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Was there anything unique in their theology or christology which motivated this great missionary zeal?And why did this tremendous missionary effort end in failure?Common examples are such things as an inadequate appreciation of the spiritual deadness of the natural man, failure to recognize the necessity of heart repentance and the meaning of baptism, the temptation to consider external acts of piety as necessarily representing inner holiness, the acceptance of liturgy and form in the place of justification by faith alone and identification with Christ, compromise with the world's secularism and other people's religious practices, sacramentalism, over-identification with a particular political regime, and concern with the elite that leads to failure to reach out to the common people.
Only a part of the story, however, of the Church of the East's missionary enterprise, from the second century to the end of the fourteenth, can be told here.
The main focus will be the mission to China during the last 800 years of that period.
These are questions which need investigation and which are pursued in the following chapters.
Part I traces the main details of the eastward expansion of the gospel from Antioch to Syria, across Persia and Mongolia, and on into north China by the ancient trade routes, noting the evidence of the Christian missions' activity.
AND DEDICATED to one who "also serves" in a thousand ways with her faithful help - my wife.
A restoration of the original silk painting of a missionary bishop of the Church of the East, now in the British Museum, London, discovered by Sir Aurel Stein at Tun-huang, western China, in 1908.
Part II examines the christological controversy of the fifth century to ascertain what the church understood "Nestorianism" to be and what Nestorius's own presentation was, in order to come to an understanding of the theology of Nestorius and "Nestorianism." Those not desiring to follow the christological study of chapter six, with its linguistic considerations, may find the conclusion at the end of the chapter an adequate summary.
Part III examines the ten Chinese and two Syriac documents found in north China, considered to have been written by Christian missionaries between the seventh and eleventh centuries, to learn in what sense these missionaries were "Nestorians," and what relation, if any, this connection had to their missionary zeal and subsequent failure.
Chairman Japan Presbyterian Mission Missionary of Mission to the World of the Presbyterian Church in America Assyrian International News Agency Books Online org Published 1984 A. DEDICATED to the memory of the men of God who thirteen centuries ago first took the gospel to China - "the missionaries who traveled on foot, sandals on their feet, a staff in their hands, a basket on their backs, and in the basket the Holy Scriptures and the cross.
They went over deep rivers and high mountains, thousands of miles, and on the way, meeting many nations, they preached to them the gospel of Christ." FROM AN ANCIENT TEXT.
They themselves used the name Ching Chiao, Luminous Religion (or Illuminating?