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tao-te-ching-christian-translation-300This Christian edition of the Tao Te Ching is an 81-day journey into the limitless power of your spirit that will allow you to find true happiness and abundance. It reveals profound spiritual principles that, when put into practice, can set you on your own personal Path to Greatness: finding, orienting yourself toward and then following the flow of God’s Spirit in your life, trusting it to guide your actions and amplify your efforts so that you can achieve your best possible life.

Featuring a text of the Tao Te Ching that’s infused with language from the Bible to clarify themes common to both books, this volume also includes annotations to specific Bible verses that will help you:

  • Discern the mystic wisdom contained in God’s Word
  • Discover how to tap into the flow of God’s energy in your life to accomplish your goals
  • Learn how to live in the present moment without undue concern about the future
  • Connect to the power of God’s Spirit to create or change any aspect of your life

Though often overlooked by the world at large, the subtle, powerful, and often paradoxical truths revealed in this volume will allow all readers—Christian and non-Christian alike—to find their own Path to Greatness.

“This book is Keith Hoang’s personal journey to the spiritual common ground between East and West—an important quest for humanity and a worthy goal for all of us.”
—Derek Lin, author of Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained

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What Is the Path to Greatness?

How many self–help or life–strategy books do you know that have been around for thousands of years and are still revered by millions of people today? If there were such books, would you agree that they would contain a powerful message regarding how we should live our lives? And what if it turned out that the essential principles that these books promoted were much the same? I believe that there are two such books: the Bible and the Tao Te Ching. This book features a text of the Tao Te Ching that’s infused with language from the Bible to clarify themes common to both books. It reveals profound spiritual principles that, when put into practice, can set you on your own personal Path to Greatness: finding, orienting yourself toward and then following the flow of God’s Spirit in your life, trusting it to guide your actions and amplify your efforts so that you can achieve your best possible life.
At first glance, you might think that the Bible and the ancient Chinese book the Tao Te Ching would have little in common. As a lifelong Catholic, I certainly thought so for most of my life—or would have, if I had given the topic any thought. After all, the Bible and the Tao Te Ching come from different times and different cultures. The Bible is primarily a religious book, while the Tao Te Ching isn’t religious at all. The Bible is some three–quarters of a million words long and would take weeks (or longer) to read in its entirety, while the Tao Te Ching contains only 81 brief chapters and can be read in a single afternoon.
Christian-Edition-of-the-tao-te-ching-520
My own personal journey has brought me to a place where I see that the Bible and the Tao Te Ching do have much in common. In fact, as I see it, God’s truth as revealed in the Bible also flows through the Tao Te Ching in the form of principles—some might even say spiritual principles—that, when you put them into practice, can help you achieve your goals without wasted effort, experience serenity whatever your circumstances, and otherwise improve your life, sometimes dramatically.
Just what are these principles? To my mind, one of the most powerful is what the Bible might call “living in the Spirit”—that is, praying to understand God’s will, putting forth effort to accomplish it and (this is crucial) trusting that as you cooperate with the Spirit, the Spirit will add God’s energy to your endeavors, so that you can actually accomplish more with less work. The Tao Te Ching has a similar, paradoxical teaching called wei wu wei, which can be described as “action without action.” It refers to the idea that when you cooperate with the Tao, or the Way of the universe, your efforts are magnified, and you achieve results better than those you could ever get solely through your own initiative.
Another principle found in both the Bible and the Tao Te Ching is learning to live in the moment without undue concern about what the future might bring. This cuts against our nature in this day and age. We always seem to be planning, striving, trying to attain possessions, security, and peace of mind. Learning to be content in the present moment with whatever we may or may not have seems … unproductive. And yet, as both of these wise books affirm, staying grounded in the moment isn’t necessarily mere passivity; instead, if done mindfully, it can be an abiding trust that God is working for our good and will give us all we need (as a student of the Bible might put it), or that we are living in harmony with the Tao and we do not need what we currently do not have (as a student of the Tao Te Ching might put it).
This Christian edition of the Tao Te Ching is like a road map for what I call your Path to Greatness. On this path, “greatness” isn’t about putting forth maximum effort to achieve fame, financial success or other such trappings that the world commonly venerates. Rather, as mentioned above, the Path to Greatness that I describe is about finding, orienting yourself toward and then following the flow of energy and God’s Spirit in your life, trusting it both to guide your actions and to amplify your efforts to achieve your best possible life. This might include wealth and other material blessings; it might not. Everyone’s path is different. The key is to find this Path to Greatness and follow it, trusting it to take you where it will. If you take care of the journey, the destination will take care of itself.

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Why the Tao Te Ching?
The title of the Tao Te Ching can be translated “Book of the Tao and Virtue,” “Book of the Way and Its Virtue” or “The Way and the Power.” According to tradition, it was written by a sage named Lao Tzu (or Old Master), who was a renowned scholar and a record–keeper at the royal court of China’s Zhou Dynasty during the 6th century BCE.

According to legends, Laozi leaves China on hi...
According to legends, Laozi leaves China on his water buffalo. Renard, (2002), p. 16 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s religious forms of Taoism, some revere Lao Tzu as a divine being, while others argue that he is strictly a mythical figure. Scholars still debate the text’s true authorship, with many contending that “Lao Tzu” was actually a collection of various authors. But the debate over the Tao Te Ching’s authorship does not diminish its power and insight. Its 81 brief chapters consist of short poems, which range from political wisdom for kings and leaders to practical advice for everyday people. It is probably the most influential Chinese book of all time, and it may have been translated into English more times than any other Chinese document. Many believe it is the most famous and influential of all Taoist texts that teaches one undivided truth at the root of all things.
The text of the Tao Te Ching is divided into two parts. The first (chapters 1–37) concerns the Tao, which is the way of the universe, the source of life, and the power in all nature. It exceeds our senses, thoughts, and imagination, and if it were to reveal itself in all its fullness and glory, humanity would not be able to bear the vision. These early chapters explain how we can orient our lives to this way of the universe. The second part of the Tao Te Ching gives further details about Te (chapters 38–81), which means virtue or power. Te is the energy that can be cultivated by a person through living harmoniously with the Tao. Together, the Tao Te Ching can be called the Way of Power, or, in other words, the Way of God by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
I am a Christian practicing as a Catholic, so I understand that these concepts might sound strange or peculiar to many Christian ears. But I believe deeply that they contain and help reveal the wisdom of God—the same wisdom of God that is found in the Bible. By annotating the concepts in the Tao Te Ching with Bible verses, I hope to help Christians and non–Christians alike to see that God’s wisdom as contained in the Bible also flows through the Tao Te Ching, for I believe that without God, the Tao Te Ching would not exist as one of the wisest books ever written.

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How Do I Read This Book?

Although the Tao Te Ching can easily be read in just a few hours, the text becomes much more powerful when it is read slowly, mentally digested through patient prayer and meditation, and its principles actually put into practice. The richness of the Tao Te Ching is a lifelong exploration of discovering something new about yourself every time you read it.
For these reasons, I suggest that you avoid the temptation to rush through this book. Instead, try reading just one chapter every day in a kind of 81–day experiment. First find a place to read that is free from distractions. Then, approaching the text with a heart open to change, read a single chapter, looking up the Bible verses as you go. Be sure to spend time in prayer and meditation after you read; otherwise the lessons are too easily forgotten in the course of the day. Many people find it helpful to keep a journal of their thoughts, both to help them retain what they’ve learned and to serve as a handy reference later. Finally, look for opportunities during your day–to–day life to try out the principles that you will be discovering. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly they bear fruit.
At the end of your 81 days and the 81 chapters, take a spiritual inventory. How have your thoughts changed over the last eleven weeks? What are you doing differently now? Do you have an increased sense of peace and stillness in your life? As you continue to explore these new ideas, you very well might find yourself repeating this 81–day experiment.
God has worked many miracles in bringing this book to fruition, and writing it has truly been a labor of love on my part, as it nearly consumed my normal life. I pray that in reading it, you too will be drawn closer to God—for when we are One with God in Spirit, we are living a Path to Greatness. Amen!

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