Global Missiology English, Vol 4, No 14 (2017)

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INTERPRETATION OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH IN CHINESE CULTURAL CONTEXT

Evan Liu

Abstract


Justification by faith is a very important Christian doctrine, which was defended and exalted by German reformer Martin Luther (A.D. 1483-1546) in the Middle Ages. It insists that one can only be justified by God to be righteous by believing in Jesus. Especially when 2017 is the 500th year after Luther nailed his proposition paper on the door of a Wittenberg church in 1517, it is very meaningful to reopen the discussion of the doctrine. When this doctrine is widely accepted by Chinese Christians and expressed from the Chinese social-historical context today, one might ask what contextualization it has undergone as it is already a central belief in guiding Christian lives. This article will explore the interpretation and criterion of righteousness and faith in terms of Chinese traditions so as to explain why Chinese Christians can understand that doctrine differently. I will also review the different propositions of some Chinese pastors and scholars in mainland China of the last 50 years to see the interactive influence between Chinese culture and the Christian doctrine: Justification by Faith. Finally, I will point out what is missing in Chinese missional context regarding this doctrine and what transformation it may bring to the Chinese culture.

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