Taiwan Church News
November 7 – 13, 2016
The Reformation As A Process Of Contextualization In Essence
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
To celebrate Reformation 500, a seminar entitled as “Studies of Calvin’s Theology in Taiwan” was held at Taiwan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS) in the afternoon on November 7. This event was jointly organized by the Center of Calvin Studies at TTCS, Association of Calvin Studies in Asia, and PCT’s Church History Committee.
This seminar focused on discussing the relationships between the Calvin studies and the Reformation 500. Professor Zeng Yang-en, a distinguished church historian and expert in Calvin’s theology, pointed out that the Reformation is a process of contextualization in essence.
Prof Zeng took the famous Affairs of the Sausages occasioned in 1518 to explain why the Reformation is actually a process of contextualization. After Zwingli, a renown Swiss reformer, experienced the conflict of the church’s stubborn doctrines on food and the people’s actual demand during the Lent, he started to challenge the church’s hypocritical legalism via a re-interpretation of the Bible and got a prevail in Swiss, noted Prof Zeng.
“Freedom is the most critical idea of the Reformation; it’s not a secular freedom of do-what-you-want-at-will, but an idea with deep religious convictions. The opposite side of freedom is “non-freedom”, and it is actually an “agnst” which the reformers tried to deal their contemporary problems in terms of Christian faith. Angst is a frame of bondage; and trying to escape from such predicament is the spirit of the Reformation!”, stressed Prof Zeng.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Prof Zeng Yang-en reminded the audience that the Reformation actually is a process of contextualization in a TTCS seminar on November 7. As Taiwan society did not take a serious concern in ecological problems in the past generations after WWII, Prof Zeng urged Taiwan Church and Society to bring in more ecological concerns into theological reflections in order to experience the freedom of the glory as Paul indicated in Romans 8:12 – 23.
Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong