Glen Thompson

Glen Thompson

Glen L. Thompson received an MDiv from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and MA and PhD degrees in history from Columbia University. He served as a missionary in Zambia, New York City, and Hong Kong, and held professorships at Wisconsin Lutheran College (Milwaukee) and most recently at Asia Lutheran Seminary (Hong Kong) where he also served as Academic Dean until his retirement in 2020. He has published numerous articles and books on church history and missions and founded Fourth-Century Christianity, a widely used website on early Christianity. His most recent books are In This Way We Came to Rome: With Paul on the Appian Way (Lexham Press, 2024) and Jingjiao: The Earliest Christian Church in China (Eerdmans, 2024).

Blog Entries

The Long History of Government Oversight and China’s Church

When [Church of the East] missionaries arrived in the Chinese capital of Chang’an in 635, they understood that Christianity in the Middle Kingdom required government approval…The application was successful, and a government edict allowed the new Luminous Teaching, as it called itself, to be spread in all China, including the building of a church in the capital city.

Blog Entries

Jingjiao—Not Nestorian

In AD 635 Christian missionaries whose worship language was Syriac traveled thousands of miles down the Silk Road to plant a church in China. The imperial officials examined their teaching and issued a decree (preserved in the stele) allowing the church to be established.