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Religions 2016, 7(12), 142; doi:10.3390/rel7120142

Wang Yi and the 95 Theses of the Chinese Reformed Church

Yale University Divinity School, 409 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Academic Editor: Mark G. Toulouse
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and China in the 21st Century)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [394 KB, uploaded 6 December 2016]

Abstract

In August 2015, a group of pastors and elders from an urban house church in Chengdu, Sichuan, posted 95 theses online. This bold move, challenging the state and the Chinese churches has created controversy in China and abroad. The theses address a series of issues on sovereignty and authority with regard to God, the church and the government. This article considers briefly the historical and theological resemblances to Luther’s act, then examines three of the most controversial aspects of the document: its analysis of church–state relations, its rejection of the “sinicization” of Christianity, and its excoriation of the state-registered church. Of these three, the article focuses on church–state relations, since perspectives on the state church and sinicization stem from the same arguments. The article shows how the thinking of this Reformed church and its senior pastor Wang Yi draws on a particular reading of the bible, church tradition, and the role of conscience, and traces these to pastor Wang Yi’s earlier writings and his reading of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed thought. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wang Yi; house churches; Chinese theology; Calvinist; 95 theses Wang Yi; house churches; Chinese theology; Calvinist; 95 theses
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Starr, C. Wang Yi and the 95 Theses of the Chinese Reformed Church. Religions 2016, 7, 142.

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