- Reference Points
- Asian American Christians
- Asian Americans
- Christianity in the World
- Christianity in America
- Spectrum of Views
Undoubtedly, our lives are increasingly more global.
The networks of Asian American Christians are local, national and transnational. Many of us have traveled the world; some of us work and have ministered around the world; some of us live part time in other parts of the world. The Christianity that we hear and learn about is not just from America, but from the Asia we and our families originate from and visit. It’s even increasingly from Europe, Canada, South America, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. Even if we haven’t visited these places, those that influence us have been exposed to the work of God all over the world. Perhaps they’ve read the missionary biographies of Amy Carmichael or Jim Elliot, perhaps they’ve read Chinese pastor Watchman Nee’s teachings, perhaps they’ve studied at Singapore Bible College. At the very least, they’ve sung songs from Hillsong Church of Australia.
An increasingly global world can make things more confusing but it can also make the world as we know it far more rich and nuanced. Historians of Christianity have noticed this and have been revising world Christian history to include more. Since perhaps the 1970s, they’ve been revising world Evangelical history, too.
AsianAmericanChristian.org is still a proposal of a ministry, and this year, we’re illustrating our aspirations.
One layer of AsianAmericanChristian.org will distill histories and other theological, institutional, cultural contexts and make it accessible to all Asian American Christians. We’re calling this “Reference Points.” (For an example see our summary on Asian American Studies)
For the busy and the language challenged (74% of Asian Americans are foreign-born), we hope to present bullet points and clean meaningful diagrams to glimpse at the whole picture, in simple English. For the more curious and/or those needing more intellectual rigor (we are the highest educated group in the US), there will be deeper materials available. It will be vetted by scholars, kept up-to-date with the latest scholarship, share various nuances of debates and counterpoints.
How will this be different from Wikipedia or other sites with this information? (It might not be, and where we can, we hope to promote partnerships in this endeavor.) Where it may differ is that, we unabashedly will be addressing an Asian American Christian Evangelical audience and will seek contexts that reflect our viewpoints. Our questions will be from our various vantage points.
The hope is that these reference points will undergird how we understand each others stories, listen to discussions and resource all Asian American Christians. A little context will help us understand the variety of places and perspectives from which we all come, and help us to move beyond our sticking places so we can better know ourselves, one another and God to further His Kingdom.
This week we briefly touch upon Christianity in the world, as another illustration of “Reference Points.”
- Statistics on Christians in the World
- A brief parochial view of history—as world church history has long been taught
- How Christian world history is being revised
[At future date to be determined]
- A summary of one revision of Christian world history: Justo Gonzales’ History of Christianity (1984 and 1985) a commonly used Church History text used at seminaries such as: Regent College, Gordon-Conwell, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Reformed Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary.
Despite its use at these evangelical institutions, it barely mentions “evangelicalism.”
Thursday (now Friday, Saturday early, early a.m. with apologies)
- A summary of another revision of world Christian history focused on Evangelicalism: Mark Hutchinson and John Wolffe, A Short History of Global Evangelicalism (2012): brief summary • chapter-by-chapter summary
- Our notes on Hutchinson and Wolffe’s history of the word “evangelical”
- Statistics on Evangelicals in the World
- A summary of the week and implications for Asian American Christians
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SUMMER AND FALL 2015
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