Hedlund, Quest for Identity, pp. 175—9.

In addition to his writings, Ma co-edits the Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies and Asian Journal of Mission.

See for example Moonjang Lee, 'Experience of Religious Plurality in Korea: Its Theological Implications', International Review of Mission 88:351 (1999), 399—413; and 'Identifying an Asian Theology: A Methodological Quest', Asia Journal of Theology 13:2 (1999), 256—75. ATA, 'Statement of Faith', in ATA Accreditation Manual for Residential and Non-Residential Schools (Tiachung: ATA, 1985), p. 1.

ATA, 'The Bible and Theology in Asia Today: Declaration of the Sixth Asia Theological Association Theological Consultation, 1982', in Ro and Eshenaur (eds.), The Bible and Theology in Asian Contexts, pp. 3—20 at p. 10.

relate the gospel to the different Asian religions and cultures; such as, theologizing within the different Asian contexts, responding to ancestral practices in Asia and constructing the doctrine of God in the midst of Asian religious plurality.31 These are clearly solid pioneering efforts, but much more in-depth work needs to be done if we are to see the emergence of a genuinely Asian Christian apologetics in relation to other cultures, philosophies and religions, and also to contextualized systematic theologies.

ATA's understanding of mission is founded on evangelism and church-building. For example, in their 'Hong Kong Declaration' it states: 'Until men are brought to put their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God's good news has not come home to them in any biblical and meaningful sense ... In giving priority to evangelism we emphasize the transcendence of God.'32 Nonetheless, in using the language of holistic mission instead of only emphasizing evangelism, the ATA has moved quite some distance from the conservatism of the earlier half of the century. Its 'Statement of Faith' speaks of 'the total mission of the church to the whole man [or woman] in society in the contemporary context'.33 This is further elaborated in the 'Hong Kong Declaration', which states:

We are burdened with .. . Asia's need, a need with physical, social and political aspects as well as spiritual. We see ourselves as responsible for proclaiming the gospel in all its breadth as well as its depth. We confess our past failures to ... identify with Asian man [woman] in his [her] personal and social suffering.34

Moreover, another document insists that personal conversion is not the end of the Christian life; rather, Christian transformation 'has to be brought into the socio-cultural sphere'; that is, contextualization needs to take into account socio-political issues as an essential part of the agenda for theology.35

In summary, ATA's theology is basically orthodox but largely reflects western evangelical theology. The ATA has made forays into the realms of contextualization and holistic mission, but these remain rather tentative; although Gnanakan, for example, has attempted to take them further.

Karma Crash Course

Karma Crash Course

Finally, The Ultimate Guide To Changing Your Life Forever. Get Your Hands On The Ultimate Guide For Improving Karma And Live A Life Of Fortune And Certainty. Discover How Ordinary People Can Live Extraordinary Lives Through Improving Their Karma.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment