Asian Christian Theology
Asian Christian Theology provides a survey of contextually reflective, robustly evangelical theology for students to engage with the core doctrines of Christianity and their outworking in different cultures across Asia. The contributors of the chapters come from all corners of Asia to systematically examine traditional doctrinal themes and contemporary concerns for the Asian church. Ideal for use as a companion textbook in Asian seminaries and institutions, this book will also provide excellent further reading for those outside of Asia seeking global theological perspectives, and for those in contexts of significant Asian diaspora. Many excellent books surveying theology exist, but this book is a major step forward for students and scholars seeking to understand the dynamic environment of evangelical theology in Asia.
This groundbreaking book, authored by Asians from every part of the vast continent, will be standard reading for every Asian student of theology in the evangelical tradition for years to come. But its importance will inspire Asian evangelical scholars as well, and students and scholars from other ecclesial and theological traditions. Rooted in the tradition of the wider church, it embraces Asian methods and concerns in a generous, responsible, and creative way.
Stephen B. Bevans, PhD
Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD Professor of Mission and Culture,
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois, USA
This groundbreaking book is not vaguely Christian nor parochially Asian. It is, rather, the effort of leading Asian theologians to articulate Christian faith in terms that are biblically rooted, committed to historic orthodoxy, contextually engaged, and suffused with evangelical zeal. As this book shows, the future is bright because Asian Christianity is theologically rigorous and missiologically driven, something the Western churches would seriously benefit from imbibing. This book is simply mandatory reading for anyone interested in theology from the global church, missions, cross-cultural ministry, or serving in multicultural settings.
Rev Michael F. Bird, PhD
Academic Dean and Lecturer in Theology,
Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
Asian Christian Theology: Evangelical Perspectives is a groundbreaking selection of theological reflections from Asia. The sixteen authors represent a wide variety of Asian contexts and include pastors and church leaders as well as seminary professors, offering a historically informed biblical and evangelical take on Asian realities. The editors aim to present a biblical faith for Asian believers; some of us hope and pray this solid presentation of Asian theology will also be readby North American (and European and African) believers. Asian Christian Theology makes an important contribution to that global conversation.
William Dyrness, PhD
Senior Professor of Theology and Culture,
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA
It is with enormous pride that I commend this book to you. We find here a much-needed compendium of contemporary evangelical thinking on many of the key theological issues that define Christianity in Asia today. It is a rare privilege to have, in one book, contributions from some of today’s outstanding Asian creative and biblical thinkers. May the insights found here trickle down to the churches and contribute to helping the growing church in Asia to mature in depth, relevance and national influence.
Ajith Fernando, ThM
Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka
Decentering the dominant strands of the Western theological tradition in the practice of evangelical theology is of utmost importance for its witness to the gospel among the people of every tribe and nation. This volume contributes admirably to that task by offering a rich and compelling collection of essays on a full range of theological topics and concerns from the perspectives of Asian evangelical theologians. As such, it makes a significant contribution to the formation of a global Christian faith that deserves to be widely read and contemplated, particularly by those interested in the future of evangelical theology.
John R. Franke, PhD
General Coordinator, The Gospel and Our Culture Network
This compendium of essays, with leading evangelical theologians from various parts of this vast continent writing on topics traditional in theology – from revelation and Trinity to Christology – and issues of contemporary concern such as culture, religious plurality, and immigration, is an amazing treasure of voices and insights. What is particularly noteworthy about the book is the presence of comparative theology throughout the discussions of various topics. Unlike most evangelicals, those from Asian soil are accustomed to reflecting on and framing their Christian theology in a sympathetic and critical dialogue with the teachings of other living faiths. This is mandatory reading not only for evangelicals in the global church but also for everyone who wishes to keep updated about the latest theological developments.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Dr Theol Habil
Professor of Systematic Theology,
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA
Docent of Ecumenics, University of Helsinki, Finland
This book contains sixteen distinguished essays succinctly addressing not only the classical dogmas ranging from revelation to eschatology, but also a variety of contemporary issues on culture and mission. They speak from a shared Asian identity, with an earnest commitment to be “biblically rooted, historically aware, contextually engaged, and broadly evangelical.” A “must read” for all seminary faculty, students, and alumni, whether you are of the Majority World or in the post-Christian West.
Rev Stephen Lee, PhD
President and Lam Ko Kit Tak Professor of Biblical Studies,
China Graduate School of Theology, Hong Kong
Evangelical theology that is “biblically rooted, historically aware, and contextually relevant” has at times been considered unattainable. But this book effectively demonstrates a mode of Asian reflection and theologizing that supports classical theology and compels us to be more committed to biblical truth.
Jung-Sook Lee, PhD
President, Torch Trinity Graduate University, Seoul, South Korea
Studying and doing theology in ways appropriate and relevant to the Asian situation has been limited for the longest time by the lack of Asian resources and our dependence on systematic theology books from the West. Finally, here is a textbook on Christian theology written by Asian theologians for the Asian church! An excellent resource on thinking theologically in context, I highly recommend this to be required reading in Bible colleges and seminaries as it will definitely help in equipping leaders who are not only rooted in the evangelical tradition but are also responsive to the contextual realities in Asia.
Theresa Lua, EdD
General Secretary, Asia Theological Association
This book is for anyone who cares deeply about making disciples and planting churches in Asia – the most populous and diverse continent in the world. Considering the unprecedented growth of Asian Christianity and the bewildering cultural and religious diversity of the region, we need more books like this that model for us what it looks like to be faithful to the gospel and mindful of the context in which it is delivered. I wish that this volume had been written sooner, and I hope that more like it will be published in the future.
Steve Murrell, DMin
Founding Pastor, Victory Manila, Philippines
Cofounder and President, Every Nation Churches & Ministries
This book marks evangelical mission theology breaking new ground. It embraces the authority of Scripture and the work of the triune God in revelation as creator, sustainer, redeemer, the church and our eschatological hope. Practical insights into the lives of Christians across Asia in the context of the public square, poverty, religious pluralism, cultural identity and demonic power are a goldmine of information inspiration and hope. It is essential for theological students and their teachers wanting to develop their own theology of mission to study this book.
Bruce J. Nicholls, PhD
Senior Adviser, Asia Theological Association
Here is a fantastic and timely example of incarnational theology, in which the Asian church articulates what it means to be faithful, relevant and effective in its time and place. This is a much-needed exercise in all global Christianity, and we thank our Asian sisters and brothers for providing such an excellent precedent and stimulus. This book is a “must read” not only for Asian church leaders, theologians, theological educators and theology students, but for anyone wanting to deeply understand how contemporary Asian Christianity is responding to its challenges today.
Marvin Oxenham, PhD
General Secretary, European Council for Theological Education
Director, ICETE Academy
Educationalist, London School of Theology, UK
For too long, Western theology has set the agenda for theological discussion in the Majority World, while important contextual issues in the Majority World have not been addressed. Asian Christian Theology: Evangelical Perspectives begins to offer a corrective as it provides a robust engagement with some of the best insights of Western evangelical scholarship while also contextually engaging with issues, questions, and concerns within Asian contexts. The volume certainly succeeds in its goal of being “biblically rooted, historically aware, and contextually engaged, and broadly evangelical” and serves as a model for how to engage the church not just theologically but also missiologically.
Rev Andrew Prince, PhD
Director of Centre for Asian Christianity,
Brisbane School of Theology, Australia
This book, featuring leading Asian scholars, offers fresh and relevant theological reflection on the significant issues facing the church throughout our region. Each chapter offers constructive answers to the complexities of Asian realities from an evangelical perspective. It is the best book on contextual theology to date!
Joseph Shao, PhD
President Emeritus, Biblical Seminary of the Philippines
4th General Secretary, Asia Theological Association
With the stunning rise of the Asian church in our day, we welcome this remarkable collection of essays which remind us that evangelical theology is part of a global confession which encircles the world and traces back to the apostolic faith of the earliest Christians. The volume is distinctive in that it not only addresses traditional themes such as Christology, pneumatology and eschatology, but it also speaks seamlessly and compellingly about evangelical perspectives on emigrant communities, public theology and interfaith dialogue. This is truly a wonderful collection of essays and a timely contribution to the global church!
Timothy C. Tennent, PhD
President and Professor of World Christianity,
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA
The theology expressed here is at once deeply biblical, alert to life-giving voices of the global and historic church, engaged with Asian cultures and contexts, and above all, rooted in the gospel. What falls apart in less careful hands, coheres in these essays around common confession of the Lordship of Christ and love for where in the world the authors bear witness.
Rev Richard R. Topping, PhD
Principal and Professor of Studies in the Reformed Tradition,
Vancouver School of Theology, British Columbia, Canada
This book is a wonderful testimony to the work of representative evangelical theologians striving to balance the importance of staying focused on the text of Scripture and the traditions of its interpretation (“Christian”) while simultaneously engaging the demands and complexities of their various contexts (“Asian”). The editors achieve this balance by asking half the contributors to engage biblical doctrines and the other half realities on the ground that are particularly relevant to Asian Christians. The book as a whole provides further welcome evidence of the truth of Andrew Walls’s observation that each time the gospel is understood in a new context, the whole church – east, west, north, and south – benefits.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, PhD
Research Professor of Systematic Theology,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA
Asian Christian Theology: Evangelical Perspectives is not just interesting reading but is a timely publication. This is a book that is a comprehensive theological treatise, and will certainly prove to be both informative and useful, especially to those who are concerned with the witness of the church to the grace of God manifested in Jesus Christ.
Brian C. Wintle, PhD
Former Regional Secretary, Asia Theological Association, India
Former Principal, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India
With this outstanding volume, the Asia Theological Association adds sparkling crown jewels to its long and expanding heritage of significant publications. This richly informative collection is not only a gift to Asian Christian churches and seminaries from some of their own finest theologians, it is also a most welcome gift from the Asian church to the global Christian community. And for that reason it ought to be in the libraries and syllabi of seminaries anywhere that are serious about hearing and understanding mature theological voices outside the echo chambers of the western academy. Thank you, ATA, for such a feast of living theology!
Christopher J. H. Wright, PhD
International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership
This engagement with biblical, historical and contextual materials has resulted in some fine explorations of theology firmly rooted in the Asian soil. Hopefully, many of these essays will be given more extensive treatment and developed into full-fledged volumes in their own right. I commend this book most warmly and pray that in turn it will contribute to the wider development of truly contextual Asian Christian theologies.
Hwa Yung, PhD
Bishop Emeritus, The Methodist Church in Malaysia
Table of Contents
- Introduction (Timoteo D. Gener and Stephen T. Pardue)
- Part I: Doctrinal Themes
- 1. Divine Revelation and the Practice of Asian Theology (Timoteo D. Gener)
- 2. On the Doctrine of Scripture: An Asian Conversation (Havilah Dharamraj)
- 3. The Trinity in Asian Contexts (George N. Capaque)
- 4. Christology in Asia: Rooted and Responsive (Ivor Poobalan)
- 5. Creation, New Creation, and Ecological Relationships (Ken Gnanakan)
- 6. Lord and Giver of Life: The Holy Spirit among the Spirits in Asia (Wonsuk Ma)
- 7. Toward An Asian Evangelical Ecclesiology (Simon Chan)
- 8. Eschatology and Hope in Asia (Roland Chia)