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If you really Nee to know Who was Watchman Nee? Discussions regarding the life and times of Watchman Nee, the Little Flock and the beginnings of the Local Church Movement in Mainland China

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Old 01-09-2016, 10:18 AM   #1
UntoHim
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Default Simon Chan: Grassroots Asian Theology

Someone recently drew my attention to a newly-published book which has a section addressing Watchman Nee's teachings.

The book is
Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up, IVP Academic, (2014)

Dr. Simon Chan (PhD, Cambridge) is Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore
The relevant section is pp. 180-188 (most of which can be read online via Google Books)

One major point is the close resemblance Prof Simon Chan finds between Watchman Nee's teachings & those of the Roman Catholic & Orthodox Churches.

Here are the most relevant quotes:

Watchman “Nee is often accused of sectarianism, but theologically, Nee’s ecclesiology is no more exclusive than the Roman Catholic Church’s claim that the true church ‘subsists’ in the Catholic Church. What Nee has done is transfer the Roman exclusiveness to the ‘local church.’ But unlike the Catholic understanding, the charge of sectarianism will not go away as long as Nee questions the legitimacy of nonlocal churches.”
[Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up, IVP Academic, (2014) p. 186]

Watchman “Nee’s theological vision of the church is far more traditional and ‘catholic’ than perhaps he himself realized. His concepts of the corporate Christ and the distinction between the body and bride bear close resemblance to the Catholic idea of totus Christus seen in Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi and in other Catholic writers. His understanding of authority as a reciprocal relationship between the elders and people is not very different from that of Orthodoxy. Even the laying on of hands is surprisingly close to the traditional understanding of the sacrament of confirmation.”
[Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology, IVP Academic, (2014) p. 187]

“[H]is ecclesiology... is surprisingly traditional, perhaps closer to Catholicism and Orthodoxy than to Protestantism...” [Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology, IVP Academic, (2014) p. 202]


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Old 01-09-2016, 06:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Simon Chan: Grassroots Asian Theology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Chan View Post


Watchman “Nee is often accused of sectarianism, but theologically, Nee’s ecclesiology is no more exclusive than the Roman Catholic Church’s claim that the true church ‘subsists’ in the Catholic Church. What Nee has done is transfer the Roman exclusiveness to the ‘local church.’ But unlike the Catholic understanding, the charge of sectarianism will not go away as long as Nee questions the legitimacy of nonlocal churches.”
[Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up, IVP Academic, (2014) p. 186]

Watchman “Nee’s theological vision of the church is far more traditional and ‘catholic’ than perhaps he himself realized. His concepts of the corporate Christ and the distinction between the body and bride bear close resemblance to the Catholic idea of totus Christus seen in Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi and in other Catholic writers. His understanding of authority as a reciprocal relationship between the elders and people is not very different from that of Orthodoxy. Even the laying on of hands is surprisingly close to the traditional understanding of the sacrament of confirmation.”
[Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology, IVP Academic, (2014) p. 187]

“[H]is ecclesiology... is surprisingly traditional, perhaps closer to Catholicism and Orthodoxy than to Protestantism...” [Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology, IVP Academic, (2014) p. 202]


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I would add to this that Nee closely followed John Darby whose ecclesiology was also traditional, even Anglican, where he was initially ordained into the priesthood.

It is no surprise then that Nee and Darby were both considered "popes" to outsiders.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Simon Chan: Grassroots Asian Theology

Interesting. I am less prone to the labeling relative to the RCC at this point, but it does point more clearly to some of the parallels that others (maybe even you in the past) have pointed to.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Simon Chan: Grassroots Asian Theology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I would add to this that Nee closely followed John Darby whose ecclesiology was also traditional, even Anglican, where he was initially ordained into the priesthood.

It is no surprise then that Nee and Darby were both considered "popes" to outsiders.
It is not difficult to draw parallels between the LC and RCC, and the sheer irony of it all is simply that the LC was presumed to be the antithesis of everything that the RCC stood for.

Perhaps that is why no one saw it coming. When WL became the de facto pope, no one could believe it. LC members still can't believe it, they can't even entertain that possibility.
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