Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up

Article excerpt

Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up.

By Simon Chan. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2014. Pp. 216. Paperback $22.

Grassroots Asian Theology presents a vibrant picture of the people of God in the Global South, especially among the grassroots branches of Christianity. Simon Chan, professor of systematic theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore, brings Asian grassroots Pentecostalism as an authentic "flavor" into global ecumenical Christianity, challenging the issue of "how theology ought to be done" in an Asian context (8).

With theological articulation seriously and creatively derived from several historic Christian theological traditions, including Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, Chan lays out a number of very interesting theological premises. Carefully grounding his premises in Scripture, in tradition, and in ecclesial experience, he contrasts Eastern and Western ways of thinking, ending with the Asian family perspective as an appropriate and distinctive approach for Asian theology (43-46). He also draws extensively from a broad and diverse Asian religious cultural context, including a "middle zone" (discussed by Paul Hiebert, Daniel Shaw, and Tite Tienou) in Asian folk religions to provide rationale for the grassroots Pentecostal-charismatic movements in Asia (30-35). In the chapter "God in Asian Contexts," he favors the triune family as an analogy for the relationship of the persons within the Trinity (47-68). …

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