Tao Te Ching Translation Interview with Marc Mullinax PGE 36

As. early as one hundred years after the time of Jesus and the first generations of Christians, Christian thinkers recognized that Jewish Christian Scripture was not exhaustive in its claim to knowledge and there was insight and wisdom into the way and truth of things in non-Christian sources. While there have always been objections on the part of some Christians to doing so, as Tertullian’s famous question, ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’ indicates, the predominance of Christian thinkers have drawn from, incorporated into their thinking, build upon the ideas of, and felt the need to respond to the challenges of non-Christian thinkers. Greek philosophers, especially Plato and eventually Aristotle, have been the primary conversation partners throughout Christian history but these have not been the only ones.

Because of Western culture’s preference for definitions of truth being unchanging, stable, and absolute, the Christian West has been slow to dialogue with and embrace insights from Eastern philosophies which tend to have more dynamic worldviews. However, with the rise of such things as theories of relativity, quantum physics, process thinking, insights into paradigm shifts, and deconstruction thinking, that reluctance is changing.

For much of his life, my guest, Dr. Marc Mullinax, Christian theologian and Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Mars Hill University, in Mars Hill, NC, has found helpful insights and wisdom for living one’s life wisely, healthily and peacefully, and for the Christian faith in the ancient Chinese resource, the Tao Te Ching (You have already met Marc in episodes 10 and 11 of this podcast). Marc was not satisfied with the translations of the Tao he was using for the courses he teaches on Eastern/Asian thought. Consequently, he has provided us with a new and especially accessible translation of his own–Tao Te Ching: Power for the Peaceful.

There are three things that make this new book so valuable. The first is the care and quality of the translation. Marc’s target is us all, not just scholars or experts. In this he has succeed. His translation is easily read and understandable. The second, as a creative element, Marc has added sayings from around the world, from all periods of history, and even from popular culture that mirror the teachings and insights of Tao. The third is Marc has added notes and reflections after each block of verses that increase the accessibility and one’s understanding of the teachings of Tao.

Marc is also doing an ongoing Youtube podcast which you can find here or, by typing into the search box the title of the book, Tao Te Ching: Power to the Peaceful.

The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.