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Incorruptible Love

The K. H. Ting Story


Jia Ma and Suyun Liao

K. H. Ting (1915–2012) was an important Christian leader and theologian in China. Indeed, since the late-1970s, he has been seen as the spokesperson for Christianity in China. Many stories surround his life, but it is sometimes unclear which ones are true, making him a mysterious figure.

K. H. Ting became the principal of Jinling Theological Seminary in 1952 and remained in this position until his death, making him the longest-standing principal of any theological seminary in the world. He experienced many difficult times in his 97 years, and in any ways the history of Christianity in China is reflected through the ups and downs he experienced. In Incorruptible Love: The Story of K. H. Ting, the authors offer Christians, as well as people of other spiritual beliefs, intellectuals, and the general public, a greater understanding of K. H. Ting’s life and beliefs. This biography will help people learn not only about K. H. Ting, but also about the fundamentals of Chinese Christianity.

Written in a blend of creative and academic writing styles, Incorruptible Love makes the story of K. H. Ting vivid and convincing. This text can be used in courses on Christianity in China, the Chinese Church, religion in China, and modern Chinese history.

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Chapter 7. As Diplomat and Spokesperson for Christianity in China


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· 7 ·


Part 1: The Ladder to Heaven

It is not until after the foundation of PRC that the Christian Church’s principle of the Three-Self started to gradually grow towards the influential presence it holds today, which can be attributed to the efforts of Y. T. Wu. Based on the timeline and history of political transformation in China, the organizational structure and operational guidelines of the Three-Self went through two stages, with GCR as the dividing point and led by two generations of leaders, Y. T. Wu and K. H. Ting, respectively. Principle-wise, these two stages are similar, yet each assumes unique generational characteristics, with the earlier led by Y. T. Wu, which focused on how to achieve self-governance, self-support and self-propagation, establishing the movement’s fundamental structure and operational model. The subsequent generation, led by K. H. Ting, stressed how to govern, support and propagate effectively. During the first stage, in order to carry out the task of establishing the foundation and sustaining its survival, the Three-Self had to focus more on external environments and how to build a positive relationship between the Church and the newly founded government as well as society. During the second stage, the Three-Self shifted its focus toward its internal operations, aiming to grow its presence and become ← 133 | 134 → the scaffold of a united Chinese Christian Church in the future. Restricted by the political environment in the 1950s...

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