This week’s reading, Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up, by Simon Chan was packed with a lot of information. The book focuses on the Asian church and how it understands God within the cultural setting. But, what I enjoyed most was the theological insights on Christianity and church history that Chin focused on in the beginning of his book. He began by explaining the difference between ressourcement and aggiornamento. Ressourcement is a French word that means return to the sources’ or renewal through return to sources.. Aggiornamento is a bringing up to date: modernization dedicated to the aggiornamento of the church. Chan articulated that the church needs to study its history (primarily in the area of theology), and then take that knowledge and make it relevant in today’s culture.
Chan describes the differences between Western and Eastern thinking with regards to theology and the approach towards understanding the nature of Christ. The author states, “The Western way, we are told, is abstract, rationalistic and dualistic both metaphysically (for example, spiritual-material, God-creation) and epistemologically (subject-object), while the Eastern way is concrete, holistic and nondualistic; Western thought presents issues in either/or terms while Eastern thought encompasses both/and; Western thought is linear while Eastern thought is non-linear; and so on.” I believe the Eastern holistic, non-linear approach to Christianity is something the Western church needs to more fully embrace. Since the split between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches in 451 AD the Western church has largely ignored the teachings coming out of the Eastern Church. Asian Christianity differs from Eastern Orthodoxies in that its foundations are a mixture of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. So with this common theological background one would assume that the Asian Church would align closely with western doctrine, but this is not the case
Chan also explores honor and sin in the context of the Asian culture. He states, “In an honor-and-shame culture sin takes on two major characteristics. First, sin is a personal-relational problem. Sin is offending the honor of another person or the community. A person who sins brings shame to those with whom he or she is closely identified, especially his or her family and the community to which the family belongs.” This cultural trait was also a part of ancient Hebrew society, which was based on a patriarchal system. The family structure was centered on the father or oldest male child in the family. The father is held reasonable for what his family does and how they act. He is also reasonable for protecting and caring for the family, including extended family members. In this type of cultural system, a person’s sin not only affects the individual but also harms the entire community. I believe that there is biblical support that sin can and does reflect the on the community. On some level, Christians will succeed or fail based on others actions.
 Chan, Simon (2014-05-02). Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up (Kindle Locations 79-82). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
 Chan, Simon (2014-05-02). Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up (Kindle Location 100). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
 Chan, Simon (2014-05-02). Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up (Kindle Locations 1300-1303). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.