Article: Orange County exports Asian American churches to the world

DJ_ChuangA recent article was released in the Orange County Register featuring DJ Chuang.  Here’s an excerpt from the article, written by Jim Hinch:

“I’m an experimenter,” Chuang said. “My heart is in the church, the Asian American church. But church is not known for being a place of research and development.”

Chuang left formal ministry and became a consultant, working for churches, parachurch organizations and Christian nonprofits, always aiming to help Asian American Christians become more digitally savvy and culturally responsive.

He’s helping Brea’s Ambassador Church expand its network of sister churches and advising La Mirada’s Talbot Seminary as it develops one of America’s first doctoral programs in Asian American ministry.

Chuang is a manic presence, especially online. He was, he says, the first person in Orange County to sign up for Twitter seven years ago (a distinction confirmed by the rankings website Twitaholic). He tweets throughout each day, blogs, produces a weekly podcast and talks by phone, Skype and Google Chat with a nationwide roster of church leaders. Callers make appointments via an interactive scheduler on Chuang’s website.

Last year, Chuang traveled 35,839 miles in 74 days on 16 trips to conferences and meetings. This information comes from the Chuang family Christmas card, which also details the number of followers (7,000) Chuang has on Twitter and the number of reward points he earned last year at Starbucks (50).

Since 2005, Chuang has edited two books on Asian American ministry, produced a report on current trends in Asian American churches, written 23 magazine articles and made 28 presentations at church conferences and seminars – achievements tabulated, in chronological order, on Chuang’s website.

Chuang has bipolar disorder. He has been successfully treated for the condition since 2001. But he attributes his numerous career changes and intellectual restlessness, in part, to manic episodes.

His periods of depression, he said, brought him near suicide. And they convinced him that helping Asian American churches become more culturally inclusive is tantamount to a life-or-death calling.

“It’s very hard for Asians to talk about their weaknesses,” Chuang said, explaining why he waited years before publicly acknowledging his condition and seeking treatment.

Chuang said traditional Asian American churches are especially inhospitable to painful personal problems because many Asian cultures prize a veneer of stoic hard work and moral respectability.

“I want to bring churches into a place to deal more honestly with the real person,” Chuang said.

“I would like to see Asian Americans become more healthy and whole as people.”

To read the full article on the Orange County Register website, visit here.

Also, DJ gave an inspiring talk at Urbana 12’s PANA lounge, called: “Step Up, Speak Up, Live It Up,” which you can find in transcript and audio format on his website, or in video format on Intervarsity Asian American Ministries’ website.

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Jeremy Lin, The Civil Rights Movement, & The Empowerment of Voice

I am going to make some bold statements here, that you will probably think are crazy.  But hear me out.

First, imagine something with me.  What would it have been like to be part of the Civil Rights Movement in America?  To see the Washington Monument towering above, and hear the chants of the hundreds of thousands of citizens and leaders — African American or not, Christian or not — gathering together?

What would it have been like to be on the outside, to look on with interest, wondering whether to participate or not?

And what is it like, for those looking back on it now, wishing they had done more than just observe?  For those who could have been part of something bigger than themselves?

[Read more...]

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Ethnicity and Identity, A Study on YouTube

Wow, I didn’t expect to be posting this many YouTube videos, but this was very interesting and I couldn’t help myself. But in all honesty, I shouldn’t be spending so much time on YouTube.

Basically, this is a series of interviews with Chinese young adults who were raised outside of the motherland. They describe their stories around the question of identity. Each interview is 8-10 minutes, so it takes a bit of time, but worth a view.

Check out the description here, the creator, and the series below:

As the world becomes smaller and more interconnected, old ways of thinking become less and less suitable. New ways of understanding things must be introduced to adapt to new phenomenons; this documentary attempts to do just that. For most people, ethnicity and identity are seen as one thing. However, I theorize that in the future these two concepts will grow further apart and at the same time become vague. This piece serves as a window into the future as well as into my own personal thoughts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

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Asian Churches Unbiblical? I Think You Mean Multiethnic…

[guest post from thecuttingtruth]

The world today is shrinking. The era of globalization has been ushered in, and the surge of migration into America has vastly changed the urban landscape. The church stands in the middle of this gushing torrent, staring nervously at the rising waters. Where the waters once held a homogenous sheen, it is now a dizzying mosaic of colors.

In light of redemptive history, how should the urban church deal with this unprecedented multiplicity of ethnicities? Is the multiethnic church model commonly espoused today as the biblical paragon really the answer, or does the answer lie elsewhere? Or, in other words, does Pastor Wong of CCCCC (Chinese Christian Church of Californian Chinese) really have to cower in shame at his critics, feeling like his church is less than the biblical ideal?

It is my contention that because ethnic diversity is so biblically affirmed and valued by God, the multiethnic church model is – paradoxically – in fact less biblical than the monoethnic church model. Chin up, Pastor Wong!

God’s love for ethnic diversity is progressively revealed through Scripture, and is seen most dramatically in the multiethnic focus of his redemptive plan. From the very moment when his plan began to fashion itself (e.g., the call of Abraham), there is an embracing and exaltation of all the world’s ethnicities. See e.g., Isaiah 66:18, 21.

And by way of the redemptive work of Christ, there is an accentuation of the brilliance and [Read more...]

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