Mosaic bulletin updated

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Issue no. 1 | Spring 2018

Art by Joshua Brown.






The Mosaic Bulletin aims to be a platform that amplifies the voices of students, especially those at the margins, discussing everything from theology, race, and gender to navigating white evangelical spaces, culture, and art. Join us at the table, listen, and share.

God has been doing an incredible work in and through Mosaic Ministries in the gospel work of reconciliation, and we are ecstatic to share with you, through sentences and stanzas and pencil and paint, reflections birthed from this community.



Mosaic Ministries has brought attention to the dynamic and diverse voices that compose God's kingdom. It is time to display those voices on paper.

Praise God for the amazing work of all involved in the first Mosaic Bulletin publication. We pray that God uses it to advance the ministry of reconciliation and renewal.

Mosaic is a ministry of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. As people entrusted with the Gospel, Trinity Mosaic Ministries aims to advance the ministry of reconciliation and renewal by equipping students, developing resources, and creating new networks (

Art by Saundretta James.

Table of Contents PART I: ARTICLES Counting the Costs: What’s at Stake When Churches Neglect Social Activism


by Tyler Chernesky

At the Intersection of Race and Gender: 15 Being a Latina in Seminary by Nayalisa Cuevas

Why Gender Reconciliation Should Be a 21 Priority for Evangelical Men by Gianluca Cueva

18 Latin American Female Theologians 27 You Should Know About by Juliany González Nieves

Food and Hip-hop: Asian American 41 Expressions in the Emerging Culture by Isaiah Jeong

51 Crayolas: A Poem by Joshua Brown

57 Poem by Henry Thompson

PART III: INTERVIEW 64 Tien Dao, A Much-Needed Resource for the Chinese-Speaking Church: An Interview with Dr. David Pao by Jennifer Guo

PART IV: BOOK REVIEW 73 An Unpredictable Gospel: American Evangelicals and World Christianity, 1812-1920 reviewed by Isaiah Jeong

PART V: MOSAIC SPOTLIGHT 79 Mosaic Spotlight: Luis San Román by Editorial Staff

Art by Lucas McFadden.“Mercy: Sharing” from the Compassio series.


Majority-culture evangelical churches have long decried the dangers of the “social gospel.” Countless pastors and theologians have insisted that 20th century mainline Protestants erred greatly by overemphasizing the need for churches to redeem and reform broken social structures and institutions, while underemphasizing the importance of gospel proclamation and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Their critique is not entirely unfounded. Scripture is clear that the greatest need any human experiences is the need to be reconciled with their Creator. However, those who rightly seek to avoid the error inherent to the “social gospel” can many times neglect social activism. They can be reluctant to engage pressing societal issues in thoughtful, faithful and sustained ways. This reluctance brings disastrous consequences. It is important for pastors and church leaders to recognize what is at stake when they neglect to wisely engage social activism. Indeed, when churches fail to proactively participate in initiatives and endeavors that combat injustice, advocate for the oppressed, and bring flourishing to their communities, proper theology, the church’s public witness, and its ability to extend God’s powerful love to those in great need are put at risk.

Tyler Chernesky is an Associate Pastor at the Downtown Campus of Christ Community Church in Kansas City. Tyler studied English, History, and Religious Studies at Indiana University, and received his Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Prior to his time at Christ Community, Tyler worked at The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity and produced conferences with Cru.


fundamentally theological. They suggest, through their inaction, that the explicit commands of Scripture no longer apply to God’s people, leaving their congregations wondering if God has renumbered His priorities or refocused His efforts. This is hardly the case. The unchanging God of Scripture is One who has always desired that His people be a visible, tangible blessing to their neighbors. From the very beginning, God intended that His people would be advocates of social change and cultural practice that would bring increased blessing and flourishing to their communities and cities (Jer. 29:7). The call to social activism is a call that is first and foremost theological in nature. It’s rooted in God’s character and in God’s intentions for His people. Churches that neglect thoughtful and faithful engagement in social activism present a theologically inaccurate portrait of God and His people (the Church) to their congregations. Implicitly presenting inaccurate representations of God and the Church ought to be something that pastoral and congregational leaders resist.

When churches refuse to thoughtfully and faithfully engage in social activism, they make a grave theological error. They ignore God’s call for justice, which echoes throughout the pages of Scripture. Indeed, the need for God’s people to take proactive measures to combat injustice is asserted in Old Testament law (Lev. 19:15), instructed in poetic wisdom (Prov. 31:8-9), and reaffirmed by Jesus at the outset of His earthly ministry (Lk 4:18-19). The call for justice echoes most obviously in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament, as God’s prophets repeatedly remind God’s people that fair treatment, human welfare, and advocacy for the vulnerable are priorities that matter to God. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah exhorts Israel to “Learn to do what is good. Pursue Justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.” (Isa 1:17). Likewise, Jeremiah instructs Israel’s leaders to “Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from his oppressor. Don’t exploit or brutalize the resident alien, the fatherless, or the widow. Don’t shed innocent blood in this place.” (Jer 22:3). Time and time again, God’s prophets proclaim that the proactive pursuit of justice is not optional; it is mandatory. It is what God wants. Churches neglect social activism – Churches neglect social when they refuse to be engaged in activism – when they refuse work that resists oppression, in work to be engaged in work that that defends the vulnerable, and in resists oppression, in work that defends the vulnerable, work that promotes the flourishing of and in work that promotes all people – they make an error that the flourishing of all people is fundamentally theological. – they make an error that is




The call to social activism is a call that is first and foremost theological in nature. It’s rooted in God’s character and in God’s intentions for His people. PUBLIC WITNESS

to the reality that God is real, active, and drawing together a people to Himself, they must be engaged in social activism. Through strategic, cooperative, and proactive work in their communities, churches will position themselves in such a way that best demonstrates that the biblical message about a God who is in the process of redeeming and restoring all things is a message that is true because it produces tangible results in the real world. By being thoughtfully and faithfully engaged in matters of justice the Church can bear more effective witness to its claims about God. To neglect social activism would be to abandon work that many thoughtful Christians agree is most likely to engage skeptics and non-believers in the years ahead.

When churches neglect to engage in social activism, their theology is not the only thing that suffers. Their public witness to a watching world also loses credibility and power. In our increasingly post-Christian age, sociologists of religion regularly debate the future of faith, as well as the role churches may or may not play in public life in the coming decades. While thoughtful analysts disagree about whether Christian faith will lose steam or surge forward, there seems to be consensus that churches need to consider with fresh eyes and open minds how their practices and priorities lend plausibility to or undermine the plausibility of the message they proclaim. Indeed, sociologists say, it is vital that a church’s public practice match its public proclamation – particularly in our current cultural climate. We live in a skeptical age, where individuals rightly suspect that the messages presented to them by institutions have been airbrushed, edited, and exaggerated for effect. Our age distrusts commercial enterprises, news outlets, advertisers and politicians. Understandably, this posture of suspicion extends to communities of faith as well. If churches intend to be communities of the gospel that serve as visible witnesses

POWERFUL LOVE Finally, churches that neglect social activism neglect the opportunity to extend God’s powerful love to real people in dire situations. In the church where I serve, we often say, “The local church as God designed it is the hope of the world.” By this we mean that the local church, when it lives out its New Testament calling, is the community God has chosen to use to bless, restore, and redeem this sin-stained world. When churches engage


proactive work that combats injustice – when they combat human trafficking, lobby for prison reform, advocate for fair housing, volunteer in under resourced schools, speak out against unjust laws, condemn racism, serve immigrant communities, and engage other good, beautiful, and necessary initiatives in their communities and around the world that honor human dignity and promote human flourishing – they are, in a very real sense, directly participating in work that brings relief to those who are oppressed, support to those who are isolated, and love to those who are often neglected and dismissed. Churches that are not engaged in such efforts risk missing the chance to love their neighbors in the way that Jesus commanded.

SO LET’S DO IT In Matthew 22, Jesus is asked by an expert in the law to name the greatest commandment. This expert intended to stump and embarrass Jesus. He hoped that by asking Jesus to simplify and summarize the Old Testament, Jesus might overlook an important aspect of the law, which would open up an opportunity for him to dismiss and discredit Jesus. But Jesus’s response to his question was brilliant, bold and beautiful. Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In just a few words, Jesus masterfully summarized the entire Old Testament – everything from Genesis to Malachi. Jesus’s answer is so simple: Love God.


Art by Lucas McFadden. “Mercy: Seeing” from the Compassio series.

And love others. However, this short, concise answer is remarkably expansive in scope and incredibly weighty in its implications. In his response, Jesus makes it clear that what matters the most in our lives of faith is our costly commitment to sacrificial love. The legal expert assumes that God’s law is too expansive to be effectively summarized, but Jesus’s response proves otherwise. Jesus suggests that faithful, obedient, God-glorifying living does not require extraordinary mental acuity or a rigorous legal education. Rather, living a life pleasing to God simply requires our active courage to do the difficult work of love – to love our God with our whole being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is important for us to remember as we consider the church’s role in social activism. As complex as it can be for contemporary churches to come to terms with the historical legacy of the “social gospel”, to navigate the cultural currents present in certain social movements, and to proactively engage activism in a manner that resists pride-soaked paternalism as well as dignity-stealing dependency, churches must never forget that at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus is a singular ethic that came from the mouth of Christ Himself: Love God. And love your neighbor. The difficulty of doing that work well is no excuse to avoid that work altogether. If churches are to articulate proper theology, present an effective public witness, and share God’s powerful love with those who need it desperately, they need to embrace thoughtful and faithful social activism that reflects God’s character, honors human dignity, and promotes the flourishing of all. The costs of neglecting that work are simply too high.



Art by Lucas McFadden. “Mercy: Seeing” from the Compassio series.

Art by Okamura, Tim. The Letter ‘I’


At the Intersection of Race and Gender: BEING A LATINA IN SEMINARY by Nayalisa Cuevas

It was a Monday night. As normal, I was going about my Monday duties, which entailed: class, work, dinner at a friend’s house, and a night class. This night class, Latin American Preaching, was the first time the school had ever offered it. I was learning so much, but this Monday night was different. A guest lecturer, Dr. Carroll, came and spoke about the day to day lived experiences that Latin@s1 face. From issues like immigration to the temptation of assimilation, Dr. Carroll made sure his audience felt the pain, sweat, and tears many Latin@s face here in America. As I sat there listening, my heart was beating faster than normal and tears were flooding my eyes like a waterfall. I was embarrassed and overcome by shame. Why? Because as he began to explain the struggles of my people, my seven-year journey of theological education flashed before my eyes. There was one episode that kept playing on repeat like watching a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. The episode was titled Assimilation and I was the main character. It all began to make sense. As Dr. Carroll described the ones who assimilated, I knew I could check every box. After the lecture was over, I went up to Dr. Carroll carrying all my shame. The tears that were welling up in my eyes began to stream down my face. All I could say was, “How do you go back? What happens if you assimilated? Please, how do you go back?” He

Nayalisa Cuevas is a Puerto Rican who was born and raised in the city of Chicago. She just completed her MDiv at TEDS and has recently moved to Kansas City to be an Associate Pastor at Christ Community for their two-year Pastoral Residency Program. Her goal in life is to faithfully minister, love, and serve people wherever God leads her.




looked at me with compassion, grabbed my arm, rubbed my skin, 1 I will use this term to refer to both Latinos and Latinas. and said, “You are not white, no eres blanca, and that’s okay.” As I write about being a Latina in seminary, I start with this 2 This information can be found here: https://www. story because it captures my journey. My experience as a Latina in seminary is just that, my experience. I do not pretend to capture institutional-data/annual-da ta-tables/2015-2016-annu all the experiences of Latinas, yet the reality is that I am part of a al-data-tables.pdf system that wants nothing to do with people like me, which means 3 Ibid. that our stories need to be told. Stories that not only need to be told but listened to. Perhaps, if we actually sat down and listened to each other’s stories we wouldn’t be so afraid or intimidated by “the other.” Being a Latina in seminary is a different lived reality than being White, Black, Asian, or Native American. Since the experiences of Latinas in seminary are uniquely different than other ethnic groups, the pressure to assimilate is dominant. The lack of representation of Latinas in seminary is staggering. The Association of Theological Schools captures data each school year on the demographics of students who are enrolling and graduating. Some of the categories include: ethnic background, age, gender, marital status, and financial status. For the 27,922 students enrolled in MDiv programs across the USA, the program I was enrolled in, for the Fall 2015 school year only 373 were Latinas.2 That is only 1.33%. Latinas are the second lowest people group represented, with Native American women being the lowest. White women comprised of 4,115, being the highest, with African American women coming behind them at 2,140, and Asian women coming in at There is not one monolithic way of 463.3 At Trinity, there were only 4 Latinas enrolled in the pursuing justice. Therefore, there graduate side at the master’s should be freedom to explore what level, and only 2, one of them resistance and pursuit of justice was me, enrolled in the MDiv looks like for Latin@s. program. The point in showing these statistics is to show how underrepresented Latinas are in theological education and the need for Latinas to be represented. Understanding this truth highlights the reality that what Latinas experience in seminary is vastly different than what whites, as well as other minority groups, experience. Our stories need to be given the proper space to be told because they

usually are stories of deep pain. I wish I could have known what I know now. At my undergrad, I was the only Latina on my floor out of 60 girls. Many times, I was the only Latina in my classes. My white male professors made fun of those who believed in the out workings of the Holy Spirit. They said that my people did not really understand the Scriptures the way they did. I was told that I was from the “out of the hood program.” So, I assimilated. I couldn’t bear the weight of being different. As I entered Trinity, I was convinced I was white. When I came in 2014, I was the only Latina enrolled in the graduate side. So, not only had I never seen people who look like me make it in theological education, I actually had no peer who was in this with me that looked Our seminaries need to do the like me. It’s hard being in a place where not only are you work of not only accepting Latin@s questioned because of your into their programs, but hiring them gender but also because of into key leadership roles where your ethnicity. I barely talked power is shared. in classes because I felt the pressure that when and if I opened my mouth I was doing so on behalf of Latin America. So, being Latina in seminary is being constantly reminded that you really don’t belong, not even with the minorities. Our society, and sadly our churches, are so polarized that as a result the conversation of racial reconciliation is just as polarized. As a Latina, I feel like there’s no space for us. Latin@s are different from other minority groups, which means that there should be space for other modes of expression. There are issues Latin@s face that are uniquely different than other minority groups. The way we go about dealing with those issues should look different. There is not one monolithic way of pursuing justice. Therefore, there should be freedom to explore what resistance and pursuit of justice looks like for Latin@s. Being a Latina in seminary for me is being reminded that for the whites, I am not white enough, and for the Puerto Ricans, I am not Puerto Rican enough. Being Latina in seminary is constantly being on guard and figuring out how to survive. Being Latina in seminary is being reminded that your people really don’t matter. In their book, Latina Evangélicas, Loida Martell-Otero, Zaida Maldonado Pérez, and Elizabeth Conde-Frazier write about what it means to be a Latina evangélica, which is different than the way the majority culture defines the word “evangelical.”4 They talk about the absence of Latinas and their theology. MartellOtero states, “Our absence is not due to the fact that we have nothing to contribute, but rather has occurred because our traditions have too easily been dismissed.”5


Latin@s have their own unique traditions that need to be voiced and welcomed at the table because silence is telling. Our seminaries need to do the work of not only accepting Latin@s into their programs, but hiring them into key leadership roles where power is shared. Being a Latina in seminary should mean being accepted as we are. Being Latina in seminary should mean that we do belong because God’s kingdom is not homogenous. Being Latina in seminary should mean that we are treated equally like our white brothers and sisters. Being Latina in seminary should mean that we are not silenced because of our difference, but welcomed because of it. Being Latina in seminary should mean that required reading for our classes should include POC. Being Latina in seminary should mean that I learn from professors who look like me. Being Latina in seminary does mean that, “without justice there can be no salvation.”6



However, I do recognize that this word is loaded and what people mean by it varies. 5


Loida I. Martell-Otero, Zaida Maldonado Pérez, and Elizabeth Conde-Frazier. Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013), 3. Ibid., 35

Art by Okamura, Tim. Rose and Crown.


Art by Lucas McFadden. "Redemption. Complexity. Commitment." from the Ambassadors series.


As a man, I live in a world that has been and is for the most part run by men. I am, therefore, privileged simply because of my gender in ways (sometimes unknown to me) that many of my Christian sisters aren’t. This unbalanced and privileged lifestyle, however, is not how God intended it to be. When mankind first sinned against God, it not only put enmity between humanity and God but also ruptured the relational shalom shared between man and woman. Since the Fall, men and women have strained in their relationships, whether at the individual level or the institutional level (pornography, unequal wages, etc.). Although there have been forward steps in women’s equality in our own context, there is still a long journey ahead. Sadly, the church has not been immune to these issues. There are still vital steps that need to be taken in order to see greater women’s equality within the church as well. In a word, this calls for gender reconciliation. So what is gender reconciliation? Gender reconciliation is not primarily about theological debates between complementarianism and egalitarianism, however important these conversations may be. Gender reconciliation, instead, is the reconciling work Christ is doing in and through his Bride for the goal of returning relational shalom to men and women united together in Christ.

Gianluca Cueva is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Deborah, live in Evanston, Illinois, where he serves at his church, Evanston Bible Fellowship, as a Pastoral Apprentice. He is part of the EFCA and hopes to continue serving the Free Church after he graduates.


IT IS A GOSPEL ISSUE First, gender reconciliation is ultimately a gospel issue. God’s redemptive work on the cross not only reconciled humanity to God but also reconciles men and women with each other. As God’s people, we have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20), to be God’s hands and feet as God reconciles all things. As men who describe themselves as evangelical, as men of the gospel, we should care not only about the gospel but also the inextricably intertwined implications the gospel has on our personal lives and social institutions. When we are able to see that Christ not only suffered on the cross for our redemption but also for the restoration of relational shalom between men and women, we see the priority that gender reconciliation should have in the church today. When the gospel is the center and the reason for gender reconciliation, we see that gender reconciliation is not primarily a social and/or political issue. It is not liberal In a time when women’s testimony Christians who care about gender reconciliation while meant nothing, Jesus appeared first conservative Christians care to women after his resurrection, about the gospel and sound sending them as the first witnesses doctrine. Instead, it should be of the resurrected Messiah. the evangelical, godly Christian who cares about sound gospelcentered theology and gender reconciliation ultimately because the two are tied inseparably to one another. Gospel-centered gender reconciliation is best seen in the life of Christ. During his earthly ministry, Christ was counter-cultural in the way he engaged in gender reconciliation. In a time when women’s testimony meant nothing, Jesus appeared first to women after his resurrection, sending them as the first witnesses of the resurrected Messiah. He had women disciples and followers. He taught women. He used women as the primary characters in his parables. He allowed women to minister to him and even to touch him. He intentionally spent his time on earth talking and ministering to women in a context where this was viewed as odd (John 4:27). Let us all follow our Saviour in his example of gender reconciliation.



So why should gender reconciliation be a priority for evangelical men? It should be a priority because it is a gospel issue; it is love for the church; and it shows the fullness of God’s glory.

IT IS LOVE FOR THE CHURCH Second, gender reconciliation should be a priority for evangelical men because it is also a church issue. In John 17, Jesus prayed that the church would be one as he and the Father are one in order for God’s glory to be known and so the world may know that Christ is God. Unlike other dividing lines within the church (ethnic/racial, generational, socio-economic, etc.), which are real and important to address, the gender line is more subtle because we don’t often come across all-male churches or all-female churches (although for some women, it may feel like churches are “men churches”). Today, when the majority of the congregants in a local church context are women and feel at many times as second-class citizens, we know the church is not “one”. Women in the church have felt excluded, scapegoated, and neglected. Christian men have either not known how to relate to women or have done so in a poor way, resulting in awkwardness, confusion, and hurt. One example in which these feelings have found a formal expression today is in what has been popularly labeled as the hashtag: “#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear”. Unfortunately, this has also made its way into the academy. In seminaries or divinity schools around the United States, one can find women passionate to learn Whether you describe yourself as how to serve and understand complementarian or egalitarian, or the Lord better. Many times, perhaps neither, there are theologically however, these women feel neglected and casted aside by and unequivocally foundational truths their male peers and, at times, about our sisters in Christ. even by their male professors. Whether they are egalitarian or complementarian, these Christian women feel unwanted and a sense of hostility at some of our best theological institutions. Whether you describe yourself as complementarian or egalitarian, or perhaps neither, there are theologically and unequivocally foundational truths about our sisters in Christ. They are co-heirs with Christ. They are part of the priestly nation and ministers of the gospel. They are gifted in diverse ways (evangelists, teachers, leaders, etc.). They are by definition daughters of the living God and heirs of eternal life. They are talented, Spirit-filled theologians. To treat or allow our sisters to be treated as anything less than this is unacceptable. As such, in the local church or the classroom, evangelical men are called to humbly encourage and support our sisters in their journey to know and serve our Lord with the fullness of who they are.


IT SHOWS THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S GLORY Third and final, gender reconciliation must be a priority for evangelical men because it shows the fullness of God’s glory. In Genesis 1, God tells us that he created humanity in his image, both male and female. It is, therefore, through both male and female image-bearers that the glory and image of God are fully reflected. The image of God is not fully reflected in men alone, nor in women alone. However, when half the church is not able to reflect the King of glory fully through their gifts, unique theological viewpoints, and insight into the motherly heart of God (Isaiah 66:13), we all miss out on the fullness of who God is. We are all lesser for it. If the goal is the glory of God and the fullness of the gospel and its implications to cover the earth, then it is essential to seek gender reconciliation. God’s design of creating man and woman in his image is good and wise. In a time where gender relationships are strained, let the Bride of Christ be the light that leads by example in gender relational shalom.


CONCLUSION If you are an evangelical man, don’t be intimidated by your evangelical sisters. Don’t be afraid to be able to learn something from them. Don’t let your own insecurities be the reason you hinder what God has intended for your evangelical sisters. This may look different depending on your context and convictions. For some, seeking to see your evangelical sisters become students of theology may be encouraging them to pursue degrees in the academy. For others, this may be creating a space for women in your church to learn sound and deep theology. Create a culture where your evangelical sisters know that their theological insight and input is not only welcomed but wanted in both the church and the classroom. For some, seeing your evangelical sisters use their teaching and leading gifts, may mean giving them opportunities to preach or teach. For others, it may be looking for and encouraging qualified women to be deacons or small group leaders. The goal is to help encourage and equip all the saints to use all their gifts for the work of ministry. As evangelical men, this is a task that we cannot just idly stand by, cheering on our sisters to do the job of gender reconciliation alone. Instead, we are called to actively partner with them. We begin in our own local church contexts, but we can’t stop there. We must seek gender reconciliation for all women who are created in the image of God. Though there is much work yet to be done in the area of gender reconciliation, men and women today are partnering and leading in both the local church and in the academy for gender reconciliation and for the ultimate goal of displaying more fully the glory of God to all of creation.



“She studies, and disputes, and teaches, and thus she serves her Faith; for how could God, who gave her reason, want her ignorant?” -Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Villancico1 1

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Villancico, or Carol, in celebration of St. Catherine of Alexandria (1692), quoted by Theresa A. Yugar, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014), vi.

Art by Arturo García Bustos. Mural in the Palacio Municipal de Oaxaca. Photo by S. Woods (2009).



In 1651, Mexico gave birth to whom is arguably the first female theologian in the Americas, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.1 Throughout the decades, a number of Latin American women have followed in her footsteps, defying stereotypes and socioreligious norms, and dedicating their lives to the monumental task of theology. However, for a long time an “invisible invisibility” rendered their voices silent and their presence unnoticed by many in the Anglo-European scholarship. As Cuban theologian Ada María Isasi-Díaz writes,

Juliany González Nieves is an evangélica Puerto Rican pursuing a Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Before her time at TEDS, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico. Her areas of interest include systematic theology, discipleship, narrative theology, Latin American theology, feminist theology, and missiology. You can follow her on social media and read her blog:

“How more invisible than invisible can you be? And yet there is a quality of invisible invisibility… Invisible invisibility has to do with people not even knowing that they do not know you.”2

This kind of invisibility is the result of a multiplicity of factors. Including the fact that from the colonial period to the 21st century, some in the Minority World,3 recognizing that other theologies look, sound and speak differently, have silenced, ignored or labeled those voices para-theological or even dangerous. However, if Latin American and Latino/a theologians have taught us something is that theology is to be done en conjunto. That is, theology is a communal endeavor done by


NANCY E. BEDFORD Nancy E. Bedford is an Argentinian evangélica systematic theologian. Since 2003, she serves as the Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois. Dr. Bedford holds a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a D.Th. from Karl-Ludwigs-Universität Tübingen. Where she studied under the mentorship of Jürgen Moltmann. Before her current academic post, Dr. Bedford served as Profesora de Dogmática at Seminario Internacional Teológico Bautista de Buenos Aires, and Profesora Titular del Departamento de Teología at the Instituto Universitario ISEDET. Where she continued to teach as Nonresident Professor until 2015. Her publications include Teología feminista a tres voces (2016), Galatians (2016), and a compilation of theological essays, titled La porfía de la resurrección: Ensayos desde el feminismo teológico latinoamericano (2008).

AGUSTINA LUVIS NÚÑEZ Agustina Luvis Núñez is a Puerto Rican theologian living and doing theology in the island. A life-long learner, she holds several degrees, including a M.Div. from the Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico, a Master in Theology and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Agustina currently serves as Assistant Professor and Director of the D.Min. program at the Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico. Her areas of interest include Pentecostal and feminist theologies. She has contributed to multiple publications, including the book El sexo en la Iglesia (2015); which was edited by renown scholars Samuel Silva Gotay and Luis N. Rivera Pagán. Her book Creada a su imagen: Una pastoral integral para la mujer was published in 2012 by Abingdon Press.



See Michelle A. González, “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,” in Empire and the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical Theologians. Kwok Pui-lan, Don H. Compier, and Joerg Rieger, eds. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), 229-242; and Beatriz Melano Couch, “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: The First Woman Theologian in the Americas,” in The Church and Women in the Third World. John C. B. and Ellen Low Webster, eds. (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1985), 51-57. 2


Ada María Isasi-Díaz, “Toward an Understanding of Feminismo Hispano in the USA,” in Women’s Consciousness, Women’s Conscience: A Reader in Feminist Ethics, ed. Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, Christine E. Gundorf, and Mary D. Pellauer (Minneapolis: Winston, 1985), 51.. I use the term Minority World to refer to Western cultures. The use of this term (1) decentralizes the West as point of reference and (2) points to the fact that the majority of the world’s population (and the church) is not found there.


the church and for the church. A theology that dismisses the voices of Christians in the Majority World and the margins of society is a theology that ends up denying the catholicity of the church. For this reason, we have decided to feature 18 Latin American female theologians you should know about.



Cuban Anglican theologian Clara Luz Ajo Lázaro received her doctorate from Universidade Metodista in São Paulo, Brasil. She specializes in historical theology and teaches systematic theology at the Seminario Evangélico de Teología in Matanzas, Cuba. Dr. Ajo Lázaro has contributed to multiple publications, including Anglican Women on Church and Mission (2012), Hope Abundant: Third World and Indigenous Women’s Theology (2010), and In the Power of Wisdom (2000).

Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier was not born in Latin America, but in Brooklyn, New York. However, when asked about how she identifies herself, she replied, “I identify as Newyorican. I am second generation. But I function as a 1.5, since I lived part of my life as a child in Puerto Rico as well.”4 Being a Puerto Rican is to live between two realities, U.S. citizenship and our puertorriqueñidad. We inhabit liminal spaces. We build bridges between cultures. This is the kind of complexity that Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier embodies. Before being appointed Dean of Esperanza College, she served as professor of religious education at the Claremont School of Theology. Moreover, Dr. Conde-Frazier founded the Orlando E. Costas Hispanic and Latin American Ministries Program at Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a Ph.D. from Boston College and a M.Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is also the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary (2010). Her publications include Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins (2013), Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families (Bilingual edition, 2011), Hispanic Bible Institutes: A Community of Theological Construction (2005), and A Many Colored Kingdom: Multicultural Dynamics for Spiritual Formation (2004).

GERALDINA CÉSPEDES ULLOA Catholic theologian Geraldina Céspedes Ulloa was born in Fantino, Dominican Republic. She holds degrees in Theology and Philosophy from the Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala and the Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó in Dominican Republic. Geraldina also holds a doctorate in Theology from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Céspedes Ulloa is a member of the Congregation of Dominican Missionaries, and has been serving marginalized communities in Guatemala City since 1992. She is also a founding member of the Núcleo Mujeres y Teología de Guatemala. Her publications include Las teologías de la liberación ante el mercado y el patriarcado (2014) and “Sources and Processes of the Production of Wisdom,” in Feminist Intercultural Theology: Latina Explorations for a Just World (2007).



Loida I. Martell-Otero is Professor of Constructive Theology at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in Pennsylvania. A bicoastal Puerto Rican, she does theology between the island and the mainland. Dr. Martell-Otero holds several degrees, including a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico, a M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School, and a M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham University. She is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches/USA and has taught in various institutions of higher education in the USA mainland and Puerto Rico. Some of her research focuses on Taíno spiritualities and their relation to theological anthropology, eschatology, and globalization. Her publications include Teología en Conjunto: A Collaborative Hispanic Protestant Theology (1997), and Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins (2013).

MARÍA PILAR AQUINO Catholic theologian María Pilar Aquino was born in Ixtlán del Río, Mexico. She holds a S.T.D. from the Pontificial University of Salamanca in Spain, and a S.T.L. and S.T.B. from the Instituto Teológico de Estudios Superiores of Mexico City. Since 1993, Dr. Aquino serves as professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego. Aquino was also the first woman president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, of which she is also a co-founder. In 2000, the University of Helsinki in Finland awarded her an honorary doctorate in theology. Her publications include Feminist Intercultural Theology: Latina Explorations for a Just World (2007), co-edited with María José Rosado-Nunes; A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology: Religion and Justice (2002), co-edited with Daisy L. Machado and Jeanette Rodríguez; and Our Cry for Life: Feminist Theology from Latin America (1993).


Email exchange between Daniel Montañez -a friend and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary alumni- and Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier on July 21st, 2017.



REGINA FERNANDES SANCHES Regina Fernandes Sanches is a Brazilian theologian serving and doing theology in her country. She holds two master’s degrees, one in Theology and Praxis from the Faculdade Jesuíta de Filosofia e Teologia (FAJE), and one in Missiology from the Faculdade Teológica Sul Americana. She also has an advanced degree in Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous History and Culture from the Universidade Luterana do Brasil. During her career, Regina has served in various institutions and organizations. Until last February she worked as the Executive Secretary of the Latin American Theological Fellowship (FTL) chapter in Brasil. She has also taught at various institutions, including Faculdade Nazarena do Brasil, Faculdade Evangélica de Teologia de Belo Horizonte, and Faculdade Refidim. Her publications include Como Fazer Teologia da Missão Integral (2015), and Teologia da Missão Integral: História e Método da Teologia Evangélica Latino Americana (2009).

ADA MARÍA ISASI-DÍAZ Ada María Isasi-Díaz was born in La Habana, Cuba in 1943. In 1960, due to the political realities of her country, she left the island to become a political refugee in the United States. There she entered the religious community of the Order of Saint Ursula. In 1967, IsasiDíaz decided to go to Lima, Peru, to serve as a missionary for three years. About her time there she writes, “I often say that it was there that the poor taught me the gospel message of justice. It was there that I learned to respect and admire the religious understandings and practices of the poor and the oppressed and the importance of their everyday struggles, of lo cotidiano. It was there that I realized the centrality of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed in the struggle for justice.”5

A pioneer in Mujerista Theology, Dr. Isasi-Díaz holds several degrees, including a M.Div., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She taught at several institutions, including Seminario Evangélico de Teología in Matanzas, Cuba; Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea; and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. It is at the latter that Dr. Isasi-Díaz became Professor Emerita



Biographical Information. Drew University.


Photography by Bertrand Gabioud.

of Ethics & Theology. She passed away in May 13, 2012. Her publications include Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the 21st Century (1996), En la Lucha: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), and La Lucha Continues: Mujerista Theology (2004).

RUTH PADILLA DEBORST Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst is a Colombian Protestant theologian serving as provost of the Centro de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI) in Costa Rica. She holds a B.Ed. from Lenguas Vivas “Juan Ramón Fernández” in Buenos Aires, Argentina; a MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School; and a Ph.D. in Missiology and Social Ethics from Boston University. She is a leading voice on misión integral, and for several years, she has been involved with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students and the Latin American Theological Fellowship. She has authored various articles and book chapters, including “An Integral Transformation Approach,” in The Mission of the Church: Five Views in Conversation (2016), and “Songs of Hope Out of a Crying Land: An Overview of Contemporary Latin American Theology,” in Global Theology in Evangelical Perspective: Exploring the Contextual Nature of Theology and Mission (2012). She also co-authored Mission as Transformation: Learning from Catalysts (2013), with David Cranston.

IVONE GEBARA Ivone Gebara is a Brazilian Catholic feminist theologian and nun. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. For 17 years, Dr. Gebara taught at the Instituto de Teologia de Recife; until it was closed down by order of the Vatican. She also taught at Auburn Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in New York. A prolific writer, she is a leading voice on ecofeminism and liberation theology. Her publications include Trinidade: Palavra Sovre Coisas Velhas e Novas: Uma Perspectiva Ecofeminista (1994), Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation (1999), and Out of the Depths: Women’s Experience of Evil and Salvation (translation, 2002).

DINORAH B. MÉNDEZ Dr. Dinorah B. Méndez was born in Durango, México. She holds a degree in History and Theology from the Seminario Teológico Bautista Mexicano in Lomas Verdes, México; a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth,


ELSA TAMEZ Dr. Elsa Tamez was born in Victoria, Mexico in 1950. She holds a doctorate in Theology from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, a Licentiate in Theology from the Seminario Bíblico Latinoamericano, and a Licentiate in Literature and Linguistics from the National University of Costa Rica. She is Professor Emerita and former director of the Latin American Biblical University in San Jose. Her publications include Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (2017), for the Wisdom Commentary series; Struggles for Power in Early Christianity: A Study of the First Letter to Timothy (translation, 2007); and Through Her Eyes: Women’s Theology from Latin America (1989, reprinted in 2006).

VIRGINIA RAQUEL AZCUY Catholic theologian Virginia Raquel Azcuy is Profesora Extraordinaria Titular de Teología Espiritual at Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. It was from this institution that she received her Licentiate in Theology and doctorate. Dr. Azcuy is also one of the founders of Teologanda and since 2010 has been serving at the Centro Teológico Manuel Larraín. Where she currently works as Director of the program “Signos de los tiempos.” Her publications include Teología feminista a tres voces (2016) and La figura de Teresa de Lisieux: Ensayo de fenomenología teológica según Hans Urs von Balthasar (1996).

NANCY CARDOSO PEREIRA Nancy Cardoso Pereira is a Brazilian Methodist pastor and theologian. She holds various degrees, including a Licentiate in Theology from the Centro Universitário Metodista in Rio de Janeiro, a Licentiate in Philosophy from the Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba, and a doctorate in Religious Studies from Universidade Metodista de São Paulo. Dr. Cardoso is the former Dean of the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana in Costa Rica, and a former member of the editorial board of the Revista de Interpretación Bíblica Latinoamericana. Her publications include “Paper Is Patient, History Is Not: Readings and Unreadings of the Bible in Latin America (1985-2005),” in The Future of the Biblical Past: Envisioning Biblical Studies on a Global Key (2012); Palavras… se feitas de carne: Leitura feminist e Crítica dos



Texas; and a Ph.D. in Theology from Wales University through the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. Since 1998 she has served as professor of theology and Christian heritage at the Seminario Teológico Bautista Mexicano. Her book Evangelicals in Mexico: Their Hymnody and Its Theology was published in 2008.

fundamentalismos (2013); and “Changing Seasons: About the Bible and Other Sacred Texts in Latin America,” in Feminist Interpretation of the Bible and the Hermeneutics of Liberation (2003).

BEATRIZ MELANO COUCH Beatriz Melano Couch was a Uruguayan Methodist theologian. She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and completed her doctoral studies at the University of Strasbourg in France. Committed to a life of teaching, she served at the Instituto Superior Evangélico de Estudios Teológicos (ISEDET) in Argentina. Among her publications are La mujer y la iglesia (1973) and “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,” in The Church and Women in the Third World (1985). Dr. Melano Couch past away in May of 2004 in Uruguay.

MARIA CLARA LUCCHETTI BINGEMER Brazilian theologian Maria Clara Bingemer is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Bingemer holds several degrees, including a master’s degree in Theology from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro, a doctorate in Systematic Theology from Pontifícia Universidade Gregoriana in Brasil, and a post-doctoctorate from Katholieke Universität Leuven in Belgium. She has served in several institutions and organizations, including the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, Instituto Superior de Estudos da Religião, and Centro Loyola de Fé e Cultura. A prolific author, Dr. Bingemer have significantly contributed to the theological discourse. Her publications include Latin American Theology: Roots and Branches (2016), Simone Weil: Mystic of Passion and Compassion (2015), and A Face for God: Reflections on Trinitarian Theology for Our Times (2014).

ELAINE NOGUEIRA-GODSEY Elaine Nogueira-Godsey is Assistant Professor of Theology, Ecology and Race at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She holds a B.A. in Theology from Faculdade Teológica D’Oeste do Brasil, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town. From 2000 to 2005, she served at the Junta de Missões Mundiais, doing missionary work with Angolan and Mozambican refugees. In 2016 Dr. Nogueira-Godsey was appointed Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg. She has over 15 years of teaching experience, having taught at the Faculdade Teológica D’Oeste do Brasil and the University of Cape Town. She has published various journal articles, and is currently turning her Ph.D. dissertation,


TEARING DOWN THE WALL OF INVISIBLE INVISIBILITY Women make up more than half of the church. As Philip Jenkins writes, “If you want to think of the average Christian in the world today, then think of, perhaps, a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a favela [in Brazil]…”6 It is due time for the wall of invisible invisibility to fall down. It is time that we get to know the faces and hear the voices of the women doing theology across the globe. This article was originally published in The Global Church Project website. It is being used with permission.



Philip Jenkins, “The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity,” in Religious Educator 8, no. 3 (2007): 113-125.


titled The Ecofeminist Theology of Ivone Gebara, into a book. She is also writing a chapter titled “Pedagogy of Decoloniality: Teaching and Learning in the Intersection of Race, Ecology and Theology” for an edited volume.

Art by Joseph Lee.



While the term “Asian American” is familiar, its meaning is not very clear—yet. If an Asian is born an American citizen, does he or she automatically constitute as an Asian American? Does an Asian become an Asian American after living an arbitrary number of years on the American soil? The label is not well articulated, despite its frequent usage. There are many reasons for this. Even on a cursory look, Asia is not a monolithic land. Each country has its unique language, culture, and history. As such, how a Chinese, Singaporean, and Hmong interact with their western counterparts may look vastly different. Sure, Jeremy Lin and Steven Yeun (an actor from the show Walking Dead) are both Asian Americans. But the former is Chinese and the latter is Korean. It is legitimate to ask: “Are their experiences as Asian Americans the same?” Probably not. Add to that the social, economic, gender, and religious factors that play a role in identity formation—it is not simple. Although this is an immense and complicated matter, it must not deter one from commenting on the issue. According to the U.S. Census of 2010, Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the United States.1 This topic will soon need to be studied out of sheer necessity. With this in mind, the goal of this article is to add more fuel to the flame of this emerging topic. In order to do

Isaiah Jeong is currently pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is working in Residence Life. Before his time at TEDS, he studied Philosophy and Ancient Languages at Wheaton College. He is interested in the intersection between philosophy, theology, and culture.




Samuel D. Museus, Asian American Students in Higher Education (New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014), 54.


so, the article will further examine why it may have been difficult to define the term “Asian American.” And it will explore how food and hip-hop are providing a broad yet unexpected platform to express the complex Asian American identity. The title “Asian American” may be a new development, even though Asians have been in America for two centuries. Historically, Asians have contributed to the American society in a variety of ways. The most notable example is the building of the transcontinental railroad, where Chinese workers served as the core economic backbone. However, while the Asian population gradually increased, many of these immigrants did not consider America their home. In other words, they never viewed themselves as Asian Americans, but rather as Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, etc. This is also due to strict visas that curtailed their stay in America, and forced many to go back to their respective homes. Asians were denied legal marital status, voting rights, and property rights. Simply put, many first-generation immigrants did not have enough time to even develop the American side of their personhood due to political and socioeconomic obstacles. And even if there were Asians who considered America as home, their small quantity probably did not create enough inertia to make a qualitative contribution to the racial label. However, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 completely flipped the paradigm. With the advent of the Hart Celler Act, the visa restrictions became more lax for Asian countries, and the natural influx of immigrants significantly increased. This Act even provided special privileges to families of immigrants. Thus, unlike the previous Asians, many immigrants arrived in America with a vision to permanently stay. While many first-generation immigrants may still not view themselves as Asian American, it became a different scenario for their children. Since their upbringing, the children have been equally shaped by both Asian traditions in their homes, and the western culture in social circles. Many of the children are now anywhere between their twenties and mid-forties. As such, the term “Asian American” is not well conveyed because it is getting defined by the second-generation Asian Americans right now. That is to say, Asian Americanism as a cultural identity is still in its infancy. Still, while the immigration policies have been a colossal help, it is far from sufficient when it comes to the difficult task of navigating Asian American identity as a whole. Indeed, Asians


Illustration from Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, © 2017 by Man One, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, published by READERS to EATERS



may have successfully migrated, but another beast awaits at the shores—cultural assimilation. Asian Americans often feel a cultural tension within themselves. There may be a clearer category of “Asian” and “American,” but the classification of Asian American is nebulous. Thus, many Asian Americans are caught in a cultural limbo, as they fit into neither category. Often times, they feel too American to be Asian, or they are too Asian for the American standards. This is exacerbated even in pedestrian settings. Asian Americans can empathize when a person from the majority culture asks: “Where are you actually from?” This seems like an innocuous question at first but insinuates that the Asian American is the social other. Then many tend to go to one of two extremes. Some deny their Asian identity all together and become “white washed,” and others try to fervently preserve their Asian identity with minimal interaction with their white counterparts or culture. There is no cultural sanctuary in which their identity can find rest. But that is not to say it is without hope. While the phenomenon of Asian Americanism is not fully refined, we see some snippets of its manifestation. For example, take a look at the fusion food in the West Coast. The California roll is a symbolic amalgam between the East and the West. It has flavors that are familiar to both the American and Asian audiences. But California rolls, which are normally categorized as “sushi,” are nowhere to be historically found in Japan. Likewise, is no cultural sanctuary in which known for coffee and seafood, their identity can find rest. Seattle is also the home of chicken teriyaki. While it is technically a Japanese cuisine, Korean immigrants in Seattle customized teriyaki to befit the western taste buds. The dish is a soy sauce-marinated chicken with salad vinaigrette that resembles poppy-seed dressing. Moving further south, the taco trucks in the streets of Los Angeles provide a marriage between Mexican and Korean cuisine. They sell bulgogi tacos and hearty kimchi burritos. Chef Roy Choi, considered a forefather in this industry, employs food to tell the story of his bicultural upbringing. In his words, “it is an expression of how immigrants came to Los Angeles…and how we continue to exist within the city. The flavor is as if you took a bite out the city itself. From rich to poor…from brown to white—it don’t matter.”2 Along with the food scene, another genre is playing a critical role for Asian Americans. As the racial group is going through a metamorphosis, interestingly enough, hip-hop has served to be a colorful canvass to express Asian Americanness. Hip-hop is thoroughly American—more specifically African American. Hip-hop’s origin is in the city of Bronx in the late twentieth century.3 It is also a conglomeration of various musical genres that are American born such as jazz, blues, funk, and




2 rock.4 It encompasses spoken word poetry, art, (battle) rap, and break Roy Choi, “Roy Choi Interview,” YouTube video, dancing. Hip-hop is a form of an American lifestyle, philosophy, and 00.26, posted by “Australian movement. And more and more, we see Asian Americans culturally Gourmet Traveler,” May 14, 2015, immerse themselves in this thoroughly American genre through their particular context. watch?v=f29UNt5KaQM. Take a look at artists like Dumbfoundead. He is respected by 3 Encyclopaedia Britannica both the American and Asian audiences. Why? He has clever rhymes Online, 8th ed., s.v. “Hip- hop,” accessed and catchy beats that are methodically hip-hop, but his lyrics are full December 4, 2017, of Korean idioms as well. His song, K.B.B, takes a theme of a classic topic/hip-hop. Korean childhood game synthesized with rhymes and an attractive 4 flow. Not only does he deliver comical punchlines, but he also tells Ibid. his Asian American experience. His recent hit, Safe, which has over 5 Dumbfoundead, Safe, Born three million views on YouTube, takes a jab at the “whitewashing” CTZN, track 5 on We Might Die, 2016, compact disc. of the Hollywood culture. His song forcefully opens up with the words, “The other night I watched the Oscars and the roster of the only yellow men were statues.”5 In his other works such as, Are We There Yet, he recalls his single, immigrant mother having to cross borders with kids in both hands. His mother was able to provide basic amenities through hard work, and Dumbfoundead is now an established artist. But as a minority, he must regularly ask the question: “Are we there yet?” We also see artists like Jay Park, who recently signed with Jay Z’s label, Roc Nation. Park is heavily influenced by hip-hop and R&B (rhythm and blues). He sings and dances with clear inspirations from Michael Jackson, Usher, and Chris Brown. His lyrics alternate between Korean and English, incorporated with usages of double entendre that can be only understood from an Asian American perspective. There are a number of other artists like Awkwafina, Jin, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Jessi, and more who are unknowingly and intentionally providing distinct Asian American signatures. In conclusion, perhaps like the hip-hop pioneers of the late twentieth century, Asian “Will Asian-Americans continually Americans are subliminally decay in the stereotype of assimilation channeling their cultural frustration to navigate or escape through innovation?” themselves through musical outlets. While doing so, they are exploring uncharted territories. To some, these expressions may be for better or worse for the future

Art by Joseph Lee

Asian American generations.6 And to others, food and hip-hop may only seem like a scratch on the surface of an intricate issue. Regardless, it must be noted that the Asian American category is becoming more enriched than before. It raises the question: “Will Asian Americans continually decay in the stereotype of assimilation or escape through innovation?”



Some may view the relationship between hip-hop and Asian Americans as a form of cultural appropriation. This is a legitimate concern, but one must not fall into reductionism. As Alicia Soller puts it, “Within the realm of hip-hop, Asian Americans have to develop a way to speak about injustices against our community without co-opting Black voices for our benefit. We need to use hip-hop to assert identity without appropriating Blackness connected to it.” See Alicia Soller, “I’m still trying to understand why my Asian American community refuses to recognize hip-hop as Black culture,” The Tempest, July 24, 2017, https://thetempest. co/2017/07/24/culture-taste/ hip-hop-culture-is-black- culture/.


Art by Peter Fengalli.

Art by Tina Floersch.


By Joshua Brown

All we see are colors. Crayolas clog our perception because the spectrum’s limited. Like art supplies offered to keep kids busy at dinner tables in Denny’s, there’s a 5-pack mentality. Red, brown, yellow, white, and black are our color scheme. We are all just toddlers taught not to color outside of lines in this coloring book of life. Reason being, systematic oppressionist mentalities. Reason being, since the beginning, white never mixed well with other things. Reason being, it’s overpowered too easily… So white forced black to lay foundation for a nation in these pages. And lines were implemented to impede blending, and stop the bleeding of other colors, by starting the bleeding of other colors,



Crayolas: A Poem

with hopes that they’d run dry, so white wouldn’t be washed out completely… So the standing out of other hues has become misconstrued. Because they lack the opportunity to be viewed, unless controlled. Black is only used to outline popular culture. Otherwise, its only place lies within shadows... But in the background is where dark dyes die, and with so much contrast white life can’t help but attract brown eyes… And I, toddler taught not to color outside of lines, and thus I must have realized that brown too has limited use, most times it only works the menial jobs no other color wanted to do... Most times it’s alienated outside of the borders, deported and casted out from being a part of the group… It’s stereotypically viewed, brown only maintains ground… and or cleans up mess that other colors leave round… Its coloration is only used for maintenance of the settings around white spaces... Those white spaces are only white because




white saturation has left no place for red values in what originally was their places. White made red an undertone. I mean, white made red mere tints of their past shades when they modified their homes. They wallpapered their teepees with smallpox blankets, and left a trail of tears, by dropping so many bodies shaped red polka dots that littered the snow in this nation’s past pages… But I, toddler taught not to color outside the lines, in this coloring book of life, instead, focus only on separation… Look closely at differences like squinted eyes from child who suffers from far-sight… Or look closely at differences like squinted eyes from child studying contrast between races. Who’s reflection is faced with face of yellow pigmentation. See, white realized that Orientals are ornamental in the advancement of these pages, and so their placement isn’t coincidental… It’s instrumental; only use yellow to brighten rooms amidst college campuses and high schools, and keep them distracted by your actions: Confused, by just giving them a little more room to glow.

Make it appear like this is a partnership in this crayolic painting by giving them a bigger part in this. But the art to this is that white still maintains control of where all the other colors go... See, I thought I was toddler taught not to color outside of lines, in this coloring book of life... But really, I’m just a color placed on page and made not to venture outside my place. Really, I’m just crayola, writing utensil in white hand of author... Writing this issue this black mixed with brown Because I got thoughts to jump the borders... Just so I could get a better view. Because from here… The only news we see is colored... All we see are colors. But the spectrum is limited. We’ve become color-blind from being boxed in this 5-pack system, not understanding that something is missing… Colors were meant to complement… We don’t get that so many bright ideas get lost in the shade of our conflicts because we won’t blend and mix together by lowering the temperature of our temperaments…


Joshua Brown is a writer born and raised on the south side of Chicago, blessed with a passion for Christ. His writings aim to convict and break up the monotony of thought that circulates in the minds of people plagued by a fallen world.



Just look at this coloring book of life…. It’s self-evident that we are all just colors…. And so I ask all my other crayolas: Aren’t you tired of being used by this mad toddler at the dinner table of life, who’s unsatisfied and just trying to get more and more to eat? If so, well, then stop acting so neat… It’s time to cross the lines…


By Henry Thompson

I didn’t know what love was, until I seen his cross covered with his blood. He came to save men and not to judge. Although that is what we deserve because we didn’t worship God as the Creator. Instead we made idols to serve. But that just didn’t work. So we were left empty, broken and hurt, trapped underneath this curse of idolatry. Until Christ became a curse up on that tree, like Paul said in Galatians 3:13. Now I see how I was tryna do all these things to create my own righteousness and purity. Instead of trusting in the righteousness Christ secured for me. And now I finally realize that I am fully justified by his perfect life and sacrifice, when he was crucified. Because the wrath of God was fully satisfied.




So now in Christ is where I now reside and find the strength to fight sin day to day and turn from it and go the other way because the other day I was on the corner of hopelessness and self-salvation and he gave grace. Yea, he gave me grace. Yea, my King died but he also raised. So in him I put all my faith and turned away from trying to earn salvation by my work, because that will never work. And if you trying, you underneath a curse. Due our sin nature we need a rebirth. Now I see what it means in Christ to be free and I can’t wait to be with God for eternity. Yea’, that’s everything. I don’t want nothin’ else. Because I was dead at the bottom of the ocean of my sins and I needed help. Christ swam in better than Michael Phelps. Just to give me life he laid down himself.




Just to give us life abundantly. So Christian, Why we still living so selfishly? Including me, I’m not here to judge. But Jesus said, ‘They will know you’re my disciple by the way you love.’ So, how you love? Do you forgive or do you hold a grudge? Because I know I did, until I saw the way that my God forgives. Even though I was deserving of wrath, now I’m called his kid. And even though I was enemy, I have been adopted into the family. Because Jesus was nailed to that tree for me. Yea, he was nailed to them wooden beams, so that I could stand before God as holy and clean. And he is the perfect sacrifice for the world’s sins. And he said finished, so he don’t have to do it again. And after he was buried for three days, he rose up and he conquered the grave. And he is coming back and I can’t wait. So Christians,

let’s go and make disciples and share our faith. Let’s lay down our life like he laid down his life. Let’s give it all up as living sacrifice. See, I didn’t know what love was. I was so insecure, never felt good enough. Felt like I had to earn God’s love by my works through the law. But I always fell short, due to my inherited sin nature from the fall. So I had to fall on my knees, because I saw how I had been eating from forbidden trees and covering it up with my own fig leaves. And I saw how I was stuck in the false dichotomy of living life like the irreligious or the Pharisees. And I saw from God’s presence how I try to hide, until he broke down my foolish pride and showed me my need to trust in the only Savior, Jesus Christ. So I didn’t know what love was until I came to trust in the Son that he lived the perfect life for me, and covered all my transgressions by his blood.


final year of the Master of Divinity program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He was raised in Fort Wayne, IN and studied Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He is currently serving on the Mosaic Student Leadership team for a second year.



Henry Thompson is in his



by Jennifer Guo The Tien Dao Bible Commentary series was recently completed, a landmark achievement as the first complete commentary series originally written in Chinese by Chinese biblical scholars. We had the privilege of interviewing the New Testament editor for the series and the author of the two volumes on the Gospel of Luke, Dr. David W. Pao. As a scholar who regularly preaches and teaches in churches and seminaries in Mainland China and Hong Kong (as well as in diaspora Chinese churches throughout the world), Dr. Pao has rich first-hand knowledge of the Chinese church and Chinese theological education. We are pleased to share some of these insights with our readers, as well as introduce the Tien Dao Bible Commentary series.


Please tell us a little about the state of theological Chinese theological education. What are some encouraging trends/ developments, and what are some challenges for theological training in China?

It is difficult to provide a brief comment on the current state of Chinese theological education. Perhaps a historical overview may be helpful. Prior to 1949 (the year of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China under the Chinese Community Party), missionaries from the West established missionary schools, Bible institutes and seminaries, and Christian universities in the different regions of China. After 1949, centers of Chinese theological education shifted to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Some young Mainland Chinese Christians who had the opportunity to leave China in the late forties and early fifties had also been able to receive further training in theological institutions in the West. Those who returned to Asia were able to provide fuel for revival in theological education among the Chinese churches,



How did the Tien Dao Bible Commentary series come about? What are some of the distinctives of this commentary series?

Recognizing the need for a complete set of biblical commentaries for the Chinesespeaking world, a group of scholars started this Tien Dao bible commentary project



which culminated in the establishment of interdenominational graduate schools of theology, such as China Evangelical Seminary in Taiwan (1970) and China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong (1975). When various sorts of organized religious activities became more tolerated in Mainland China in the early 1980s, we witnessed the establishment of a number of seminaries recognized by the government Religious Affairs Bureau, the largest of which is the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary near Shanghai (1981). The many Mainland Chinese Christians who worshipped in the unregistered house churches also continued to receive support from a number of house church seminaries in China. Two significant developments took place in the few years before and after 1997, the year Hong Kong ceased to be a British Colony and became part of China (as a Special Administrative Region). First, many decided to leave Hong Kong, including a number of Christian leaders. Traditional diaspora Chinese communities benefitted from the influx of these leaders, leading to the establishment of additional Chinese churches and Chinese-speaking theological institutions especially in cities in the States (e.g., Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York), Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary), and Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane). Second, with Hong Kong being considered part of China, the number of recognized seminaries in China doubled overnight. Many Hong Kong seminaries that are highly influenced by North American Evangelicalism now play an important part in the wider theological scene in China. In the past decade or so, we continue to witness the growth of the Mainland Chinese immigrant population in Australia, Europe, and North America, leading to the establishment of a number of newer Chinese-speaking seminaries serving these communities (e.g., International Chinese Biblical Seminary in Europe, in Barcelona, 2007). Distinctive features of Chinese theological education include: closer ties between the academy and local churches, heavier focus on Christian living and spiritual disciplines, and more significant involvement of women in various forms of ministries. Continued challenges include: uneasy relationship with Western theological traditions (e.g., issue of the relevance of the Reformation, relationship with Western denominations, burden of Western imperialism), wide-spread ignorance of non-Western global Christianity, remnants of anti-intellectualism, and the lack of resources for research in the classical theological disciplines.

in the late 1970s, with the financial support from a family that had established a research and publishing grant of two million dollars US. The series was finally completed after almost 40 years. More than 40 Chinese scholars are involved, with a total of 85 volumes. I became involved in this project 20 years ago when I assumed the role of New Testament Editor, and I had the privilege to speak at the dedication service for this commentary set this past November. Written by in Chinese by Chinese scholars, none of these are “translated” volumes. These commentaries interact with and comment on the Greek text, but are intentional in being accessible to a wider Christian readership. Beyond being the first complete commentary set in Chinese, this series is important for the Chinese churches for a number of reasons. First, it reflects the commitment to study the biblical text in its original language. The same organization that oversees this commentary set also organized the committee that produced the first modern revision of the older Chinese Union Version (from the early 1900s). The Chinese Union Version had the reputation of being the Chinese King James Bible, and it took the collective effort of a group of notable Chinese biblical scholars to convince believers that no translation of the bible can claim to be inerrant. These biblical scholars who provided the Chinese churches a new version of the Chinese bible were the earlier contributors of this commentary series. Being the parallel project to this new version of the Chinese bible, this new commentary project emphasizes the need to read the bible in its original language. Second, this commentary set also testifies to the shift in Chinese preaching style and approach. In the first half of the 20th century, most Chinese preachers adopted a “spiritual reading” of the biblical text, similar to what is known as an “allegorical interpretation” in Western Christian traditions. The growing acceptance of this commentary set among Chinese preachers reflects a general recognition of the importance of expository preaching. This rests on the firm conviction that the biblical message understood in its original



context can continue to speak to a new generation of believers. Third, this commentary set symbolizes the unity of the Chinese Christian communities in various parts of the world. While the 40 authors share the same commitment to the final authority of the Bible, we came from different countries and regions, we speak different dialects of the Chinese language, and we represent different local Chinese communities. Yet we find our common ground in the same sacred text that continues to shape our identity as one people of God. It is a powerful testimony to the power of God’s word that unifies us all. Fourth, this commentary set provides a much-needed resource for the global Chinese-speaking community of believers. In some churches in China, for example, a one-volume Study Bible is often the only resource available to a pastor. With the publication of this commentary series in Hong Kong by a Christian publisher, and the reprinting and marketing of this series in Mainland China by a well-respected secular publisher (with no restriction in sales), this series promises to be a blessing to many. Beyond the remote regions in China, even in smaller bible study groups for Chinese students across the university campuses in the US, this has already become a standard reference tool especially for those who are not used to reading theological literature in a “foreign� language.


Please share with us a little about your two-volume contribution to this series on the Gospel of Luke.

This was one of the most difficult projects to which I had ever committed. Since coming to the States in the mid-1980s, almost all of my writings, formal or informal, were in English. Writing this commentary forced me to relearn Chinese, and to acquire a new set of theological vocabulary. By the grace of God, and with the editorial help of a Chinese doctoral student here at TEDS, and several capable copy editors of the Tien Dao Publishing House, I am grateful to see this commentary published. This commentary reflects two professional interests of mine: to situate the text in its cultural and historical contexts, and to pay close attention to the narrative development within the text. The first points to the recognition that the power of the biblical message often resides in the interaction between texts and contexts. The task of a biblical interpreter, therefore, is to recreate for a contemporary audience the power of the ancient text. The second recognizes that defending the historicity of the text and reconstructing the historical events behind the text are not the end of the task of a biblical interpreter. Equally important is to respect the text itself and to see what the divine and human authors have prepared for us through such a text. While these two foci can often be found in Western commentary literature (though not always together in one volume), they are not as familiar to many of the Chinese Christians.



Majority world scholarship, even when written in English, tends to be ignored by the West. What are some things the West can learn from Chinese biblical scholars?

This is a difficult question to answer. It is easier to detect a distinct set of theological voices in the area of “constructive theology” (for lack of a better term), likely due to the nature of the discipline itself since dialogue with the contemporary culture is part of the tasks of this discipline. In the area of biblical studies, it is more difficult to identify the distinct set of voices among Chinese biblical scholars. One can of course identify Chinese scholars who have had significant contributions in various areas of biblical scholarship, but often these scholars would not claim that their distinct contributions are necessarily tied with their own ethnic identity. There are, however, exceptions. First, in areas of post-colonial studies, for example, some who have had first-hand experience in post-colonial contexts have been able to bring new questions to the text. Second, in certain areas of social-scientific readings of the ancient texts, those from the “East” may be more sympathetic or even sensitive to certain aspects of the texts. Examples include honor-shame language, significance of group identity and dynamics, the question of dialects and the distinction between oral and written language … etc. Third, because of the lack of dichotomy between the academy and the church, most Chinese (or Majority World) biblical scholars are committed preachers and pastors. The questions they raised are therefore often firmly grounded in the reality of the lives of the believers. At the end, what Western scholars can learn from those of the Majority World may not be easily identifiable in terms of particular areas of research or study. Perhaps more importantly, those from the Majority World can help us (myself included) who work primarily in the West to realize that we too have our own cultural lenses through which we read the texts and see the world. Debunking the myth of Western scholarship as a “neutral” scientific enterprise may be the greatest contribution made by those whose readings are often labeled merely as “cultural” readings.



My commentary does not, however, merely aim at introducing the fruits of Western scholarship to the Chinese audience. For those of us who consider “stories” an important medium in expressing our thoughts and exemplifying our convictions, I find my own cultural background affecting the questions I bring to the text and the way I answer them. Though I did not to write a commentary that is distinctively “Chinese” in orientation, I do realize that the cultural context from which I came and in which I continue to serve do add a particular layer in my appropriation of the gospel message.

BIOGRAPHICAL BLURB: Dr. David Wei Chun Pao (BA, Wheaton College; MA, Wheaton College Graduate School; MTS, MA, PhD, Harvard University) is Professor of New Testament and Chair of the New Testament Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. While completing his doctoral studies, he preached and taught at the Chinese Christian Church of Rhode Island. His English-language publications include Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus (Mohr Siebeck 2002/Wipf & Stock 2016), Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme (IVP Academic 2002), and Commentary on Colossians and Philemon (Zondervan Academic 2012). A few of his current projects include forthcoming commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles (Brill) and the Gospel of Matthew (IVP Academic).

Art Attributions: GREAT CATCH Copyright 1993 by John August Swanson Serigraph 22⅛” by 31¾” PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE Copyright 2004 by John August Swanson Serigraph 12” by 38½” TAKE AWAY THE STONE Copyright 2005 by John August Swanson Serigraph 30” by 20”




Book Review: AN UNPREDICTABLE GOSPEL by Isaiah Jeong

In contemporary scholarship, many argue that the colonialist wolf hid under the sheep’s clothing of evangelism and that Christianity is a “white man’s religion.” Challenging both of these notions, Jay Riley Case provides a nuanced thesis: First, Christianity often emerged when the privileged abdicated their powers to empower the marginalized. Second, Christianity, and by extension Evangelicalism, was never solely a western religion due to its global influences. In order to solidify his thesis, Case employs four interpretive lenses: (1) Karen Christianity, (2) William Taylor, (3) African-American Christianity, (4) and Pentecostalism. First, in the early 19th century, an age-old question manifested in a missiological form: “Does the civilizing egg come first or the evangelizing chicken?” Karen Christianity will provide a surprising answer. Drawing from the formalist tradition, many Baptist missionaries argued that civilizing must precede evangelism. Living in the shadows of the Enlightenment, the educated Baptists could not imagine how the unrefined Karen people could grasp the intellectual rigor of Christianity. Thus, the indigenous must first be educated or civilized. The Baptist soon realized this was a failed endeavor. While the missionaries were merely responsible for a few converts, “uncivilized” Karen Christians like Ko Tha

Case, Jay Riley. An Unpredictable Gospel: American Evangelicals and World Christianity, 1812-1920. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2012. 328 pp. Paperback: $8.94.


itinerant global missionary, nothing matched the fruits that were labored with Pamla. Taylor’s most influential yet surprising legacy will not be the numbers of his conversions or his missiological methodology (155). But rather, the anti-formalist vision that enabled his confidence in the native populist will be cut from the same theological cloth as the holiness movement, and later Pentecostalism. Third, just as native Christianity grew when missionaries restricted their power, African-American Christianity exploded when white hegemony subsided. The timeline of the Emancipation Proclamation and the African-American Great Awakening is not a coincidence. However, as African-American Christianity was still maturing, it raised unresolved questions of its relationship between the African and American identity within themselves. Formalists like Daniel Payne critiqued enthusiastic revivals that seemed like barbaric Africanism and called for a faith that was more civilized. By contrast, anti-formalist like Henry McNeal Turner sought to redeem African qualities, claiming that the enthusiastic revivals were an avenue in which the Holy Spirit moved the AfricanAmerican community (177). Although brief yet crucial, it must be noted that formalists and anti-formalists shared a paradoxical relationship. While Turner’s anti-formalist vision empowered ordinary uneducated black men and women, it was “Payne and his fellow elite ministers [who] provided the institutional structures… and educational resources” (173). Also, while the African Methodist Episcopal Church will initially ignite from a populist impulse, it will inevitably become an organized institution



Byu spread Christianity to the indigenous like wildfire. Karen evangelists not only had the cultural and linguistic advantages, but they also digested Christianity into their particular culture. Understanding the value of contextualization, the missionaries were forced to relinquish their racial and educational superiority, and let the Karen Christians take control. While the Baptists went to Burma to shape their Christianity, paradoxically, Karen Christianity molded American Evangelicalism. The effectiveness of the “native-ministry model” within the Karen Christians was the same method the Baptist used to reach out to the postbellum slaves and also the advent of African-American colleges in the south. Second, Case explores another world Christianity that gained vitality through native partnership. In South Africa, Methodist missionary William Taylor and native Charles Pamla started revivals converting the mass population in thousands. The relationship between Taylor and Pamla was beyond an innocuous one—it was a revolutionary symbol of breaking down cultural and racial barriers. The “sophisticated” Wesleyan missionaries initially could not swallow their pride, refusing to accept that the “semi-civilized” native was better equipped for evangelism. Contra formalists, Taylor wittingly once said, “Do not let the car of salvation stand still while we are waiting for the schools to turn out such agents as [Pamla]” (123). Pamla’s display of rhetoric drenched in the Xhosa vernacular provided a bridge for the Gospel message to be smoothly transferred into the hearts of the native audience. While Taylor ventured to become an

itself. The formalist-anti-formalist tension cannot be easily categorized. In sum, looking at the prevalence of racism, Turner once asked if America was hell or Christendom. African-American Christianity challenged American Evangelicalism whether it solely pledged to the American flag or to the cross. Fourth, the same anti-formalists reservoir that fueled the Karen, Xhosa, and African-American Christians will be shared by another historically marginalized group—women. In an age where women were best seen as “domestic wives,” the holiness movement and Pentecostalism simply overlooked the dominant stereotypes of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and culture. Agnes McAllister led revivals, preached, and worshipped in the Kru village; Amanda Smith, a former slave, while not always successful, testified in front of white men; Pandita Ramabai, an Indian prodigy, became a key leader in global revivalism. Not only did these women challenge the gender biases, they also contradicted the naturalistic worldview of their time. In an era where Newtonian physics, mechanism, and human causality seemed to be the final answer, they found comfort in the unpredictable ways of the Holy Spirit. It is not hyperbolic to say that women were the backbone of the holiness movement and Pentecostalism. To conclude, while the Azusa Street revival in California is often seen as the phoenix of Pentecostal revivals, global radical-holiness revivals gave the movement its wings. We see the Holy Spirit rush down like a torrent of wind through Korea, China, India, England, and Australia, igniting spirit-filled revivals. Christianity, a global network, was never merely a western religion.

ANALYSIS Case’s seminal work demands much attention and response. For the sake of brevity, while still being wholesome, this section will explore its strength, weakness, and a personal reflection. Understanding the dangers of contextual bias, one cannot help but appreciate Case’s desire to be objective with his analysis. Whether it is a theory, movement, or person, Case provides both a critical and charitable ethos. For instance, Case illustrates how William Taylor’s anti-formalist Evangelicalism was both his greatest strength and hindrance—empowering individual natives while also creating cultural blind spots (127). Moreover, Case masterfully interweaves historical context and its consequence. For example, he effectively juxtaposes the relationship between Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and white supremacy, the end of the Civil War and the African-American Great Awakening, and philosophical modernism and Pentecostal thinking. He wonderfully sets the historical stage for the reader to fully




appreciate the significance of each character. However, although an appealing work, some shortcomings must be noted. First, Case does not sufficiently explain how Taylor was a sine qua non for the holiness movement. Taylor’s populist impulse seems to merely reinforce the democratization that is already present with Phoebe Palmer. Thus, more analysis may be necessary before claiming that Taylor laid the foundation of the holiness movement (104). Second, one of Case’s theses is that global influences shaped American Christianity. A lacuna appears in his argument when AME churches provided the main institutional structures for South African Christians. Third, William Harris’ appearance seems abrupt in a chapter that is flooded with female success in Pentecostalism. Lastly, to my particular context, this book challenged me to think how Asian Americans are contributing to the mosaic of Evangelicalism. Still in its infancy, Asian American theology unfortunately is indistinguishable from its white-counterparts. Like African-Americans, I pray that Asian-Americans will find their distinct color to contribute to the Kingdom of God.

Luis San Romรกn Family.


Mosaic Spotlight: LUIS SAN ROMĂ N by Editorial Staff


Who is Luis San Román and what is your relationship to Mosaic Ministries at TEDS?

I am a tool in the hands of God, a husband, dad, counselor, student, family man and a dreamer. I was part of the Mosaic Fellowship Cohort from 2012-2015. And as a Mosaic scholar, I participated in many panels (e. g. immigration and racial identity) and served as one of the leaders during my last year at TEDS. That was when Mosaic Fellowship was transitioning into what is now known as Mosaic Gathering/Ministries.


Can you tell us about your current projects and future plans?

Currently I am working as a staff counselor at White Stone Counseling Resources, a Christian counseling ministry that seeks to serve the body of Christ. As a ministry, we partner with many local churches to allow God to use us as his tool in the lives of those who come to see us. I consider counseling to be the key component in understanding the underlying issues surrounding one’s emotional well-being. I work with individuals across gender, ethnic, generational and religious differences. My practice is informed by my faith and I believe spirituality can be a vital piece of the therapeutic process, when a client is open to the concept. I enjoy working with couples who are struggling in their relationship. Whether that is a need for deeper emotional connection, sexual satisfaction, communication issues, healing from an affair, or other problems that are keeping them from having a healthy and happy relationship, especially a relationship that honors God. In addition, I work with men and adolescents/young adults, who are dealing with a variety of issues including career, anxiety, depression, trauma, addictions I hope to give a voice to those that (e.g. substances, sexual) and continue to hide in the shadows to spiritual concerns. It is my avoid being separated from desire to come along side of those who are hurting and their loved ones. help them move beyond their present struggles and develop a healthier and holistic perspective of their lives. I am dedicated to creating supportive, yet empowering relationships, that allow my clients to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to continue the process of healing. Regarding my educational journey, I am currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate focused on Counselor Education and Supervision at Governors State University. I am working on my dissertation, “Adult Attachment Style and the Willingness to Forgive an Interpersonal Offense in Latino Romantic Relationships.”



How has Mosaic shaped your life and work?

Mosaic definitely shaped my life and work. One of the things that became evident through Mosaic is the love that the body of Christ has for our brothers and sisters who struggle with social and multicultural issues in their lives. Mosaic helped me understand the importance of advocating for those that do not have a voice. As a counselor, I am expected to advocate by promoting change in different areas and spheres. Whether that is at individual, group, societal, and institutional levels. Advocacy is “[a]n action taken by a counseling professional to facilitate the removal of external and institutional barriers to a client’s well-being.”15 What motivates me about this is being able to give voice to the individuals that have “none.” I hope to improve the lives of everyone regardless of color, socio economic status, gender, etc. There are many areas I would like to advocate for, but the one closest to my heart is immigration. Due to many personal reasons, I hope to give a voice to those that continue to hide in the shadows to avoid being separated from their loved ones. For me, this is vital, as Smith, Reynolds, and Rovnak states, “oppression leads to psychological and emotional difficulties”, and it is “my responsibility to combat these social forces.”16 I hope to do so by standing up for those that can’t for whatever reason.





Martin J. La Roche, Cultural Psychotherapy: Theory, Methods, and Practice (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., 2015), 48. Rebecca L. Toporek and William M. Liu, “Advocacy in Counseling: Addressing Race, Class, and Gender Oppression,” in The Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender in Multicultural Counseling, edited by Donald B. Pope-Davis (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., 2001), 387. S. D. Smith, C. A. Reynolds, and A. Rovnak. “A Critical Analysis of the Social Advocacy Movement in Counseling.” Journal of Counseling & Development, 87 no. 4 (2009), 485.


One of my future plans would be to become a professor and help train/prepare the future generation of counselors. As a counselor, I seek to empower my future students and clients in all areas of their life. As La Roche states, “Empowering gradually leads to desire to transform and improve oneself and one’s context.”14 My greatest desire is to allow God to use me as one of his tools to bring people back to him.


How could we support you and your ministry?

I would ask that you all continue to pray for me. Pray God will continue to give me wisdom, understanding, and empathy for every client that walks through my door. Please, also pray that I can take care of myself and continue to be the father and husband God has asked me to be. Lastly, feel free to refer anyone my way if you feel that I could be of help. Please know that I will walk alongside of them and help them in any way I can.


How can people contact you?

People can contact me by calling to 847.361.9696 or emailing to Moreover, we have a website in Spanish, And a webpage in English, MA,LPC,CSAT-C_Palatine_Illinois_271284.



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