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Recommended Reading

The Believing Heart: An Invitation to Story Theology by C S Song
(Augsburg Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1999)

Choan-Seng Song is Professor of Theology and Asian Cultures at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkley and Regional Professor of Theology at Southeast Asia Graduate School of Theology in Singapore. He is originally from Taiwan and his theology is grounded in the reality of Asia. This book offers a powerful challenge to all who take their Christianity for granted. Song explains that the God that Christianity often portrays is a very limited God. One of his major challenges is to enable God to be a God for all and not just for Christians. He challenges the churches, the theologians and all who belong to Christian communities to re-examine who God is and where God is operating. Song believes that Jesus, in proclaiming the reign of God, consists of human dramas. The reign of God happens in the life and history of people as individuals and as a community (p 42).

Hence, as the sub-title indicates, Professor Song situates his theology in human stories, human dramas. From these stories, he reflects on the meaning of such concepts as hope, love, faith. He maintains that these concepts are to be situated within the lives of people, rather than be debated in theoretical terms. When the latter happens, God becomes removed from the lives of people. God becomes an abstract concept, rather than a creating, nurturing being involved in the pain and the joys of all people.

Professor Song writes beautifully, engrossingly and with a deep concern that the God he loves becomes the God to whom all people can meet in the reality of their lives. This book asks many questions that Western Christians may never have encountered before. It invites Christians to explore new ways of reflecting on the Jesus story and how non-Western cultures can relate to this most significant of Christian stories.

C S Song has written several works exploring contemporary Asian theology including Theology from the Womb of Asia (1986) and Third-Eye Theology (1979).


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