The Origin Of The "Three Self"(「三自」探源) / 張賢勇


本文先交代寫作原委,並澄清既不明確又常遭誤解之「自」的定義,然後從最早期宣教士,如范亨利(Henry Venn)和安魯弗斯(Rufus Anderson)開始至中國教會本土化的過程為止,依次說明三自運動的起源和歷史。本文承認三自運動的起源和發展是難理解的,對「三自」觀念亦有不同的詮釋。對本土化運動的三個階段,即自十九世紀以來,中華民國建國前後及1920年代,本文都十分詳細地描述。雖然作者在總結中,認為三自理論在中國應用時,與其西方創始人之原意已很不同,但他仍希望本文在未來能為更新基督教會,和改進中國教會與政府的關係,提供重要的資料。



The article begins with the rationale for writing this paper and some definitional clarifications on the often ambiguous or misunderstood term “self”. It recounts the origin and history of the Three-Self Movement from the earliest Western missionaries of Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson to the indigenization process of the Chinese church. The article acknowledges that the origin and development of TSM are enigmatic, and that different interpretations exist with regard to the concept of “Three Self”. Three stages of the indigenous movement from the nineteenth century, the founding of the Republic of China and the 1920’s are also narrated in substantial details. Though the author concludes that the application of the three self theory in China is quite different from the original intention of the Western developers of the theory, the material will provide significant data to the reformation of the Christian church and the improvement of church-state relationships in China in the years ahead.