The Christian Approach to Chinese Beliefs and Culture

DanielTong

SFI Seminar 2011/2

Date:             2.00pm – 9.30pm, Saturday 9 April 2011

Place:            Berea, Holy Light Church, 11-C, Jalan Gertak Merah, 80100 Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Speaker:         Canon Daniel Tong

Synopsis of seminar

Session 1: Chinese Traditions

Believers in Christ desire to honour and please Him, but do often struggle with doing so while yet respecting and continuing to uphold the ethnic cultural heritage that is ours as Chinese. This struggle between faith and culture is not something new. In this session, principles with which to evaluate the acceptability or not of a cultural belief and practice to the teaching of the Bible will be presented. A number of Chinese festivals will be explored so to help participants understand how these principles are to be applied.

Session 2: Ancestral Veneration

The call to honour our father and mother is universal. In Chinese tradition, this thought has been extended to the care of and obedience to our dearly departed. What does the Bible have to say about this? What are we to make of the traditional practices of venerating our departed ancestors? In this session, we will seek to better understand the Chinese perspective, and determine that which is acceptable or unacceptable for us who believe in Christ.

            Session 3: Feng Shui 

The Chinese have practiced Feng Shui for thousands of years, but how much do we really understand this practise? Is it really a science? Why do people engage in this practise? Feng Shui has enjoyed renewed interest in South East Asia in recent years. In this session, we will explore the origin of this practise and seek a deeper understand of its primary principles. This will provide us with a better basis with which to decide on whether or not we should engage in Feng Shui.

Biodata of speaker:

Canon Daniel Tong is Vicar of the Chapel of the Resurrection – a Parish under the Diocese of Singapore (Anglican), the Chaplain of the Saint Andrew’s Junior College and author of three books – A Biblical Approach to Chinese Traditions and Beliefs, A Biblical Approach to Feng Shui and Divination, and Praying Right

FengShui

It was a good seminar with plenty of interactions and learning. His four principles of engagement with Chinese Beliefs and Feng Shui are appropriate and set the tone for the considerations of these beliefs. These principles are

(1) origin versus legend

(2) context versus connotation

(3) symbolism versus superstition

(4) proclamation versus practice

 

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