Andy Cheung moved to Seattle from Austin and is in the midst of seminary studies at Mars Hill Graduate School. He blogged some thoughts about how being an Asian American could and should affect theology, alluding to how theology is not cultural-neutral [ed.note: emphasis added] —
. . . Tied to the dynamics of cultural identity are my understanding of theology and the Church. Being of Asian-American descent, two things have become apparent throughout my coursework: (1) a western perspective dominates our theological conversations and (2) there is a relative lack of Asian-American voices. As a result, I have become increasingly convinced the Church needs to hear the Christian narrative through different cultural lenses. This includes an Asian lens.
. . . Growing up as an Asian-American presented the challenge of living within two contrasting cultures. My conversations with fellow Asian-Americans have lead me to believe that the tension brought on by the oppositional nature of the two cultures is not something unique to my experience. In the Church, the Asian-American response has typically been to contextualize Christianity to Asian culture within the framework of dominant Western theology. While traditionally one might argue Asian-Americans have struggled within the context of dualistic culture, we are also in position to take on the unique role of bridging the two cultures together.
. . . The work required to fully realize an integrated Asian-American theology is substantial. In my conversations with those already at work in this field, I have come to learn of two issues that need to be addressed in order for there to be significant progress. The first is the need for a fully developed indigenous Asian theology. In order for an Asian-American theology to be realized, an indigenous Asian theology must continue to develop as it holds conversation with a fully expressed Western theology.
… The second issue calls for an increased awareness amongst Asian-Americans. In general, most Asian-Americans have willingly accepted a Western Christianity without considering there might be another alternative. The possibility of an integrated Asian-American theology goes far beyond maintaining the language and cultural traditions. It calls for active engagement in immigrant and indigenous cultures in order to reveal the presence of Western presuppositions and to discover where cultural and spiritual synthesis might occur.