Faith and Bayan
Evangelical Christian Engagement in the Philippine Context
When tyrants come to power and Christians remain silent, the church betrays its prophetic role in the public sphere. Far from withdrawing from social-political engagement, Christians must grow in boldness as they embody a just, righteous, and godly love for their country and its people.
In this collection of essays, Filipino evangelical theologians challenge the church’s complacency in the face of oppressive regimes. Addressing the specific realities of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, they draw on biblical studies, political theology, and ethics to provide a biblical and theological framework for Christians seeking to resist injustice in both the Philippines and beyond. Faith and Bayan is an excellent resource for students and leaders seeking an Asian evangelical perspective on Christian political engagement. It not only offers intellectual insight on the topic, but empowers its readers to fulfill a prophetic calling — to uphold democracy, peace, and human dignity.
Faith and Bayan is a testament to the power of solidarity in the midst of crisis. While the pandemic may have affected faith communities around the country, the contributors all agree that Christian engagement must carry on. In their own ways, the contributors to Faith and Bayan are showing the way. By doing so, they are telling the rest of us that we are not alone.
Jayeel Cornelio, PhD
Associate Dean for Research and Creative Work
Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
There’s plenty of reason to despair and to feel hopeless of our current socio-political situation. The darkness around us is deep. If there’s a ray of light amid our deep darkness, it’s that the Spirit has inspired a new generation of Filipino evangelical theologians and biblical scholars to challenge and shake the traditional image of evangelicalism. This is a breath of new life into our toxic and life-destroying political climate! Let’s welcome and celebrate this exciting development!
Eleazar Fernandez, PhD
President Union Theological Seminary
The book with its clear prophetic voice from the evangelical theologians, thinkers, and writers, is a timely and a welcome contribution that provokes, challenges, and moves Christians to be engaged and have pagmamalasakit – a deep concern for the life and common good of our land, people, and nation. I heartily recommend this book to all discerning Christians who would refuse to relegate the Christian faith into individual piety that is devoid of social and political content, and who have the heart to work and witness as salt and light for the common good for our land, people, and nation.
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza
General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines
In a world of tweets, posts, and rambling blogs, I find myself constantly longing for thoughtful scholarship on the crucial matters of our time. Faith and Bayan is such a volume. Masterfully put-together by the editors, this book gathers scholars who grapple with Christian social engagement in the context of our love for and sense of rootedness in our bayan. Though this volume is decidedly Filipino, it transcends the specific context and offers invaluable insights for all, especially for the faithful in the Majority World. Read this book. Reflect deeply on its content. Thank God for your roots. And be part of God’s transforming work in the Philippines and beyond.
Al Tizon, PhD
Affiliate Associate Professor of Missional and Global Leadership,
North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, USA
I believe the message of this book is that to be a good Christian is to be a good citizen. It rightly debunks a current but mistaken notion of the separation of church and state in the Philippine constitution. It is not only the right, but the duty of the church to make moral statements about the actuations of government with political consequences. This is the prophetic expression of faith in contemporary times. A definition of “prophet” is to announce the good news and denounce the bad news. And the duty of the prophet is to stand up and speak out. I congratulate the authors of the book who in their articles are doing just this.
Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB
Former President, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, Philippines;
Chairperson Emerita, GABRIELA
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Faith and Bayan
- Worship and Justice Federico G. Villanueva
- “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with God”: Perspectives on Power and Politics from the Old Testament Prophetic Tradition Annelle G. Sabanal
- Romans 13 and the Limits of Submission Junette B. Galagala-Nacion
- Why the Church Needs to Learn How to Complain and Not Just “Trust and Obey” Federico G. Villanueva
- Duterte, Democracy, and Dissent Roberto G. Barredo
- Their Blood Cries Out from the Ground: An Ethic of Malasakit and the War on Drugs Aldrin M. Peñamora
- “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done”: Disclosing the Ethics of the New Testament’s Parousia Christopher D. Sabanal
- Shepherding a Coalition for Justice Carlo Diño