Doing Asian American Theology

Doing Asian American Theology

Written on 05/16/2024
Daniel Jung

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon twice—once as a teenager with my parents, and two decades later as a father with kids of my own. Before both trips, I researched America’s lone Natural Wonder of the World in an attempt to maximize my experience. But the two research efforts were not equal. Before my trip as a teenager, I had only heard stories of the landmark’s unique topology, formulating a landscape in my mind’s eye with each new bit of information. Twenty years later, once I had already experienced the canyon for myself, the second research effort was in 3D. There was color and depth. Missing from the first research were the experiences; the rushing chill of the Colorado River against my legs, the crispness of the air atop the South Rim Trail, and the crunch of the gravel underneath my sneakers.

Doing Asian American Theology, by Daniel D. Lee (academic dean for the Center of Asian American Theology and Ministry at Fuller Seminary). is like that second trip to the Grand Canyon, now that I have had experience as a pastor in an Asian American context. It is particularly helpful for those, like me, currently serving in an Asian American ministry context.

Doing Asian American Theology can also be a very insightful tool for our non-Asian brothers and sisters who are interested in an Asian American ministry context. But the book is especially useful for those who have lived experiences as an Asian American. Lee draws from his professional training and his personal experiences to create the Asian American Quadrilateral—a four-fold framework that helps Asian Americans understand themselves, their faith, and their ministry. Whether Asian American or not, however, the book is an essential read for anyone in ministry who, as Lee puts it, wishes to “perform their cultural analysis with a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer.” (IVP Academic)