Who’s Going to Hell?

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Reclaiming Chinese religious identity

**If you don’t listen to Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett, you’re missing out on a top-notch podcast on religious faith. Highly recommended.**


I’d like to share the latest podcast episode from Speaking of Faith where Krista Tippett interviews Mayfair Yang, a scholar and director of the East Asian Center at UC Santa Barbara. Mayfair Yang speaks about the effects of modernity and Christian (how ironic) Western influence and its oppressive effects on the indigenous religious expressions in China.

http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/chinas-spiritual-landscape/

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As untouched as the turn signal in an Asian woman’s car

The title of the post probably makes absolutely no sense to you, but once you see it in context I’m sure you’ll understand it. Some of you may even chuckle about it. However, I’m not sure it’s the laughter that I would find offensive. Most-likely, it is the fact that people still have the perception that it’s funny because it is rooted in truth. Before I get to explaining this further, let me take you back about 40 years. Let me share with you a tv commercial from the 1960’s about a baby that wants to eat some glape jerr-o. Again, you probably don’t get what I just described, but after watching the video below you will:

Was it funny? Was it offensive? Are your feelings neutral about it? Continue reading

Top Asian Americans on YouTube

Entertainment is the draw for viewers in the online video world of YouTube. Education, not so much.

The top 4 Asian Americans on YouTube were recently listed over at sublimesilence:

3 of the above are noted as comedians. 1 is a musician. Hmmm.

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Pushing the Boundaries Together

David and I were approached by Emergent Village to write a post for their blog. It is reproduced below for our NG.AC friends. Enjoy (and critique):

http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/park-pushing-boundaries

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David: The joke goes something like this: when a Japanese person goes to a new city, he looks to start a business; when a Chinese person first arrives in a new place, he looks to start a restaurant; but when a Korean comes to town, he’s going to start a church. As my Korean immigrant father is a recently retired pastor who planted or shepherded at least seven churches that I can count, I can attest to the above punchline—Koreans love church. And we’ve taken to church planting and the Christian industry by storm, a sort of ecclesiological Kim Yunah phenomenon for those of you who watched the Winter Olympics. Continue reading

Reflections on Christianity from a Japanese-American Painter

An effort to define beauty will ultimately fail, but we can speak of beauty, and point to the source of beauty.

Friends,

In order to prevent any more cobwebs from appearing on this beloved site, I’d like to share a wonderful interview with Makoto Fujimura, a Japanese American painter where he talks about his views on faith, how art reflects the mystery of faith, and the Eastern nature of Christianity.

http://goo.gl/0na0

Here’s an excerpt:

East/West distinction is also a categorization that is very difficult to define. The Bible is an “Eastern” book. The Bible is much more culturally “Eastern” than “Western,” if by “Western” we mean post-Enlightenment rationalism. Certainly, the Old Testament Hebrew culture was far more eastern than what we consider to be western. The Last Supper makes more sense in a Japanese context (that eating and drinking wine can bond a community together) than American. Early theologians like Augustine and Origen were influenced by African and Egyptian culture, which is more East than West, and certainly medieval art and theology has much to do with Eastern influence, while “Western” theology grew out of them. I know what you are asking pertains to our fascination with Japanimation, Eastern New Age mysticism, etc., but I would be careful not to fall into unhelpful distinctions.

survey on Asian American women and physical activity

Received this request in the inbox; help spread the word to qualifying women if you’re so inclined.

Research is being conducted by the School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, about the attitudes toward physical activity among middle-aged women (40-60 Y/O).

The internet survey is related to women’s health studying how different ethnic groups and socioeconomic classes view physical activity. They are especially in need of participation from Asian Americans and low-income Asian-Americans.

Dr. Eun-Ok Im’s work involves conducting an Internet study on the attitudes toward physical activity among diverse ethnic groups of middle-aged women (40-60 Y/O). All women will benefit from participating in this study and with more participation they will be able to make their data more complete.

In this study, each participant will be reimbursed with a gift certificate of 10 dollars per Internet survey.

Please note that the survey will begin with some eligibility questions to determine if our study has fulfilled our sampling quota for an individual with certain characteristics.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our study. Thank you so much for considering this study.

Sincerely,
e-MAPA Research Team
Hannah Lee, Research Assistantd
hannahlee0711@gmail.com
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701

ng.ac Tokback Thursday Jan. 14!

Alrighty, we’ve taken a break for the holidays and a couple Thursdays for good measure, so we’ll be back in the saddle with a couple of things to talk about on the docket.

First, I’m dying to hear a recap of Urbana, especially with DJ Chuang and ElderJ finally meeting face to face. Also, I really want to hear about the “Asian American” worship that led to the great discussion going on over at Joel Tang’s blog.

And although that might take up most of the time, for the upcoming Verge Conference (I’m very excited to attend btw), a question came to mind that I would love to hear your thoughts on. In Soong Chan Rah’s book, The Next Evangelicalism, he makes the point that immigrant churches offer a holistic missional approach (albeit to their own ethnic enclaves) that churches from the dominant majority can really learn from. So do you think that immigrant churches, your church can be classified as missional? Or do you feel like the have lessons to offer the missional church?

I don’t know if we’re going to get to all the questions, but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of laughter, awkward muted silences, and eerie computer monitor light. The Tokback begins at the usual hour of 10pm EST / 7pm PST this Thursday night at DJ’s place, http://www.djchuang.com/tokbox. Put the kiddies down and get those webcams up as there’s no software or registration required. Spread the word and see you then!

The Re-Set.


We’ve been keeping it pretty quiet here at the Next Generasian Church, just doing a couple Tokboxes on Thursday nights, and we’ll keep it light for a couple more weeks when we get our stuff together for a RESET on the whole blog/site/approach.

Over the few years that NG.AC has been around, a lot of new and fresh voices have helped pushed the discussion forward: Eugene Cho, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Charles Lee and Soong-Chan Rah and many, many others have made Asian Americans visible in church leadership not only in the blogosphere, but leading in many areas of philanthropy, activism and advocacy. And for them, we are inspired and grateful.

With the recent episodes of the Deadly Vipers incident and calling out Francis Chan, it seems that this blog has taken on somewhat of a more critical, separatist reputation, which is, as many commenters have noted, not very Christian and not very helpful. So, we’re preparing this blog for a “Reset.”

Basically, what this entails is an overhaul of the blog’s format and look, contributors, and approach. Without saying too much, we hope to do a lot more sharing, showing, and storytelling to show windows into Asian American church and how we might move forward in the next generation of ethnic and multi-ethnic churches. I hope this excites you as much as it does me. This blog, which started as something of an outlet for my grief and heartbreak for the church, has grown into a resource for many others and has potential to do more good than harm, provided we pay attention and learn from our mistakes.

The Re-set is in the works. I can’t tell you when just yet, but know that it is coming. Thanks again for reading, subscribing, sharing and commenting!

Thursday Night Tokback 12/17

Don’t miss tonight’s ng.ac’s Tokback!

Tonight will feature Laurence Tom, or “LT”, the ABC Pastor (@abcpastor), discussing the recent violence in south Philadelphia against Asian American high school students. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for LT and many of us in different parts of the country have been waiting with baited breath for each twitter update from LT. Many prayers have been lifted up and there’s a lot to talk about as to how churches can help stand in the gap in this type of racially-charged crisis.

So join us tonight at 10pm (EST) / 7pm (PST) for a great discussion on race, violence, and reconciliation with LT! ***Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/ImoN

Here’s a quick news clip to give you a snapshot for background to tonight’s tokback: