New Book Explores Religion and Culture

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Reverend Gerard Jacobs authors discussion on parallels in belief systems and society

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It demonstrates that Chinese religions are deeply imbedded in the psyche of Chinese people and are also considered a staple of their culture.

Through his 28 years of work in Christian ministry both with sectarian and institutionalized churches, the Rev. Gerard Jacobs has witnessed the radical effects orthodox theology can have on a society.

Born into a Eurasian family, Jacobs was part of a minority group in Singapore that was predominantly Roman Catholic. Raised in a multi-ethnic society, Jacobs constantly found himself challenged in sharing and expressing his beliefs.

While having experienced both protestant evangelical Christianity through the Methodist church and Charismatic Christianity when it first began in Singapore, he has seen the development of theological emphases that appeal to people who share a deep belief in achieving high levels of material, aesthetic and superficial wealth.

Jacobs’ book, The Pursuit and Acquisition of Health and Wealth, reflects the concern of syncretism from the way popular Christianity in Singapore is being propagated to attract non-believers from a Chinese ethnic background with a Chinese religious worldview.

“It demonstrates that Chinese religions are deeply imbedded in the psyche of Chinese people and are also considered a staple of their culture,” Jacobs says.

The book shares Jacob’s opinions of over-contextualization of Christian beliefs and practices and challenges the leaders of mega-churches to present a gospel that genuinely expresses the truths about prosperity and well-being.

Jacobs says, “Religions, both ethnic and institutionalized, thrive when challenged by modernity and secularization.”

The Pursuit and Acquisition of Health and Wealth
By Gerard Jacobs
ISBN: 0-473-11149-70
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Westbow Press

About the author
Rev. Gerard Jacobs completed his graduate work at Trinity Theological College in Singapore, where he then pursued post-graduate studies at the Tydale-Carely Graduate School of Theology at Laidlaw College in New Zealand. Jacobs has spent time working in a Pentecostal Chinese church as well as in Christian ministry both with sectarian and institutionalized churches made up of predominantly Chinese Christians. He currently serves as an Anglican parish priest in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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