Nanjing Holds Symposium Marking the 100th Birth of Bishop Ding Guangxun, Late Chinese Christian Leader

By Grace Zhi, September 26, 2015 06:09 AM

Symposium

On September 11th, the symposium of celebrating the 100th anniversary of birth of Bishop Ding Guangxun was held in Nanjing,capital city of Jiangsu Province, which was hosted by local TSPM&CCC and Jiangsu Theological Seminary.  

Local officials from UFWD and SARA, pastors from Amity Foundation,committees of Jiangsu TSPM & CCC, Jiangsu Theological Seminary, Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and Nanjing TSPM&CCC, old leaders who used to work with Bishop Ding Guangxun,and Professor Ding Yanren, who is Bishop Ding's son, were invited to attend this symposium.

Pastor Zhang Keyun, president of Jiangsu TSPM&CCC, presided at this symposium. A video was played at the beginning, which recorded Ding's life devoting into Three-self Patriotic Movement of Chinese Christianity, organizing Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, and starting Amity Foundation.

Pastor Zhang committed to promoting Three Self Church into Three Goods,which made great contribution to chinese church construction, talent cultivation, theology studies,and charity and so on.

Amity Foundation was established by Bishop Ding when he was at the age of 70. Qiu Zhonghui, Genaral-Secretary of the Amity Foundation,  said that the highest attributes of God is Love, it is also the core of Bishop Ding's theological thoughts. He put forward that God's love is regardless of nationality, age, social status or religion,which is the motivation and goal for us to be like Christ.

If theology is that church is thinking, then charity is that our church is actually doing it. He referred to Amity Foundation has more than 300 partners from over 20 countries all over the world now. The Amity Printing Company where bibles are printed has reached 136 million copies.

Ji Jianhong, who had worked with Bishop Ding for a long time, evaluated him as "a complete person". He made specific mention of Ding's achievement in theological reconstruction. Theological reconstruction is the theme  and key of Christianity in how to lead religious faith fitting with socialism and make the followers be positive as well as active in Chinese Socialist Construction.

Mr. Ji also talked about the Indigenization of Christianity in China and pointed out that strengthening construction of Chinese Christian Theology is the core to solve this issue.

Senior Professor of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NUTS), Zhao Zhi'en recalled his experiences with Bishop Ding about leading Shanghai Student Movement,establishing Nanjing Theological Seminary, and opening church. He said that Bishop Ding paid so much attention to Bible-reading, he once edited several books in study of the Scriptures. He is tolerant to different religions. When NUTS was at the initial stage, it attracted talents from diverse religious denonimations. Bishop Ding brought them together and mad them live in harmony. He focused on talent cultivation and started the first postgraduate courses. Bishop Ding has his principles in opening church. He hoped to transfer Three-Self Church into Three-Good Church. At the same time, he advocated the Diversification of Theology. Different religions should respect each other and seek common development.

Pastor Li Lancheng, leader of Nanjing Churhc, showed tributes and memories to Bishop Ding on behalf of grass-roots church congregations. The development of Nanjing Church is deeply influenced by Bishop Ding. He is the personification of patriotism. He also refered that seeking the balance between faith and intellect, transferring from Three-self to Three-Good is the future development direction. 

Bishop Ding's family member, Ding Yanren, son of Bishop Ding, was invited to the symposium. He said that his father was very concerned about religious policy and always received visitors from the public. His father, Mr. Ding, often encourage him to read constitution. Christian is also a part of chinese citizen.

President YuZhengsheng once visited Jiangsu Province. He stressed in particular at paying attention to Talent Cultivation and Christianity Development. He said that strengthening construction of Chinese Christian Theology, prospering Amity Foundation and working hard on religious as well as united front work is the best way to memorize Bishop Ding.

Translated by: Zhou Meizhuo

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