The majority of Christians in China over the course of the last century have worshipped not in missionary-founded churches or in congregations affiliated with the contemporary Three-Self Patriotic Movement or Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, but in independent and unregistered churches, often labeled "house churches." From the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements within the mission-church landscape of the early twentieth century, to the Calvinist Reformed movement in the present-day Protestant church, the vibrant faith life and extraordinary church growth of this sector of Chinese Christianity offer a fascinating witness and lesson to the world church. Yet despite the size of their congregations and the spread of their teachings, the theologies of these independent and unregistered churches have drawn much less academic attention than those of mission-church or "state church" theologians.
This volume presents a selection of new studies on "house church" theologians and theologies. These begin in the early twentieth century with studies of the Spiritual Gifts movement in Shandong and the nature of Pentecostalism in Hong Kong, and arrive in the present with essays on the changing role of women's leadership in the church, given the spread of Reformed thought and the theological implications of Westminsterian Neo-Calvinism in China. The second section of the volume is devoted to the theological writings and lives of the two most prominent independent church figures of the twentieth century: Wang Mingdao and Ni Tuosheng (Watchman Nee). These chapters include studies of spiritual theology; of Ni's doctrine of humanity, his views on salvation, and his prison letters; and of Wang Mingdao's life and moral thought, his Confucian beliefs, and his understanding of the relationship of Christians to the state. The third section of the volume foregrounds church voices like the fundamentalist Samuel Lamb and the mediating figure Yang Shaotang, and considers local developments in Roman Catholicism in light of Vatican reforms.
- Publisher Fortress Press
- Format Hardcover
- ISBN 9781506487984
- eBook ISBN 9781506487991
- Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
- Pages 271
- Publication Date October 31, 2023