The LanternChurch and Culture

Seeking Asian Values

In China the same kinds of discussions are taking place as government officials, educators, and others recognize that the rush to modernization and prosperity without a moral base has left many searching for Asian values to undergird Chinese society.

One approach that has been taken is to revive Confucianism. The recent popularity of Confucianism as promoted by Beijing scholar Yu Dan is a prime example. In a series of lectures that was broadcast in 2006 on China Central Television, she took the Confucian Classics and interpreted them for today's Chinese. Her approach has resonated with Chinese worldwide; her book has sold in the millions both inside and outside of Mainland China ( in Chinese, Confucius from the Heart in English). While there is concern that her approach does not represent genuine Confucianism but rather an appealing, easily digested version that does little to genuinely deal with the needs of society, it is providing an accessible Chinese answer to the need for an Asian value system that is applicable to modern daily life. (For one Chinese pastor's response to the Yu Dan Phenomenon, read "Confucius, the Bible, and Preaching" in Chinese Church Voices.

From a different direction, a church in Beijing has offered classes on Confucianism in an effort to help Chinese Christians understand and benefit from traditional Chinese culture. Once again, the issue at least in part is to answer the question "What does it mean to be Chinese? Are there Asian values that undergird Chinese society? And then one step further, are those values compatible with Christianity? What does it mean to be a Chinese Christian?

Confucianism is a factor of increasing importance in China. Understanding what it is and how it is impacting Chinese society and the church in China is also of increasing importance for effective ministry in China. To this end we asked G. Wright Doyle of the China Institute and Global China Center to delve into this topic for the 2014 spring issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly "Confucius and Christ: Conflict, Compromise or Communication?"

Pray with us that our brothers and sisters in China will be well-prepared to respond to those who are seeking Asian answers to the needs and questions of their hearts.

The ChinaSource Team


  • that those who are seeking peace and fulfillment in today's secular, materialistic Chinese society will encounter the truth of the gospel.
  • for Chinese church leaders to respond wisely to the increasing interest in Confucianism.
  • for Christians to have a good understanding of modern expressions of Confucianism in order to respond with truth and sensitivity to those seeking Asian values.
  • that teaching materials will be developed that build on the current interest in Confucianism.
  • that Christians will share the hope they have in Jesus Christ when they meet people who are seeking spiritual fulfillment and peace in Asian expressions of spirituality.

Pray that Chinas Next Generation would be used of God to spark new awareness, understanding, and prayer among believers worldwide who care about China.

Lift up ChinaSources year-end financial needs, and thank God for His provision throughout 2013.

ChinaSource Team

Written by members of the ChinaSource staff.  View Full Bio

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