The other reason was the rather tolerant attitude of the Japanese toward Communism. On Brunner s side, he over-reacted to these two tendencies. He was probably too reactionary, as his strong anti-Commu nist preaching indicated. He avoided discussing theological questions, especially those dealing with his basic controver- REVIEW 35 sies with Earth, saying that he came to Japan not as a "theologian" but as a "missionary.
Thus Brunner s second experience in Japan was a rather disap pointing one. However, it is admitted that his missionary activities should be more appreciated than they are. His encounter with those people who were not Barthian was fortunate and most fruitful. One thinks of the ICU students, to whom he imparted great influence.
In Bible study groups, small discussions, and other meetings, students had personal contact with Brunner as he stood before Jesus, and many of them had decisive experiences. Another area of contact was with the people of the Non-church groups. Brunner found more truth in these groups than Japanese "Church" Christians had previously been able to recognize, and he tried to be and make a bridge between them and those in the organized churches.
John C. Bennett: His visit in served to enlighten Japanese church leaders, especially theologians, on the mis sion of the church in society.
Such freedom as was allowed could only be applied in the sense of the cult of the Imperial Ancestors and the norms of Shintoism. Continue this thread. It is also pointed out that there were several unknown pastors in local churches who were not afraid to criticize the government in the cause of social justice, for example, Gien Kashiwagi, Congregational minister of Annaka, and Kinosuke Shiraishi, Methodist minister of Hamamatsu, are mentioned. In , the last year of Meiji, Christians were invited, along with repre sentatives of Shinto and Buddhism, to a "Three Religions Conference" sponsored by the government. Reviewed 18 October Date of visit: May Find here your favorite online store to get the best discount Dollywood discount tickets kroger.
Though it may be an exag geration to say that President Kuwada of Tokyo Union Theological Seminary had a "conversion" experience due to Bennett, it is true that Kuwada, and other theologians as well, became from that time on more concerned with social problems. Though he was already known from before the war among Japanese scholars, his reception in general academic circles was rather unfavorable just as Brunner s had been.
This was because the Japanese scholars were then dealing with problems that Heimann had already dealt with several de cades previously, and it seemed that he was no longer in terested in them. But it was different for the church people.
Tillich had a pro found desire to understand Japan from within. He was received both inside and outside of the church with great respect for his humble personality and his profound think ing. He was successful in having exceptional dialogue with non-Christians, particularly with Buddhists. Unlike Brun- ner, Tillich was a good listener and he honestly tried to under stand the heart and mind of the Japanese people. On the other hand, he gave non-watered down lectures without any modification to meet possible objections of Asian scholars.
He spoke to the Japanese with all the sincerity and with all the strength of his mind. Stanley Jones: His first post-war visit was in , and during the ten years which followed he came back six times for evangelistic campaigns. On his first visit, his encourage ment was very inspiring for those who were in a state of anxiety immediately after the war, and because of his campaign churches got together and learned how to co operate. His goodwill and rich example of living faith were especially influential among laymen of middle age and older.
Lacour Evangelism,: Mr. Laurence Lacour came to Japan first in , partly as an expression of contrition for the atomic bomb. Their self-criticism and at titude of service to Japan appealed to the people. They brought musical instruments at a time when people were thirsty for music. That would probably be difficult now be cause of a surfeit of music. Later they sent teams of pastors and their wives to Japan during the summer period to help Japan s churches. The sacrificial attitude of these pastors appealed to the Japanese people too.
As results of their work which extended over a period of six years, not a few churches were founded, and many people became Christian and were baptized. It was the largest such event that Japan had seen up to that time. About , attended and 7, made decisions dur ing three weeks.
Besides the usual critical comments made of this kind of evangelism, there was the criticism that it contained anti-Communist propaganda. It is pointed out, however, that many Christians who helped the Crusade, especially as counselors, had good training and experienced a strengthening of their own faith.
It is noted too that the majority of the people who supported the Crusade were laymen, and especially active were businessmen in Osaka. Thus the Osaka Crusade brought out this energy of laymen which up until that time the churches had not been able to harness to any marked degree. The Christian Academy: Mr. Alfred Schmidt came to Japan in , having been sent by the German Evangelical Academy to start this movement.
Miiller, the founder of the parent organization, visited also and aroused some interest among some circles in the churches. The academy movement is expected to be a noteworthy Christian activity. The Problem of the Minister and the Layman It is not clear whether the quality of preaching has been growing poor, or whether the cultural standard of the con gregations has been rising, but at any rate, laymen do not feel that the present-day ministers are exerting strong leadership.
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In early Meiji, since the ministers were from the samurai class, and the laymen were from the common people, the ministers naturally were able to exert strong leadership, even in the cultural areas. From the later Meiji period, however, the situation changed. Following on the industrialization and urbanization movements, the middle- class and intellectual class of people in the cities became the main constituency of the Protestant population.
Thus what one would call culturalism, or academism, became the prevailing pattern in the churches. Many of the ministers who are the most highly respected by the laymen are those who are serving at the same time as professors at seminaries or universities. This dual role is expected both by the laymen public and by the seminary students. This is partly due to the very low salaries that go with ministerial posts.
What is the matter with laymen? How can they talk about brotherhood? This is a big problem of the churches today.
Yet, it falls as well to the ministers themselves, who are supposed to discipline laymen. Theological emphasis plus culturalism makes preaching and the whole church atmosphere spiritually poor. How can the church become spiritual with out becoming fanatical, and at the same time, how can theo logy be pursued without becoming too abstract this defines the problem, and suggests the necessity for a re-examination of the education of seminary students. The Problem of the Indigenization of Christianity After the war it became clear that Japanese Christians needed to study the problem of the indigenization of Christi anity, that is, of Christianity s confrontation with the Japa nese spiritual soil.
In the past there were two opposing posi tions vis-a-vis Japanese tradition. One position was that of "isolated purity," that is, refusing Japanese tradition, not even letting the plant of the Gospel have any soil in which to take root, trying to maintain the purity of Christianity outside the soil of Japanese society. The other position was that of "burying" the plant of Christianity so deeply in the ground that it can never take root and grow, that is, refusing REVIEW 39 to recognize any unique essence of Christianity, abandoning any sense of confrontation with Japanese culture, seeking peace with society, and trying to Japanize Christianity itself.
Thus the new task of the Christian community is to find a way of confronting Japanese culture and thought, and of making Christianity take root in Japanese soil without taking a position of "isolated purity" or of using the "burying" tech nique. It appears that in the process of considering the in- digenization of the Christian Gospel, the problems are two-fold.
First of all, there is the problem of Japanese Christianity itself. Perhaps there are core characteristics of Christianity itself that make it impossible for it to enter into the heart of the Japanese people and their culture. Secondly, there is the problem of Japanese traditional culture and way of thinking. Maybe there are aspects of this culture which stubbornly reject Christianity, in other words, what one might call a unique Japanese atheism or Japanese pluralism. Thus we must discern more objectively what the essence of these hindrances to the indigenization of Christianity are; then, we must discover the spiritual language and logic by which we can communicate with one another.
That kind of communication would be possible when Christianity becomes able to grasp the problems of Japanese people in their depth. Otherwise it will be impossible to redeem the soul of the Japanese people. For redemption, incarnation is necessary. It means that in order to make Japan Christian, we Chris tians must first become Japanese. The problem of indigeniza tion lies not only at the level of thought, but of life, of actual living.
Probably what one may call the actualization of faith in life is needed. Christianity in the form of thought is not enough. Living Christianity, which is wit nessed through life is important. Among Japanese Christians there are many who know about the logic or the history of Christianity, and who have a good knowledge of the Bible. But there are very few who live by faith. What Christianity has to save in Japan is not only those outside the circle of Japanese Christians, but Christianity must begin to save the inner selves of those of us who call ourselves "Christian.
There is no summary or conclusion to these three volumes.
What I have described here is not a consensus of all the participants either. As I mentioned in the beginning, I have picked out some points that I thought might be of interest to the Christian world outside of Japan and to missionaries in Japan. The participants views and interpretations are of course not necessarily representative of those held by all Japanese. Unavoidably Editor Kuyama s own views are re flected at many points.