Brent Fulton’s ‘China’s Urban Christians’ – A Book Review

China’s Urban Christians: A Light that Cannot be Hidden. By Brent Fulton. Eugene, OR, USA, Pickwick Publications 2015. Pp. ix + 145. $21.00.

China’s Urban Christians

One of the greatest forces to remould the landscape of mainland China in the last two decades has been the country’s push towards rapid urbanisation. Contrary to the measured approach the sociologist Fei Xiaotong recommended to the communist cadre, the speed of constructing and populating China’s urban centres has undoubtedly resulted in many significant societal challenges. Likewise, urbanisation has had significant consequences for the church in China which once was known as having a ‘Christianity fever’ amongst the rural poor but is now seeing a formidable force of urban intellectuals and entrepreneurs.

The volume under review addresses this complex reality. Continue reading “Brent Fulton’s ‘China’s Urban Christians’ – A Book Review”

The Legacy of K. H. Ting and Wang Weifan

This past weekend I had the privilege of offering the keynote at the AGM of the Friend of the Church in China (FCC). I was asked to speak about two figures of whom I have written about academically: K. H. Ting 丁光训 (1915–2012)1 and Wang Weifan 汪维藩 (1927–2015).2 This was an especially interesting treat as Ting gave his famous speech about the cosmic Christ at the 1991 meeting of the FCC, and I was now asked to speak about him and another key leader in the state-sanctioned Protestant church of China, the TSPM and the CCC.

Now, if you read the literature about Ting, you will encounter many strongly polarised views. Continue reading “The Legacy of K. H. Ting and Wang Weifan”

New Calvinism in China?

John CalvinThere is a growing recognition by the media and by scholars that Calvinism is growing in China these days.1  The news has gained the attention of a number of Americans, particularly since the 16th century Reformer John Calvin is likewise having a comeback in the US in the so-called ‘New Calvinism‘ movement.2  At least one scholar has called the movement in China ‘Chinese New Calvinism’.3  Unfortunately, I think this view is problematic.

You can read my own interpretation more fully in an academic article I just published on Calvinism in China,4 but I wanted to summarise my basic points here, since I think it is an important distinction: Continue reading “New Calvinism in China?”