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Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, September 21, 2020

I am not even sure when Blogspot started using labels for posts. I thought the idea was a bit redundant, since, if you type a word in the search box in the upper left corner, Blogspot will use the Google search engine to search only this blog for blog posts that contain that term. So I passed on it for a long time. But much has changed in the years since I started this blog in December of 2003. Many people use smart phones now to read blogs, and I saw that if you are using a smart phone, it is nice to be able to tap a label at the bottom of the blog post and see all blogposts having that same label. So I have started to use them, and then thought it would be nice if I could create a page where readers could see all the topics listed and then click on the label for the topics they were interested in persuing. It will take me some time to get this done--I guess I will be putting in a few topics a day.

I should also remind you that the permalink for a blog post can be obtained by clicking on the date at the bottom of that blog post.

A World Split Apart
This is the title of Solzhenitsyn's address to the graduating class of Harvard in June of 1978. This topic includes posts referring to that lecture. If you are just interested in the lecture itself, it is also listed in the title section.

Aerospace
Blog posts about aviation and outer space.

American Civil War
The American Civil War is the centerpoint of American history. Everything that happened before it was a cause of it. Everything that happened after it has been caused by it.

American Society
This is a rather large topic right now, because it includes all posts about America society. Since the blog is mostly about China, I think it will be alright for now. I may need to divide it later.

Apologetics
Apologetics is not about saying you're sorry. It is a term used to define arguments in defense of the Christian faith. So it would be a branch of philosophy, or at least incorporate philosophical ideas. I guess you could say it is the intersection of religion and philosophy, since religion is about what people believe, and apologetics explains why those beliefs are reasonable.

Assassination
Obiously, I hope this topic stays small.

Back to Jerusalem
These posts have to do with a movement in the Christian church in China (particularly the informal church) dedicated to bringing the Christian message "back to Jerusalem" by way of the Muslim countries between China and Israel.

Basic Law
The “Basic Law” is the law establishing the SAR under the “one country, two systems” arrangement.

Beihai
I taught extension courses in the spring semester for three years at Beihai College in Beihai during the years that I was teaching at Beihang University in Beijing. Beihai is a coastal city in the south of Guangxi Province.

Capitalism vs Socialism
In today’s China, it is no longer politically correct to voice Marxist ideology. But it is also not politically correct to publicly admit that we no longer believe what Marx teaches. So young people are confused, because they look around them and see capitalism, but they are told that it is socialism.

Censorship
Since the incident with the South China Weekly back in 2013, the Party has tightened its grip on the media in China. Up until that time, individual papers were given a measure of freedom to operate as long as they did not openly contradict the Party line. It should also be noted that every country has some censorship. So there is good censorship and bad censorship. But how do we draw the line between the two?

Chen Guangcheng
Chen Guangcheng is the blind “barefoot lawyer” from Shandong Province who helped poor people in their attempts to obtain redress of grievances. He was arrested, spent four years in prison and was then placed under house arrest in his village. He escaped, went to the US embassy in Beijing, and eventually got to America.

China Inland Mission
The CIM was the mission established by Hudson Taylor in the nineteenth century. After 1949 they changed their name to OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship).

China Missions
For a hundred years—from the first half of the nineteenth century to 1949, western missionaries brought Christianity to China. By the time they were kicked out after 1949, the church had already become quite well established and rooted in Chinese soil. Political events after 1949 forced the church underground, which resulted in an already established institution becoming deeply rooted in Chinese soil. So much so, that China today could not be China without Chinese Christianity.

China Youth University
I taught at CYU from 2011 until CYU merged with the China Academy of Social Sciences in 2017.

Chinese Media
This topic addresses issues re: the Chinese Media. You should know that published news stories are not necessarily directed by the party. But all media in Mainland China is under the Party, and thus must not publish something that does not have the Party’s approval. Hong Kong media is not under the Party, but there is talk that they practice a considerable amount of self-censorship to avoid offending Beijing.

Chinese Military
Primary areas of interest here have to do with China’s relationship with close neighbors and the muscle flexing that China sees as a needful part of its diplomacy. I think this saber rattling has often had the opposite of the desired effect.

Christianity
Broad range of issues regarding the history and current practice of Christianity in China.

Cold War
When we hear the term “Cold War,” we generally think of relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. But China was within the Soviet sphere until 1962, and long after that in the minds of many Americans who did not appreciate the significance of the split between China and the Soviet Union. We now know that Mao feared Russia far more than he feared America

Communication
This topic addresses communication in a general sense, not just in China, because communication is becoming so global. But there are particular issues with respect to China in particular that also need to be addressed.

Confucius
China without Confucius could not be China He is fundamental to everything that happens in China, and particularly how countryside people respond to every day situations.

Conservatism
What is conservatism? Why is it becoming such an issue today? What is the fundamental difference conservatism and liberalism?

Corona virus 2020
Blog posts dealing with the corona virus that started in Wuhan, either (as it now appears) at a virus lab or at a local wet market.

Deadly Force
Use of deadly force by law enforcement and by citizens.

Democracy
Americans believe in democracy and tend to think the world would be a better place if everyone followed this path. But the divisiveness in American political life is a direct result of Americans giving credit to democracy for the freedom that God gave them instead of seeing democracy as a gift by God to a free people. In other words, democracy comes from freedom, not the other way around.

Deng Xiaoping
Rarely can the conqueror become the day to day administrator. Genghis Khan was the conqueror. But Kublai Khan was the ruler. In the same way, Mao was a very clever military strategist, but a horrible administrator. He ran the country into the ground. In sharp contrast, Deng’s policies pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

Doublespeak
“Point at a deer and call it a horse.” There is a constant pressure in China to all something one thing while we know it is another. The common expression is “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” But as a professor from Peking University said in a lecture I attended, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics is actually capitalism with Chinese characteristics.”

Dynasties
Blogs having to do with the dynastic history of China.

Education
This is a topic I am starting on the nature of education in China and of students in China. What are their needs and what are their priorities?

Espionage
What really is spying? What are spies like? What motivates them and what makes them tick? What should be our attitude toward them?

Expat Life
There are many foreigners living and working in China. In large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, they live a sort of alternate lifestyle. In several other cities, such as Kunming and Chengdu, there are also a sizeable number of foreigners.

Family Churches
There are two basic types of Protestant churches in China. There are the Three-Self churches, which are under the Religious Affairs Bureau, and the family churches, most of which are actually just small unregistered churches.

Fragrant Hills
I moved to Beijing in the mid-noughties to teach in the Software College of Beihang University. After working there for six years, I was in formed that Beihang University will not sign a contract with anyone who has reached the age of 55. So I left the foreign teacher’s dormitory and moved to the western hills of Beijing, known as “Fragrant Hills.”

Health Care
Blogs about health care issues in China.

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Human Rights
This topic is one of the most hotly debated when it comes to China. Don’t take anything for granted. China often complains that the western media is hypocritical in their treatment of this issue. I partly agree. But that does not mean that there are not human rights violations in China. Don’t swallow stuff whole. Do your own thorough investigation and reach your own conclusions. But be an informed student of China.

Individual Liberty
In my discussion of this issue, I often stress what I believe to be the most significant human rights issue: deprivation of liberty without due process. I tend to resist anything that obscures that issue, including references to “genocide” by western media. But there are other issues in addition to wrongful incarceration, such as freedom of worship to which we need to give attention.

Infrastructure
Infrastructure development in China is not without controversy, especially with respect to the Three Gorges Dam. But there is also a measure of controversy regarding the train system between the mainland and Hong Kong, and there have been very great concerns about the development of the high speed train in China.

International Churches
Basically there are three types of Protestant churches in China: family churches, Three-Self churches, and international churches. The family churches are basically unregistered house churches. The Three-Self churches are most often old mission churches that were taken over by the Party (by means of the Religious Affairs Bureau) after 1949. The international churches, or what I call “cocoon churches,” are run independently by foreigners on the condition that they do not admit Chinese people.

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