[ LETTER ] - Taipei Times
Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTER ]

Missionaries’ contributions

I was surprised and dismayed to find that your fine paper saw fit to publish an article by professor Herbert Hanreich of I-Shou University, attacking not only an American missionary in Taichung, but apparently all missionaries in Taiwan, including the Christian faith itself (“Missionary positions in Taiwan,” May 30, page 8).

After reading the article, I could not help but wonder if you would publish an attack by a foreigner in a similar vein on say, the superstitions of Matzu devotees in Taiwan.

You did not need to read far to realize that the author is an obvious proponent of Nietzschean philosophy. Readers must understand when they read such a viewpoint that the sole goal of a nihilist is to promote a sustained attack on both Christianity and Christian morality.

Hanreich states: “The main goal of institutions of higher education is the enhancement of professional and academic skills. ‘Spiritual’ enhancement must not be a part of a university’s portfolio.”

Are at least some students who take philosophy courses at university not concerned with searching for purpose and meaning in life?

Was not the dear professor himself shaped to become a disciple of Nietzsche in the hallowed halls of academia?

If students at institutions of higher education can become proponents of socialism or nihilism or capitalism, then why not Christianity?

Is it that the critical thinking that one learns in a university, which Hanreich so admires, can be summed up in a nutshell: Children around the world die of hunger, therefore God is dead?

The professor writes: “Educators, therefore, should carefully distinguish between making people think and making people think like you. The former is the job of academic teachers, the latter the job of missionaries.”

Although certainly entitled to his opinion, what his article reads like is exactly what he accuses the concerned missionary of: getting others to think like him.

I wonder if the professor has any idea of the contributions that missionaries have made to Taiwan.

What positive, lasting contributions to society has a nihilist ever made, anyway?

How many nihilists have gone into remote communities on this island to personally engage in poverty relief, deliver medical care, provide marriage counseling and work to keep families facing hardship together?

The answer is: none, because to the nihilist the soul is not worth it. To the devoted Christian, every human being is. That is the difference between approaching a book through the “historical-critical method” or with the love of your heart.

Nick Kent

Yilan

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