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Amos Yong is chief academic officer and professor of theology and mission at Fuller Theological Seminary. One of the most notable Pentecostal theologians writing today, Yong is the author and editor of more than four dozen books.
Crèdit de la imatge: Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group, copyright © 2008. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published(see © info.)

Obres de Amos Yong

Who Is the Holy Spirit?: A Walk with the Apostles (2011) 32 exemplars, 1 ressenya
The Cambridge Companion to Pentecostalism (2014) — Editor — 22 exemplars
Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace (2012) 14 exemplars, 1 ressenya

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My own theology and faith has been shaped by Asian-Americans. I half-grew up in Hawaii, so feel at home in an Asian culture, but I can also point to key Asian-American mentors who invested in my spiritual formation. They taught me the Bible, mentored me, prayed for me and helped me confront my own blind spots and white privilege. I was also blessed to have a number of Asian friends at seminary which challenged me to see theology from the margins, when the curriculum was largely a Western story. [My graduate school prided itself on being an international Christian graduate school and had a number of Asian students. But I can remember sitting at a table with a group of Asian American students who pointed to a large painting which only depicted Europe and North American. There is still more work to be done on including our Asian sisters and brothers!].

Amos Young is perhaps the preeminent Pentecostal theologian in America and is a Chinese-American (by way of Malaysia). He has taught theology at Regent University and currently professor of theology and the dircetor of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary. Yong begins The Futrue of Evangelical Theology: Soundings from the Asian American Diaspora by examining the effects of globalization and the shift of Christianity’s center to the South and East. He then looks at Asian theology and Asian-American theology (chapter two before honing in on the contribution of Asian American evangelicals (chapter three) and Pentecostals (chapter four). Chapter five and six explore Asian American Pentecostal/Evangelical contributions to im/migration and in the final chapter, Yong lays out some ‘next steps for Asian-Americans, Evangelicals and Christian theologians.

As the subtitle of this book indicates, this book records ‘soundings’ from the Asian-American diaspora and is not an exhaustive treatment on Asian theology (as if such a work were even possible). Yong is good at naming distinctives and trends in theology. As an Asian-American, Yong speaks of his own experience of immigration, generational tension, and navigating the tensions between East and West. Asian-Americans who read this book will be encouraged and inspired to reflect theologically on their experience (especially in his introduction and epilogue). He proposes ‘local theologies’ from an Asian American perspective.

But this book was not just written for Asian Americans. It was written for the Church (specifically the church in America, but this will be pertinent to Canadian friends as well). Yong focuses on the Asian-American experience because he knows that their theological reflection enriches the whole of Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. Specifically, Asian American theology helps the church reflect and converse well in the realm of culture, economics and inter-religious dialogue. Asian American theologians can inform our public theology and we are impoverished if we ignore their contributions. Yong writes:

Asian Americans who live betwixt-and-between Asia and the United States can bring more existential and interrelational resources to bear on the transnational and globaliing dynamics of the present time. (118).

While my own reading of Asian American theologies is limited (I’ve read some Yong and a couple of others that he cites), I think Yong illustrates well their contribution to the wider Evangelical discourse. Specifically, Asian American voices are ignored to our peril if we fail to wrestle with their perspectives on immigration and Jubilee. I highly recommend this book for anyone who cares about theology and race (and if you care about neither you ought to read it anyway). Asian American friends will appreciate Yong’s thoughtful survey and encouragement to let their cultural perspective inform their work. I give this book an enthusiastic five stars: ★★★★★

Thank you to InterVarsity Academic for providing me a copy of this book for the purposes of review.
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Jamichuk | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | May 22, 2017 |
This is my fourth review of Paraclete Press‘s series of guides on the Holy Spirit. The other books I reviewed, each of the authors seek to articulate their understanding of the Holy Spirit from their own theological tradition (Jewish, Orthodox and Protestant). While the author of Who is the Holy Spirit?, Amos Yong, is deeply formed by the Charismatic and evangelical tradition this book examines the Holy Spirit by providing a close reading of the book of Acts and supplemented by material from Luke. The effect is that Yong is able to draw out some of the social and political implications of who the Spirit is and his activity in the world.

Right now, some of you may be saying, “the Holy Spirit I know, but who is Amos Yong? Why do I need to read this book?” Amos Yong is one of the most well known and respected Pentecostal scholars working today. He is the J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach (as a graduate of Regent College, we call this the other Regent). Because Regent University was founded by Pat Robertson some may be tempted to write it off as a ‘rightwing institution’ but Yong’s analysis has implications for people on both the right and the left[note: I actually have no idea what Yong's politics are, I just want to make sure you don't think you know what he's gonna say before you read the book].

This book came to fruition when the acquisitions editor at Paraclete Press read an article by Roger Olson in Christianity Today entitled, “A Wind that Swirls Everywhere: Amos Yong Thinks He Sees the Holy Spirit Working in Other Religions Too[note: the back of the book mistakenly attributes the article to Yong, but it is an article about Yong].” In response to this idea, Amos Yong went to work on exploring the material on the Spirit in Luke and Acts for a Sunday School class at his church. Who is the Holy Spirit? is divided into 39 chapters covering all of Acts and selections from Luke, and a discussion guide for each chapter.

Acts has been fertile ground for Charismatic reflection. Personally I have read through Acts to see evidence of the Spirit, miracles, to discover how to do (be) the church and to explore missional implications. What sets Yong’s book apart is that he focuses not only on where the Spirit is invoked, but what the Spirit evokes. He doesn’t just point out the Spirit’s presence but he asks us to open our eyes to discover that the scope of the Spirit’s work is bigger, more inclusive than we sometimes imagine. Yong writes:

I now believe that the Spirit is at work not just at the level of the individual but also at the level of society and its various political and economic structures; not just the otherworldly, spiritual level but also at the this-worldly level of the material and concrete domains of our lives; not just in and through the church but also in and through wider institutional, cultural and religious realities. In other words, I now think the world of the Holy Spirit is much wider than I’d guessed, and that the work of the Spirit is to redeem and transform our world as a whole along with all of its interconnected parts, systems and structures (x).

And so, Yong sets out to answer the question of Who is the Holy Spirit? not by giving us doctrinal formula and propositional truth, but by paying careful attention to the narrative of Luke-Acts and showing us the Spirit’s work. He explores how the Spirit brings and is bringing about the full promise of the Kingdom of God, how the Spirit overcomes divisions of language, ethnicity, nationality, gender and class, and how the Spirit brings about new freedom and liberation. This isn’t a denial of the Spirit’s individual and personal work within the human soul, but he probes the narrative also for wider socio-political implications. Acts provides rich fodder for reflection as he explores how the church is born through the Spirit’s work in overcoming divisions of language and culture at Pentecost and the Spirit keeps impelling their witness outward from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Each chapter explores a text (or set of texts), discovers what it is saying, the implications of the Spirit’s work, and explores the implications for our own context.

I found this book refreshing! Too often confessional scholars examine spiritual realities in the text while critical scholarship focuses on the political aspects of the early church. It is exciting to read a Bible study which explores both of these poles. Yong’s bibliography, while only showing the references he deems ‘accessible,’ displays his willingness to tackle the issue and draw on a wide range of scholarship. As this is not a scholarly book, there are no footnotes. Most people probably like this better, but I missed them and my reading would have been enriched by knowing where he drew various aspects from and being able to chase things back. But lucky for me, this isn’t the only thing Yong has written on the topic, and I will get my chance.

Yong’s critics (even Olson) point out that his views weaken the need for evangelism by de-emphasizing Christian particularity and paving the way for pluralism and syncretism. This seems hardly fair. By rooting his reflections in the book of Acts, Yong is able to affirm both the continuities and discontinuities between other religions and the gospel. Yong says:

If the work of the Spirit brought about renewal, restoration and re-appropriation of all that was good and true in the social, cultural, and religious spheres of human life, it could also be seen from another perspective that the coming of the Spirit turned the world upside down in each of these domains of human endeavor. Continuity or discontinuity, when and how? These are questions that require ongoing discernment of the Spirit’s presence and activity(160)

This has implications for how we engage in mission. We do not dismiss other religions out of hand as utterly false; we do look for evidence of where the Spirit is at work (like Paul in the Aeropagus).

This book would be great for personal reflection, or as a curriculum for a small group Bible Study. I certainly think it would inspire a rich discussion of the Spirit’s role, presence and work in our lives and in the church. I am not sure that Yong answers, or intends to give us a firm answer to the question: Who is the Holy Spirit?. Instead through his calling to attention the widening scope of the Spirit’s work, he helps us to see that the Spirit is bigger and more wonderful than we have previously imagined.

Thank you to Paraclete press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for this review.
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Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Summary: An exploration of the contribution that has been made and could be made from Asian-Americans to evangelical theology, with particular attention to context and the author's Pentecostal perspective.

Euro-American voices have long dominated evangelical theology, such that some may consider the two synonymous. The landscape has changed. In addition to the presence of many people of color in the North American context contributing to the theological dialogue from their own context, there is a growing church in east and southeast Asia, as well as in the global South that now represent a numerical majority of evangelical Christians in the world, and are beginning to exercise a voice in theological discussions.

Amos Yong's book is a contribution from the Asian and Asian American perspective. Also distinctive, and important in global discussions of evangelical theology are the voices of Pentecostal believers, and Yong represents this stream as well. In fact he describes his own perspective as an Asian American pent-evangelical perspective!

His first two chapters chart the contemporary global scene of evangelical theology, including the voices of Asian theologians in chapter one, and those of the Asian American diaspora in chapter two. He then asks why the evangelical Asian American voice has been relatively "unenergetic" compared to mainline and Roman Catholic voices, considering both the white North American contribution to this problem, and how Asian American evangelicals have internalized this tradition. This is central to his argument in the book. He writes,

"The argument unfolded here is at the heart of this book: it claims to address not only challenges confronting Asian American evangelicals but also the blind spots of evangelical theology especially in its American incarnations. If it is successful, then we shall see that the 'problem' for Asian American evangelical theology is simultaneously the problem of evangelical theology itself--there is no way to address either without addressing the other" (pp. 29-30).

In chapter four, Yong turns to the Pentecostal voices in Asian American theology and the unique contribution that the Pentecostal experience brings to understanding the many voices in the conversation in a context where the missional impetus of the Spirit's empowering creates contact across so many cultures.

Chapters five and six were, I thought, among the most interesting in the book, in exploring what an Asian American pent-evangelical theology brings to questions of immigration, centering on themes of migration in a Pentacostal reading of Lukan migration narratives, and the experiences in the Asian American context around money, migration, and mission.

Chapter seven is Yong's attempt to sketch a programmatic vision for pent-evangelical Asian American theology that encourages Asian American voices in dialogue with other North Americans and also engages with other voices in the global South. This is followed by a more personal epilogue in which Yong charts with ten binaries ways in which he, perhaps mirroring the experience of "hybridity" of other Asian Americans, finds himself between _____ and _____.

Speaking from a Euro-American perspective, I welcome work like this. So often, we are unreflective of how our own cultural context (which we often fail to distinguish from the gospel of the kingdom) has shaped our theology, even our theological categories. I appreciated the more extensive sketch of an Asian American pent-evangelical theology of immigration. Our inability to think this way, and often blindness to how so much of the Bible is a narrative of migrations and diasporas, is one of the areas where our Asian American fellow believers might help us see parts of the Bible that our own context may have obscured. We need voices like Yong's, not only in the theological formation of the Asian American diaspora, but to see the world beyond our own, often Euro-American, perspective. I share his hope that his book would encourage other Asian American evangelical and Pentecostal theologians to find and use their voices.
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BobonBooks | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Feb 2, 2017 |
Pentecostals face a theological problem. We are comfortable with a language of power. With our roots sunk deep into the Luke-Acts "canon within a canon" (93), we proudly proclaim, "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8 ESV). So far so good. The problem comes when we emphasize power at the expense of love. Did you know that the book of Acts does not even contain the word "love"?

Do Pentecostals have anything to say about a theology of love?

In Johannine literature we find two similarly constructed phrases:

1. "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16)
2. "God is spirit" (John 4:24)

While John doesn't go so far as to say that "The Spirit is love," the relationship of the Spirit to love is important and worth exploring. This is what Yong accomplishes in Spirit of Love. Here's his thesis:

"Pentecostal understandings of the Spirit of God can shed new light on God as love and loving, and on what it means for creation as a whole and for human beings in particular to receive the love of God who gives graciously" (x).

Yong explores various fields of research to make his point. He looks at the science of altruism and the history of the Pentecostal movement before diving exegetically into the Lukan, Johannine, and Pauline writings.

The relationship between God's love and the history of the Pentecostal movement is particularly enlightening. Yong describes the racial unity (and subsequent disunity) in the early days of the pentecostal outpouring as well as the movement's explicit pacifism (and subsequent follow-your-conscience theory). I cannot think of two more critical love-based issues than racial integration and non-violence!

Yong makes every written page count—even the 44 pages of fine-print notes that followed the 164 pages of main text were interesting! A work like this has the potential not only to challenge one-sided Pentecostal theologies of power but also to remind us of our close connection to the Wesleyan tradition, which emphasizes love more explicitly.
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StephenBarkley | Jun 4, 2016 |

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