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Friday, June 13, 2014

China Is The Unlikely Evidence

Today's guest post is from Darrow Miller and Friends, written by Gary Brumbelow, reprinted by permission. Gary provides a fitting capstone for my five-month series on how Christianity has positively affected nations where followers of Christ have practiced wholistic faith. We would be remiss if we omitted one country most people would least expect: China.    

China is poised to pass the US later this year as the world's #1 nation in terms of real GDP at purchasing power parity, according to the Financial Times.

In 1872, the United States beat out the UK to become the world’s #1 economic power. But that 142-year supremacy is about to end. Forecasters now believe China will move into the top spot later this year, four years ahead of the earlier prediction of 2019. That’s the story reported in Financial Times, “on the basis of new figures published today by the world’s leading statistical agencies.”

Rest assured you’ll be hearing more about that story. Here’s what may not get as much press.
Peter Cai, writing in China Spectator, recently reported that three Chinese professors—Yuyu Chen, Se Yan and Hui Wang—make the case that that there’s a connection between Christian missionary work and Chinese economic growth. Here are some excerpts from his article, Jesus and the Chinese Economic Miracle.”
·         “In a nutshell, Protestant missionaries helped to build China’s human and social capital before Mao took over in 1949. These cultivated values and capital endured even through Mao’s mad reign and have been put to good use again after China opened itself to the world again.”

·         “The Peking university scholars’ argument does not deny the importance of the historic change unleashed by Deng and his followers but they point to another element of the story -- the crucial role played by the protestant missionaries in spreading Western science, technology and social values in China.”

·         “A lot of China’s best education institutions including Peking University can trace their origins to missionary schools in the 19th and 20th centuries. … graduates from missionary schools went on to become much-needed professionals in China such as engineers, doctors, teachers and other professionals."

As we have quoted elsewhere, David Aikman, in Jesus in Beijing, wrote a decade ago about Chinese scientists who visited the US who recognized that “in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics."

The Bible affirms God as Creator and man as steward. The Cultural Mandate, which spurred the blessing of Western nations where Judeo-Christian virtues have been honored, does not belong to the West! The gospel is supposed to change nations. China is the unlikely evidence that it does!

To read Gary's complete post, click here. 

Also note this: China to have the World's Largest Population of Christians by 2025.

For more on the Financial Times report: 



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3 comments:

  1. I believe completely in the power of the gospel, and the relationship between a moral foundation and economic functioning. Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations on the foundation of his previous work The Theory of Moral Sentiments. That said, I would be more careful about the relationship between correlation, shown in the statistics, and causation. To argue that the economic growth is fueled by Christian commitment would suggest that business in China is becoming more moral based on the growth of Christianity than in the US. It takes a great deal more work to establish this. Another explanation is the sheer size of China and the growing Christian population means that the total number of Christians will surely pass the US. And the economic growth may be fueled by lower labor rates along with globalization growth as technology enables a more connected world. What you have shown is a good hypothesis to investigate, but I would be more careful with the conclusion.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Al. Sounds like the makings of a great doctoral study...

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  2. Greetings Dr.Overman.
    And please don`t stop sending us this

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