Can You Serve Christ and Confucius?

Asian Christians must navigate ethical dilemmas in everyday life. This recent book can help.

There are rules to follow in every culture, particularly in Asia, where many children must bear the responsibility of maintaining harmony within the home and familial structure. To deviate from the norms or traditions of any Asian society requires a bold willingness to try to demonstrate to one’s fellow citizens what is and is not working in their culture. As a Christian living or ministering in an Asian context, how can one manage these complex situations?

The contributors to Asian Christian Ethics, an anthology published in 2022, grapple with the challenges Asian Christians face in their particular social contexts, often characterized by strictly defined societal ranking and hierarchy, religious violence against Christians, or suffering among marginalized groups. The theologians, pastors, and missiologists who authored this volume come from the Philippines, Malaysia, China/Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Korea, plus one perspective from Palestine. The writers, many of whom studied in the West and are familiar with Western ways of thinking, provide valuable insight into Asian mindsets.

Each chapter begins by examining what Scripture teaches on a particular social issue. Then the writers draw on their expertise to address the ethical challenges surrounding that issue within a specific cultural context.

Marriage and divorce

In “Water Is Thicker Than Blood,” Bernard Wong offers insights on the changing views of traditional marriage. He notes that divorce has become more prevalent in Asian society (though not yet as normalized as in Western cultures) and that young adults are waiting longer to get married, with over 90 percent of 20-to-24-year-olds still single in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and …

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