What Kind of “Asian” Are You?


Perhaps you have watched the video, “What kind of Asian are you?” The humorous video reflects a common tendency for white Americans (especially those of second, third and fourth generation status) to assume that they are simply “regular” Americans, as the white man in the video says. Everyone else is something in particular, or “irregular.” We easily carry this perspective over into theology. There is Black theology, Native American theology, Latin American theology, Asian American theology.... R … [Read more...]

Christian Survival Kits in a Post-Christendom Society, Part II


Last week, I wrote a blog post titled "Christian Survival Kits in a Post-Christendom Society, Part I." In that post discussing the loss of Christian cultural influence in American society, I asked the following question: “if the American church were stranded on a life raft out at sea, what would we see as the critical items that we would need to survive as the cultural currents change and as the winds and waves press against us?" Several suggestions were offered. One item missing from that init … [Read more...]

What Would Have Changed If Jesus Had Not Risen From The Dead?


What would have changed if Jesus had not risen from the dead?Not much.We would still be dead in our sins (see 1 Corinthians 15:17).We would lie still forever in the grave. There would be no resurrection for us (see 1 Corinthians 15:12-58).The universe would inevitably burn up and fizzle out, just like many expect, since Jesus would not be the firstborn of all creation, the firstborn from the dead, and the one through whom God would reconcile all things on earth and heaven (contra … [Read more...]

Holy Saturday—Buried Alive?


Being buried alive is one of the most terrifying things one can imagine. Not being able to trust anyone is also terrifying. It smothers relationships. Relational isolation is a form of suffocation.People are buried alive because of not trusting others, including God. A lack of trust causes individuals to prize self-sufficiency and self-reliance in our culture today. And yet, there are times when the relational isolation and pressure to make it on their own gets so intense that panic sets in; … [Read more...]

Maundy Thursday: Last Supper, Last Stand


On Maundy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper, which was the precursor to the Lord’s last stand. If you were preparing for battle with your enemies, wouldn’t you be padding the upper room, lower rooms and surrounding premises with sandbags while stockpiling ammunition? Jesus was no David Koresh. He wasn’t Clint Eastwood either, if we have in mind the movie, High Plains Drifter (not Gran Torino). Jesus prepares for his last stand with a supper and a foot washing (See John 13).How do you and … [Read more...]

Good Friday and the “Man in Black”


I still remember from my childhood the black shroud draped over the cross on Good Friday in my Lutheran church. On Easter Sunday, the cross was draped in bright colors reflecting the resurrection. The stark contrast was important to the cultivation of my theological imagination and faith. Not only did the contrast highlight all the more the amazing miracle of Easter Sunday, but also I realized that one has to go through Good Friday to get to Easter.Yesterday in my contemporary theology … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Open Posture and “The Open Table”


One of the many qualities that people admire about Jesus was his open posture toward people who were often excluded from the table. Just think of how he engaged the poor, oppressed and Gentiles (Luke 4:16-30), lepers (Luke 5:12-16), the “sinful woman” washing his feet in Simon the Pharisee’s house (Luke 7:36-50), little children (Luke 18:15-17), and the chief tax collector Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10). As in the case with Zaccheus and the sinful woman (a prostitute), Jesus did not ignore or condone th … [Read more...]