Christian, Meet Confucius

Evangelicals are sometimes suspicious of Eastern philosophy, viewing it as a major worldview competitor to Christianity. Gregg Ten Elshof, professor of philosophy at Biola University, wants to push back against this mentality, at least when it comes to the most prominent Chinese philosopher in history. In Confucius for Christians: What an Ancient Chinese Worldview Can Teach Us about Life in Christ (Eerdmans), Ten Elshof examines how the Confucian tradition can shed new light on Christian theology and moral teachings. Derek Rishmawy, who pastors students and young adults in California, spoke with Ten Elshof about the book.

Technically, the axioms and principles of Confucian philosophy has never actually depended on the existence of God. Actually, Confucius intended it to be that way; he sought to discourage excessive speculation on God and the afterlife. So in a way, the Evangelicals are right.

However Confucian philosophy is useful enough. It does serve as reminders to familial relations, and therefore, the 4th commandment, to honor your father and mother, in particular. This is something that is sorely lacking in Western civilization in comparison to Eastern civilization.

What a delightful service to humanity. To find commonality, using different perspectives to the same truth, is a service that can bring so much harmony, unity and spirituality to the lives of so many from different parts of the world…

This made my day, thankyou for sharing :slight_smile:


I would advise against using Confucius

All of it?


Understanding Confucianism helps us understand how Christians - Catholics as well as non-Catholics - in Asian countries have such a rich practice of their faith. The blending of the two systems makes for a totally different way of practice and theology. I like it!

My question is: are we talking about Confucianism? Or Neo-Confucianism?

I respect your position but Blending systems, that is exactly what Christ told us not to do .

There is New-Age-type syncretism, and there is inculturation. I’m personally opposed to the former, but I’m all for the latter. In fact I think the latter is a necessity.

BTW, are you or any one in this thread familiar with the 17th-18th century Chinese Rites controversy?

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