ASIA’S RELIGIONS – CHANG, LIT-SEN
Dr.Chang has provided a valuable data concerning the history and the major ideas of Asia�s religions. He has given accurate description of the fundamental assertions and ideas that provide a structure for faith in major Asia�s religions.He is analytical in his approach of the system of belief and the fundamental doctrine of each major Asia�s religions. He also points out the margins of the particular religions in term of intellectual, social and moral. He is critical in their teaching of the doctrine of God, Creation, Man, Sin, Salvation as well as on the last things (eschatology). This we can see that he is distinguished and different from most of the academic historians of religions. The academics generally choose to suspend critical judgment when dealing with religions other than their own. This suspension of judgment follows from a real interest to discover what people of other faiths believe and what such believing entails. Critical judgment is thought to often get in the way of understanding. Avoiding a distortion of religious ideas at the same time as critically judging is such a problem that most scholars choose to abandon the critical task in favor of accurate description. Dr.Chang’s Christian criticism concerning the Asia’s religions is biblical. His critiques go to the core of non-Christian philosophy, culture and Asia’s religions by exposing their underlying presuppositions which is not
biblical.His concern is on the system of beliefs rather than specific claims made by Asia’s religions. It is true that we should give attention to how such claims fit into a larger pattern of belief, because not all claims are being put forward for acceptance by advocates of a particular religion. In the age of toleration and pluralism in the 21st century postmodern world,believers of other faith would tell the Christians not to impose their values on others. Genuine dialogue is not that the partners agree before hand to relativise their own conviction, but that they accept each other as persons. In order to enter into a deep relationship with a person the essential requirement is not that he agrees with me, that I agree with him, or that we are both willing to negotiate a compromise, but rather that I turn to him with the willingness to listen to him, to understand him and to seek mutual enrichment. The real dialogue takes place in an ultimate, personal depth. It does not have to be a talking about religion.13 But something does distinguish real dialogue: the challenge. Dialogue challenges both partners, takes them out of the security of their own prisons which is built by their philosophy and theology, confronts them with reality and with truth.This book serves as a succinct summaries and biblically-based critiques of the traditional religions in Asia. It offers us, Christian, to understand the belief and fundamental doctrines of Asia’s religions.