The message of what God has done in Christ is good news to all, but to have the greatest impact on its hearers—or even to be understood at all—it must be culturally contextualized.
Finding Our Voice speaks clearly to an issue that has largely been ignored: preaching to Asian North American (ANA) contexts. In addition to reworking hermeneutics, theology, and homiletics for these overlooked contexts, Kim and Wong include examples of culturally-specific sermons and instructive questions for contextualizing one’s own sermons.
Finding Our Voice is essential reading for all who preach and teach in ANA contexts. But by examining this kind of contextualization in action, all who preach in their own unique contexts will benefit from this approach.
Finding Our Voice by Matthew Kim and Daniel Wong is a very helpful and well written book describing a vision for Asian North American preaching. It includes excellent and concise overviews of the Asian North American experience, hermeneutic, theology, and preaching both now and in the future. It is a must-read not only for Asian North American Christians, especially pastors and church leaders, but also for all Christians.
—Rev. Dr. Siang-Yang Tan, Professor of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Senior Pastor, First Evangelical Church Glendale, California
This book provides a much needed stepping stone for the further development of the distinctive voices and contributions that Asian North American preachers can be making. While preaching to a generic audience can be edifying, preaching and teaching to a specific Asian American culture can be transformative all the more.
—DJ Chuang, Author of MultiAsian.Church A Future for Asian Americans in a Multiethnic World
At last, we have a book that discusses contextualized preaching among Asian North Americans while upholding the authority of Scripture. Matthew Kim and Daniel Wong are eminently qualified to offer a practical and culturally-aware guide to the particularities of Asian North American hermeneutics, theology, and pulpit. This is a much-needed book that should be welcome in both the church and the classroom.
—Daniel K. Eng, Instructor at Moody Theological Seminary and Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge
Matthew Kim and Daniel Wong have done a great service to the North American Christian Church, evangelicals in particular, by stepping into the oft-overlooked arena of Asian North American preaching. They have provided us with a resource book that is visionary and thought-provoking. They are spot-on in their naming of the common Asian North American experience and narrative, as well as considering core hermeneutics that acknowledge the bicultural/multicultural/both-and background of Asian North American preachers and peoples.
—Donna Dong, Multi-ethnic/Multi-cultural Ministry Director, InterVarsity
“To contextualize God’s word, as we understand it, is not to alter the meaning of the text, but rather to interpret it in such a way that hearers can understand and grapple with its meaning and apply it in a relevant manner.” (Pages 62–63)
“The ANA preacher or the preacher to ANA listeners must determine how Jesus’ dual nature relates to the ANA person. Using points 1, 2, and 4 above, we can say that (1) ANAs are fully Asian; (2) ANAs are fully North American; and (4) the two natures are fully united in one person. The third part of Chalcedonian Christology is where our analogy breaks down. We cannot say that the two natures (Asian and North American) are distinct from each other. In fact, the true tension for ANAs is that they do not belong to either distinct group; yet, at the same time, they embody both groups to varying degrees.” (Page 93)
“ course, identity in Christ does not obliterate one’s skin color” (Page 24)
“In short, Christianity is an exclusivist religion regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or any other distinction. Part of the challenge in articulating an ANA theology is that we hold fast to exclusivism while trying to make sense of pluralism and syncretism with other Asian religions.” (Page 81)
“Victor Turner referred to as liminality.38 It is a feeling of being between two cultures while not fitting in to either one. It has also been called marginality or being on the outside looking in.” (Page 90)
Matthew D. Kim (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the George F. Bennett Chair in Practical Theology, director of the Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching, and director of Mentored Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is a past president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and has served as a youth pastor, college pastor, and senior pastor in Asian American congregations. He is the author of several books, including Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Our Sermons.
Daniel L. Wong (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Associate Professor of Christian Ministries at Tyndale University, Toronto. He has served for many years in English ministry in Chinese churches in Toronto. He has spoken at numerous venues in Asian and multicultural churches in Canada and in the United States.