Part II examines the christological controversy of the fifth century to ascertain what the church understood "Nestorianism" to be and what Nestorius's own presentation was, in order to come to an understanding of the theology of Nestorius and "Nestorianism." Those not desiring to follow the christological study of chapter six, with its linguistic considerations, may find the conclusion at the end of the chapter an adequate summary.
Part III examines the ten Chinese and two Syriac documents found in north China, considered to have been written by Christian missionaries between the seventh and eleventh centuries, to learn in what sense these missionaries were "Nestorians," and what relation, if any, this connection had to their missionary zeal and subsequent failure.
It had been found, along with many manuscripts including some Christian ones, in a cave sealed in 1036. CONTENT PREFACE INTRODUCTION PART I THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MISSION TO CHINA AN APPRAISAL OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATURE OF CHINA Chapter 7 The Twelve Early Christian Documents Chapter 8 The Theology Reflected in the Early Missionary Literature Chapter 9 Reasons for the Ultimate Failure of the Mission BIBLIOGRAPHY FOOTNOTES A gospel-preaching church with 1,300 years of missionary experience deserves our attention.
Chairman Japan Presbyterian Mission Missionary of Mission to the World of the Presbyterian Church in America Assyrian International News Agency Books Online org Published 1984 A. DEDICATED to the memory of the men of God who thirteen centuries ago first took the gospel to China - "the missionaries who traveled on foot, sandals on their feet, a staff in their hands, a basket on their backs, and in the basket the Holy Scriptures and the cross.
They went over deep rivers and high mountains, thousands of miles, and on the way, meeting many nations, they preached to them the gospel of Christ." FROM AN ANCIENT TEXT.
Here is evidence that God gives strength and conversions in the direst and seemingly most impossible circumstances.
Here also is evidence that pitfalls to the church's mission always exist.
How it fared in that confrontation is almost totally unknown.
The result is that when someone asks, "Where was the evangelical church of Christ during those long `Dark Ages' of Europe when the Church of Rome usurped the place of the Holy Spirit? The Iona colony of Scotland may be mentioned, or the later Waldenses of the Italian Alps, both involving small numbers.
Common examples are such things as an inadequate appreciation of the spiritual deadness of the natural man, failure to recognize the necessity of heart repentance and the meaning of baptism, the temptation to consider external acts of piety as necessarily representing inner holiness, the acceptance of liturgy and form in the place of justification by faith alone and identification with Christ, compromise with the world's secularism and other people's religious practices, sacramentalism, over-identification with a particular political regime, and concern with the elite that leads to failure to reach out to the common people.
As troublesome a problem as any, however, to those desiring to bring the gospel by word and deed into a foreign culture, deeply concerned to make the love and salvation of Christ understood, is the difficulty of adequately contextualizing the gospel without compromising its true meaning and uniqueness.
Was there anything unique in their theology or christology which motivated this great missionary zeal?
And why did this tremendous missionary effort end in failure?
D., a party of foreigners from the distant West, a vague area known to the Chinese for many centuries as Ta Chinn, reached the capital city of the Great Chinese Empire, Ch'ang-An, later called Hsian-fu. They indicated that theirs was a religious mission to bring to the empire knowledge of the doctrines and salvation of Jesus Messiah.