Christian revival in the Presbyterian Church of Thailand between 1900 and 1941 : an ecclesiological analysis and evaluation

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dc.contributor.advisor Coertzen, P.
dc.contributor.author Son, Seung Ho
dc.contributor.other University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-12T07:44:14Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-12T07:44:14Z
dc.date.issued 2003-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16071
dc.description Thesis (D. Th.)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study deals with Christian revival and specifically Christian revival in the Presbyterian Church of Thailand. Above all, it is an in-depth ecclesiological analysis and evaluation of the Thai revival through John Sung’s campaigns of 1938-1939. This is a first attempt to examine this revival from a holistic point of view. Between 1900 and 1941, missionary work in Thailand was carried on almost exclusively by missionaries of the American Presbyterian Mission (APM), and the revival was confined to the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT) with which the missionaries were involved. The APM missionaries’ theology of revival can be understood by surveying the theological controversy over revival within the American Presbyterian Churches. There is a remarkable resemblance between the problems of the Old-New Side split of 1741 in American Presbyterianism and the Thai revival of 1938-1939. The same problems, of ministerial qualifications, differing understandings of the nature of true revival, and the essence of faith, reoccurred two hundred years later in Thailand. The historical, socio-cultural, religious, and political situation in Thailand played an important role in the reception of the gospel among the Thai, as well as in the results of John Sung’s campaigns. This is why the fruit of his ministry was meagre compared to the results of his work in other Southeast Asian countries, even though the campaigns resulted in the greatest revival movement Thailand had yet experienced. John Sung (1901-1944), the greatest evangelist China has ever known, was conservative in his theology. His theology of revival was coincident with Old School American Presbyterianism, but some aspects of his evangelistic methods were identical with those of the New School. Despite his errors, God used him mightily for the Thai church. Forerunners of the revival movement prepared the ground for John Sung’s Thai campaigns. Even though his itinerant ministry was conducted for only six weeks in 1938 and two months in 1939, there was a genuine spiritual revival, as is reflected in general church history, following the phenomena of conviction of sin and repentance, with restored worship and faith in God’s Word, and eagerness for evangelism. The revival had positive and negative results. Nevertheless, the Thai church was prepared for the test of the nationalistic Buddhist movement of 1940-1941 and the people were equipped for the hardships of the Second World War. By using the WestminsterConfession of Faith as a criterion for an ecclesiological evaluation of the campaigns, it is shown that John Sung did not instigate division within the church, even though his followers tried to set themselves apart. But his criticism of the missionaries and Thai church leaders disrupted the work of the officers of the church. When the Thai supporters of the campaigns, out of their hunger for God’s Word, asked for a Bible College to be established, the leaders of the APM, due to their own limitations, rejected the suggestion. In the end the APM and the CCT lost a golden opportunity for church growth. The most important reason was that neither could work in close cooperation with the other. The central issue now is whether the Thai church can learn from the lessons of the past. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie handel oor Christelike herlewing en spesifiek Christelike herlewing in die Presbiteriaanse Kerk van Thailand. Bowenal is dit 'n grondige ekklesiologiese analise en evaluering van die herlewing wat in Thailand deur John Sung se veldtogte in 1938 en 1939 teweeggebring is. Dit is 'n eerste poging om die herlewing vanuit 'n holistiese oogpunt te bestudeer. Tussen 1900 en 1941 is sendingwerk in Thailand feitlik uitsluitlik deur sendelinge van die Amerikaanse Presbiteriaanse Sending (APS) onderneem, en die herlewing was beperk tot die Kerk van Christus in Thailand (KCT) waarin hierdie sendelinge werksaam was. Die APS-sendelinge se herlewingsteologie is begrypbaar wanneer ons die teologiese twispunte oor herlewing binne die Amerikaanse Presbiteriaanse Kerke bestudeer. Daar is merkwaardige ooreenstemming tussen die skeuring van 1741 tussen die Ou en Nuwe Bedeling in Amerikaanse Presbiterianisme en die herlewing van 1938-1939 in Thailand. Dieselfde probleme, te wete die kwalifikasies van bedienaars, verskille in die verstaan van die aard van ware herlewing en die wese van geloof, het twee honderd jaar later ook in Thailand opgeduik. Die historiese, sosio-kulturele en politieke situasie in Thailand het 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die ontvanklikheid vir die evangelie onder die Thai, sowel as in die resultate van John Sung se veldtogte. Dit is hoekom die vrug van sy bediening skamel was in vergelyking met die resultate van sy werk in ander Suidoos-Asiatiese lande, alhoewel die veldtogte wel gelei het tot die grootste herlewingsbeweging wat Thailand ooit beleef het. John Sung (1901-1944), die grootste evangelis wat China ooit geken het, het 'n konserwatiewe teologie beoefen. Sy herlewingsteologie het saamgeval met die Ou Skool van Amerikaanse Presbiterianisme, maar sommige aspekte van sy evangelisasiemetodes was identies aan dié van die Nuwe Skool. Ten spyte van sy foute, het God hom kragtig gebruik in diens van die kerk in Thailand. Voorlopers van die herlewingsbeweging het die land vir John Sung se veldtogte in Thailand voorberei. Alhoewel sy rondreisende bediening slegs oor ses weke in 1938 en twee maande in 1939 gestrek het, was daar 'n ware geestelike herlewing soortgelyk aan wat in die algemene kerkgeskiedenis weerspieël word, wat gevolg het op 'n oortuiging van sonde en inkeer, met hernude aanbidding en geloof in die Woord van God en evangelisasie-ywer. Die herlewing het positiewe sowel as negatiewe gevolge gehad. Dit het nogtans die kerk in Thailand voorberei vir die toets van die nasionalistiese Boeddhistiese beweging van 1940-1941 en het mense toegerusvir die swaarkry van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Aan die hand van die Geloofsbelydenis van Westminster as 'n kriterium vir die ekklesiologiese evaluering van John Sung se veldtogte, word getoon dat hy nie verdeeldheid in die kerk aangespoor het nie, alhoewel sy volgelinge probeer het om hulself af te sonder. Sy kritiek op die sendelinge en kerkleiers in die kerk het egter die werk van die kerkbeamptes ontwrig. Toe die Thailandse ondersteuners van die veldtogte uit hul honger na die Woord van God die oprigting van 'n Bybelkollege versoek het, het die leiers van die APS die voorstel vanweë hul eie tekortkominge van die hand gewys. So het die APS en die KCT 'n gulde geleentheid vir kerkgroei verloor. Die vernaamste rede hiervoor was die onvermoë van beide om met mekaar saam te werk. Tans is die sentrale vraagstuk of die kerk in Thailand uit die lesse van die verlede kan leer. af
dc.format.extent vi, 210 leaves : map
dc.language.iso en_ZA en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch
dc.subject Sung, John en_ZA
dc.subject Revivals -- Thailand en_ZA
dc.subject Presbyterian Church -- Missions -- Thailand en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Theology en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Theology en_ZA
dc.title Christian revival in the Presbyterian Church of Thailand between 1900 and 1941 : an ecclesiological analysis and evaluation en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.rights.holder University of Stellenbosch


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