Two pieces of mine were recently published on two different websites.

The first is on the relationship between theology and philosophy, for Reformed Forum. 

This piece should be self-explanatory. I presented three views on the issue. The first takes theology and philosophy to be two independent disciplines, but theology should attach itself to one particular philosophy. The second takes theology to be indifferent to whichever philosophy it takes – so long as the philosophy to which one subscribes doesn’t contradict the central tenets of the faith. The final one that I presented argues that theology should determine and fashion a philosophy for herself – theology has the internal resources to create her own epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. This final one is to me the obvious choice to pick.

The second article is on the negative effects of folk confucianism in Indonesian society, which I wrote for Think Nusantara – an Indonesian based online magazine that produces commentaries on economic, societal, and other public issues.

I was delighted to have received a note that a friend of mine had immediately used it for his class in a theological seminary in China. It seems that the danger here is the pastor can often be confused with the all-powerful master with whom one cannot disagree – when fully applied in the church, Confucianism can often create an ecclesiology that deny the need for elders (because it slows down decision making, and because it inhibits the leader from having a direct say-so on matters), which in turn bestows an authority on the leader of the church that almost identifies his direction with the leading of the Spirit himself. The problem is double-sided: the leader strives to be this sort of person, and the congregation expects a strong leader to be exactly that as well.

 

 

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