Chinese Theologian Chen Zemin Dies at 101

By Grace Zhi, June 07, 2018 01:06 AM

Professor Chen Zemin

On June 4, 2018, the Chinese theologian and pastor Chen Zemin, the retired honorary president of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary(NUTS) and former president of CCC, died of illness in Nanjing, aged 101.

His funeral and memorial service is scheduled on Friday.

Born in Shantou of Guangdong in 1917, Professor Chen Zemin, received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Shanghai in 1941. Three years later, he got a diploma of theology from NUTS. In 1995, he was granted a doctoral degree of theology by the University of the Philippines. Since 1952, he taught systematic theology, historical theology, church music in NUTS. Later he became the provost and vice president of the seminary and the senior pastor of Nanjing St. Paul's Church.

The three generations of his family were devout Christians and the Christian background influenced Chen much. His grandfather was one of the first batch of preachers in Chaoshan, eastern Guangdong, who fulfilled her mother's wish that one of her children would be a preacher.

When he was young, he happened to hear a sermon preached by John Sung, a renowned Chinese Christian evangelist. As a result, he wanted to be a preacher after graduation from middle school. His son Chen Ruoping, a photographer, said that his father contacted with foreign missionaries in his childhood and helped them do voluntary work when he was a pupil at school.

In the 1950s, Chen put forward a new theological theory that theology was like an ellipse who had two focal points - men and God. He emphasized on applied theology that helped congregations realize the basic function of a church.

Also a lover of music, Chen wrote many catchy hymns with Chinese characteristics. He could both play Guzheng, a Chinese plucked string instrument, and the piano and the pipe organ.

He was the only Chinese pastor who enjoyed the special allowance of the state council.

In 2007, the book Quest and Witness: Selected Writings of Chen Zemin was published, which collected his lifetime knowledge and fully expressed his Christian theology.

- Translated by Karen Luo 

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Man Arrested in China for 15 Billion Bitcoin Fraud

A large bitcoin fraud scandal is in spotlight in China this week.

Saudi Woman Drives F1 Car To Celebrate End of Ban

Women can now drive legally in Saudi Arabia.

China's Nuclear Tech University Coming Soon

Nuclear technology education will soon be available in China.

Christian Ethicist Dr Stanley Hauerwas: Asian Church Should Not Follow Western Established Christianity, But Witness Jesus by Basic Virtues

Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, the most influential Christian ethicist in the late 20th century, gave a lecture titled "The Church in Asia: A Barthian Meditation" in Japan Doshisha University.

Four Questions to Consider before Dating

I think that a Christian needs to ponder over at least four questions before starting a relationship.

Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping Discuss 'New Future' Says North Korean Media

The two leaders assessed the historic meeting between Kim and Donald Trump.

Kim Jong-Un Heads to China after Trump Summit in Singapore

The North Korean leader makes a special visit to China after his historic meeting with the US President last week.

China Responds to US trade war comments

It seems like the trade war between China and the US is yet to be over.

Father’s Day: Letters from Five Children of Pastors/Preachers

Five children of pastors/preachers share what they want to say to their fathers: expressing the pride of being a child of a pastor, the gratitude of having a godly father, a review of their warming moments, or the love to fathers.

Fourth Seminar on Thoughts of Samuel Pollard Held in Beijing, Recalling Missionaries’ Contributions to Modern Chinese Education

Professor Chen Haowu said the civilization based on faith and education in Shimenkan was inspiring to the current society in China.