It would be the hope and heart-cry of every Christian parent that their children engage more readily, willingly and deeply with the Word of God. The more they engage, the brighter the lamp and light will shine in their lives.
Dr Thong Chan Kei, author of “Faith of our Fathers: Discovering God in Ancient China” [FooF], has a similar passion for the next generation, and this was captured so clearly in his recent talk, “Anchoring the Next Generation in History and Truth” on 25 Mar 2017. The talk was presented in conjunction with the launch of “7 Mysteries of Ancient China”, a manga adaptation of FooF by Japanese author/illustrator Kelly Kozumi Shinozawa. Dr Thong, inspired by Kelly’s Bible-based manga titles, e.g. Manga Genesis 1 & 2 and Manga Messiah, believed that a manga adaptation of FooF would be a unique way to inspire the younger generation in the veracity of the Bible. With vividly captured biblical parallels in ancient Chinese history, religious customs and language, such knowledge ultimately helping them to become anchored in biblical faith. The talk sought to encourage the audience of the potential impact such historical knowledge could have on young people’s faith and to actively promote, distribute and share the book.
The “7 Mysteries of Ancient China” explores the ancient Chinese worship of One God – one who shares the same attributes as the God of the Bible. With evidences from Chinese characters, descriptions of this God (Shang Di) from classical Chinese writings, and China’s imperial sacrificial system, etc., it is a compelling and visually captivating read. The young reader will be taken on a fantastical journey to discover the 7 Mysteries of Ancient China. Their guides to unearth “the truth” are Kelly and her history professor as they seek out the writings of Chinese historians and scholars from China’s ancient roots too the arrival of western Christian missionaries in the 16th-18th centuries.
Captured in stunning, vibrant colour, the characters and their adventure are brought to life in a most impactful way for a younger, visually orientated, generation. Manga provides a wonderful gateway to discovering the truth of God’s word and his hand in ancient history, from pages of the Bible and beyond. By piquing the interest of the young, it is hoped that they will begin a broader, deeper and wiser reading journey towards God.
The world continues to assault the reliability of the Bible and historical records to discourage the next generation to follow the Truth. Our young people need to be confident that what they believe in is true and real. They need to know that what they were told, their parents’ faith, is founded on history and truth. They need to be encouraged to discover the thrill, pleasure and joy of reading and, in so doing, develop the discipline to spend time in quiet, reflective contemplation.
“Words are the voice of the heart.” – Confucius
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”– Victor Hugo