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

The Irony of the Cross in Macau

The Lisboa Hotel houses within it, at one time, the largest gambling casino in Macau-the Casino Lisboa, which continues to be one of the iconic structures in the city that represents Macau.

Reflection on Cult “New Heaven and Earth” and Situation of Chinese Church

From a cognitive point of view, the falsehood of "New Heaven and Earth" is obvious, but why can such obvious heresy still have such a serious impact on Chinese church?

Shanghai Church Elder, Pastor Win Shanghai Red Cross Humanitarian Award

Elder Wang Jianhua, vice-chairman of the Shanghai Three-Self Patriotic Movement and Rev. He Zhihui, in charge of the English fellowship in Hongqiao, received the "Humanitarian Award" of the Shanghai Red Cross.

Bing Xin's Christian Faith and Real Life

An account of a modern female Chinese Christian writer, her independence, her truthfulness and practice

Commemorating May Fourth Movement's 100th Anniversary: Christians Today Should Talk Less About Doctrine and More About Practical Issues

In Christianity, overemphasizing doctrine and glazing over issues, especially amongst college students who have just embarked on society, is particularly common and can be misleading to many.

Tibet Ethnic Affairs Investigation Team Visits Kunming Church

On April 4, 2019, a team from the Ethnic Affairs Commission of the Tibet Autonomous Region visited Kunming Beichen Church to investigate ethnic unity and progress.

Qinghai 2019 "Happy Smile" cleft lip and palate surgery Campaign is underway

Qinghai 2019 "Happy Smile" cleft lip and palate surgery is underway

Two Christian Anti-war Veterans from Fujian Met after 75 years

Two Christian anti-war veterans from Pinghe, Fujian met after 75 years.

Siegfried Springer, Bridgebuilder between East and West, Passes Away

Bischof Siegfried Springer will not be easy to replace - a pastor at home in two worlds.

Watson McMillen Hayes, Initiator of "Sundays Off" and Founder of China's First Provincial University

Watson McMillen Hayes, a missionary to China with the Presbyterian Church of North America (PCNA), made tremendous contributions to evangelism and theological education in the north of China.