is a Lion, she questions the Beaver about him. Here’s their exchange: “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

You’re quite possibly going to encounter the King of the Universe – and I must tell you, He isn’t safe, but He’s good. And He loves you more than you can possibly know.

Should you come? YES

Will you come? Well, that’s up to you. I hope you will.

This is your invitation.

What is a Church?

It’s simple. In the Bible, it would have been rare for anyone to talk about going to church. Rather, they would have gone to fellowship with their brothers and sisters, share meals, listen to the Word of God, hear preaching and teaching and as Christians would have considered themselves to BE the church.

What I’m trying to say is this, Christians don’t go to church, they are are the church. The church is the body of Christ and as such is meant to be the presence of Christ in the world. It’s not a building or a place that we gather and collect ourselves. The church is the people of Christ going out into the world and bringing the presence, power and peace of Christ where He can do His most powerful work.

Now, of course we gather as the church to worship, pray and listen to the Word of God, but that’s just one facet. The body of Christ is present everywhere Christians go.

Good for Each Other

Why a church? Why get together? Who should get together?

Everyone! All races, all socio-economic groups, all personalities, everyone!

We are good for each other. The Bible says that God gives gifts to his children for the building up of His body, the church. So we need each other to serve effectively and completely.

The Bible also says that as we draw close to each other, we are to confess our sins so we can be healed. In this process, we get to be like Jesus – accepted as we are in order to be taken where we should be. This is the work of Grace!

We need people in our lives who love us unconditionally and at the same time can criticize without crushing. This is Grace. This is the ministry of Jesus to us and through us in the lives of our fellow Christians.

Ultimately, this eclectic group of people who at first glance don’t seem to fit together display the glory of God and bring the presence of Christ into the world. Good for each other, Good for the world.

Good for the City

As a church, a fellowship, a small group, a Christian, one of the ways we demonstrate our love for Jesus is by being like him. 

When we read the New Testament, we see both Jesus and his disciples were “good” for their cities. What do I mean?

It’s really quite simple. God has given each of us Christian gifts and abilities and we are to use those for the good of our culture and environment. Giving, serving, helping, caring, doing things that maybe don’t get noticed but make a real difference in a persons life. 

And we do it regardless of the others faith or background. Jesus freely used his power for the greater good without respect to a persons belief or background. We should do the same. This is one way we show that Jesus is real. 

So, let’s be good for this city.