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In: Journal of Chinese Theology
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Abstract

This essay offers a comparative analysis of aspects of classical Chinese philosophy with those of Reformational (Neo-Calvinist) philosophy. Such aspects form a shared root in prioritizing temporal experience (over abstract reasoning) and conceptualizing the entirety of reality as contingent and relationally dependent. At the same time, however, what marks the divergence between the two philosophies is the underlying assumptions as to what this integral reality points toward – a directionality that is critical to meaning and being. For classical Chinese philosophy, the source and meaning of reality is found within reality itself, not beyond it, construing such reality not as independent and self-contained but necessary and sufficient. This conflicts with the notion of reality as contingent and dependent. From a Reformational perspective, on the other hand, reality (i.e., all of creation) is constituted as it stands in relation to an independent and necessary Creator. The crux of Reformational philosophy is that the origin and meaning of all reality must point outside of itself to its origin in God.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
In: Journal of Chinese Theology

Abstract

Theology and philosophy are strange bedfellows: although they share many similar interests and constantly influence each other, their relationship is fraught with suspicion or even enmity. This problem is especially acute for those who want to harmonize their commitment to sola Scriptura with the use of philosophy in their theology. Drawing insights from Herman Bavinck’s Neo-Calvinist worldview, I argue that this apparent competition is mainly caused by the failure to recognize the organic unity between both disciplines. Without theology, all disciplines would be meaningless, but without philosophy, all disciplines would be unintelligible. Portraying the harmony between theology and philosophy depends on the success of locating the difference and relationship between the universality of theology and that of philosophy. Further, the organicity that suffuses all things and affirms the primacy of special revelation reflects the Neo-Calvinist belief in both sola Scriptura and the sacredness of all vocations.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
Author:

Abstract

This article aims to retrieve Abraham Kuyper’s theology to develop Reformed theology in mainland China. It shall argue that Kuyper’s concern about the varying contexts where theology is practiced shows an underdeveloped proto-Reformed contextual theology. Nonetheless, his idea of common grace serves as a conceptual apparatus through which his proto-Reformed contextual theology can underpin the construction of Sino-Reformed theology, a Reformed theology that is organically united with the history of Christianity while taking root in Chinese culture and interacting closely with the Chinese context. Such a contextualised Reformed theology can make Reformed faith an indigenous plant in the garden of Chinese Christianity on the one hand and prove conducive to the development of an organic Reformed community and theology on the other.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Theology
Author:

Abstract

This article brings Bavinck and Pannenberg into dialogue and comparison on the theme of history. Despite the differences in their theological and social context, Bavinck and Pannenberg both seek to integrate history with theology while striving to overcome the dualism that has dichotomized history and faith since the Enlightenment. They share a common debt to the varieties of modern thought. Bavinck and Pannenberg provide modern theology with a valuable perspective on how theology might become more open and scientific in response to the difficulties posed by historical studies.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
Author:

Abstract

Theology and philosophy are strange bedfellows: although they share many similar interests and constantly influence each other, their relationship is fraught with suspicion or even enmity. This problem is especially acute for those who want to harmonize their commitment to sola Scriptura with the use of philosophy in their theology. Drawing insights from Herman Bavinck’s Neo-Calvinist worldview, I argue that this apparent competition is mainly caused by the failure to recognize the organic unity between both disciplines. Without theology, all disciplines would be meaningless, but without philosophy, all disciplines would be unintelligible. Portraying the harmony between theology and philosophy depends on the success of locating the difference and relationship between the universality of theology and that of philosophy. Further, the organicity that suffuses all things and affirms the primacy of special revelation reflects the Neo-Calvinist belief in both sola scriptura and the sacredness of all vocations.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
In: Roads and Kingdoms: Two Encounters with the Nazarenes Beyond the River
In: Roads and Kingdoms: Two Encounters with the Nazarenes Beyond the River

Abstract

Christianity has had and continues to have elements of physical this worldly majesty, and one can find ample examples of the collusion of the state with faith but, arguably, it is not a polity for power. It is a way that invites people to follow Christ in his redemptive suffering for others. Islam too, has the Meccan phase of powerless witness. Its phase as a polity began in Medina. Muhammad in Mecca was an embodiment of prophetic service, accompanied by suffering. He would have seen himself as a prophet like Moses (and others). This changed with the ensuing battles for the faith and his emergence as a powerful statesman in Medina and beyond. However, it would be facile to characterise Islam as a whole in terms of polity or majesty, just as it would be superficial to portray Christianity merely in terms of servanthood or meekness. Islam has not been devoid of examples of service and sacrifice, just as Christianity is not bereft of power. This special issue of ijac focuses not only on what is arguably essential to both faiths but also provides examples from history and lived experiences and expressions. This issue aims to dwell on a nuanced discourse that contextually connects both faiths.

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In: International Journal of Asian Christianity