Thursday, April 26, 2007

Discovering God in Ancient China

There have been a number of books on God's fingerprints in ancient China which came out in recent years. The new book by Thong Chan Kei with Charlene Fu is published this year, 2007.

It is an interesting book but most of what Thong writes about have been published by others before.

Some examples are:

* The Chinese language i.e. certain Chinese words show correlation with certain events that happened in the book of Genesis.

*The old name for China was Shen Zhou which can be translated as God's country.

*The ritual sacrifice and prayers at the Temple of Heaven have similarity with the blood covenant in the Old Testament.

*The Chinese emperors were called "sons of heaven"and were regarded as mediators between Shang Ti and the Chinese Han people.

A meticulous written book but needed more research to support the many assumptions.


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Blogger Sivin Kit said...

I saw the book in MPH yesterday. Interesting. nice colours :-)

Do you think the conclusions are a little premature? and maybe too surface. I was surprised that even Os Guiness gave a blurb for the book ...

Are we a little overexcited to make connections which sound like proper research when it's more of pretty good hunches or musings?

8:33 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Sivin,

Yes, the book is well designed with interesting graphics. It looks better than locally published books on the same subject. The author resides in USA.

In the publishing business, the publisher often send a early draft to well known people for a blurb. The blurb when received is heavily edited. Personally I do not give much emphasis on blurbs, but that's marketing.

That's the problem with the study of religion and comparative anthropology. One can make the most outrageous claims and get away with it.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous blogpastor said...

I was thinking of giving it to a pre-believer steeped in Chinese history and culture. Do you think that will lead him one step closer or make him more sceptical of Christian claims about God in ancient China?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi blogpastor,

Yes, it believe it is a good book to give to your friend, especially one who is interested in Chinese culture and history. But be ready to answer a lot of questions :)

12:31 PM  
Anonymous blogpastor said...


8:37 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...


you are most welcome.

1:45 AM  
Blogger ling said...

this reminds me of the book "discovery of genesis" by c.h. kang and ethel nelson.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi ling,

Yes, the author has incorporated some of the suggestions in this book.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Israel Lee said...

I tried looking for the book at MPH OneU but could not find a copy. I am interested to know whether apart from the connections in terms of philosophy and history, are there insights that comes from architectural perspective, mythologies, and cultural practices.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi israel,

The author's emphasis are on roots of words, the sacrificial system, blood covenant, dragons and land. I did not read anythng about architecture,mythology or culture.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard of such musings for some 20 years now. nothing conclusive and sometimes, shoddy research. is this book, in your opinion, an advance on previous attempts? I know that we can be too anxious to join the dots and go beyond what the evidence can bear.

Ron Choong

8:47 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi Ron,

This is my personal opinion only. It needs more evidence and rigorous scholarship to prove its theses.

You may be interested to look at this book book

10:53 PM  

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