If you’re new to this blog and/or are curious as to what all this ado is about, we’ve created this page of frequently asked questions to help bridge the gap for understanding the intentions and motivations behind this blog. We don’t expect to be understood all the time by everyone, but as much as possible want to do our best to avoid misunderstandings.
What is the point of this blog?
There are various reasons why we blog about this collision of Asian American culture and faith. One reason is probably because that some of us have realized we are not as alone in our discontent or questions or hopefulness as we once thought and this blog has been constructive in that journey. We want to tell our stories, give testimony to our experience, and discover ourselves and our voices in the process.
And we do this as a team because to be Asian American is to come from a collective culture; there is a certain affinity and identification across the spectrum of Asian ethnicities that we want to honor and from which to build. We are learning to advocate for one another and break through shared obstacles and common bonds.
Why make such a big deal about being Asian American if you’re Christian? Aren’t we all a new creation in Christ?
Yes, we are new creations in Christ, but there are clues in Scripture that show that ethnic differences don’t necessarily go away just because we’re saved. Let’s start at the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Rev. 7:9 says there will be”a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” So we get some hint here that even at the end of time, differences of nation, tribe, people, and language don’t just disappear. But the differences don’t divide us, they allow to all say in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Further in Rev. 21, v.24, there is an interesting note in the penultimate chapter of the Bible that in “the New Jerusalem,” “the glory and honor of the nations (ethnos) will be brought into it.” Different people groups have a glory and honor God preserves in the re-creation of all things.
Let’s back up a little bit more and think about what happens in the early church of Acts 2. At Pentecost, if the Spirit of God wanted to dissolve differences for the sake of unity, one would think this would be the premier opportunity to do so, but instead of one tongue or language, there are many tongues. Out of the diversity then, the ability to witness and proclaim who this risen Christ is made more powerful. Diversity then, we could argue, is a medium of the proclamation; it is one of the hallmarks of the mission. Unity by uniformity, in contrast, harkens back to the Tower of Babel and along with that a potential sense of hubris before God. In that sense, a healthy theology of difference, ethnic and otherwise is in some ways part and parcel of the gospel itself.
All this to say, the point of ethnicity and race isn’t for the sake of glorifying any one people group or nation above all others. That’s an important distinction we need to make here. The point of ethnic identity or racial reconciliation isn’t ironically about race; it’s simply the conviction that these differences have the purpose of God’s mission behind it; that diversity and the cultivation of ethnic uniqueness and celebrating various cultures can be a witness for others to see that the kingdom of Heaven doesn’t look like any empire we’ve ever known, rather it really does come from all corners of the earth, bringing with the glory and honor of many nations, tribes, peoples, and languages to testify to the greatness of God and the Lamb, Jesus Christ. This is one answer to the question, but there are probably others. Hope that helps.
Why highlight Asian American? Why not make this a blog that explores all nations, all peoples and multi-ethnic churches?
The short answer is simply that Asian American is who we are and we are of a generation that is growing increasingly self-aware about what is lost and gained in the span of one or two generations post-immigration or even post-war. To simply jump into multi-ethnic discussions without some space for internal questioning and exploring seems a bit hasty if not a bit premature. Being part of a multi-ethnic gathering should be more than bringing an Asian dish to the potluck or wearing different garb. To truly contribute to diversity, we have to understand something elemental about ourselves and if there is something elemental about our people groups, it would be nice to be able to articulate it, to find comfort in it, and share it without hesitation or shame. But that doesn’t come without some honest and open dialogue. It isn’t for everyone, but for those of us who have pondered what it means to be comfortable in our skin and in our faith, this can be a place of healing and affirmation.
Questions? Comments? Who do I contact?