Rites Controversy

During the seventeenth century, the church grew rapidly in China. According to Chan Kei Thong, “In 1640, three decades after [Matteo] Ricci died, there were 60,000 to 70,000 Catholic converts; by 1651, their numbers had more than doubled to 150,000. By 1664, the figure had ballooned to at . . . . Continue Reading »

True Kingship

During the reign of Tang, the founder of the Shang Dynasty (1766 B.C.), China suffered a seven-year drought. Someone suggested that a human sacrifice was necessary. Chan Kei Thong tells the story: “Tang appointed a day for this to be done, and a great multitude gathered for the unprecedented . . . . Continue Reading »

Chinese and Hebraic thought

In his fascinating Faith of Our Fathers , Chan Kei Thong points to many biblical images embedded in Chinese characters. His argument could be made even stronger by looking at Hebrew terminology. For instance, he says of the character “zui,” which means sin, that “The top part is . . . . . Continue Reading »

Chinese Creation

At the beginning of the Great Sacrifice performed by the Chinese emperor for centuries, singers sang the song of creation, addressed to the “Sovereign Lord” known as “Shang Di”: “Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos, without form and dark. The five . . . . Continue Reading »

Perichoretic imagination

One of the differences between those associated with “Federal Vision” theology and those opposed to it is a difference of theological imagination. The opponents operate with a theological imagination that distinguishes and clarifies; ontology is distinguished from relationality, nature . . . . Continue Reading »

Notes on the Holy Spirit

The Church calendar climaxes with Pentecost, before moving into the “off-season” of Trinity. Proper time moves through redemptive history: The Father sends the Son to be incarnate at Advent and Christmas; the Son lives, dies, rises again, and ascends; and He gives the Spirit at . . . . Continue Reading »

Bos and Bobos

According to Adolf Loos, a turn of the 20th-century Viennese architect and critic, modern style combines beauty and practicality. Both are necessary: “By beautiful, what we mean is that something has achieved fullness, completion. But no useless, impractical object can really be described as . . . . Continue Reading »

Kiuchi on Leviticus

Some initial observations on Nobuyoshi Kiuchi’s recent commentary on Leviticus in the Apollos series from IVP. 1) Kiuchi intriguingly translates hata and hatta’t , traditionally rendered in terms of “sin” or “purification” in terms of “hiding”: . . . . Continue Reading »