The Asian Society of Missiology exists to serve churches in Asia, helping them to become dynamic missional churches through research, publication, consultation and education. In the past, ASM had four missiological forums in Bangkok, Semarang, and Seoul. In each forum, the prominent missiologists and scholars participated both from the West and the East. These were wonderful opportunities to bridge Asian Missiology with global Missiology. We would like to continue to build up Asian Missiology based upon the legacy of previous leaders.
The 5th Triennial Forum for Asian Society of Missiology was held from July 9th to 11th, 2018 in Bali, Indonesia. Ninety four delegates gathered together in the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel and discussed on the theme of “ Christian Mission in Religious Pluralistic Societies” for three days. Twelve speakers (2 female and 11 male) from various Asian countries, the US and Canada presented their particular focused topic related to the theme.
The presenters/missiologists discussed about the theme: “Christian Mission in Religious Pluralistic Society.” We were fortunate to have these ladies and gentlemen who shared with us their experiences in their respective pluralistic societies and mission fields. Much have been learned and many have been challenged.
The theme, “Christian Mission in Religious Pluralistic Society” was chosen as Christian Mission faces challenges from different religions, spiritual and philosophical traditions that deny the absolute truth the Bible holds today. Especially in Asia as the birthplace of the four primary world religions and hundreds of ethnic religions. The challenge of Pluralism is apparent in each locality and throughout the continent. We need to understand these phenomena in various contexts in Asia: how Christians are struggling and striving with the challenge, and explore how Christians should respond to these challenges. Thus, the goals of the forum were (1) Missiologists would better understand the contemporary situation of Christian Mission in pluralistic Asia, (2) reaffirm the local and universal nature of the Christian Gospel in pluralistic societies, and (3) explore effective missional strategies in culturally relevant and sensitive ways.
The format of the forum had three phases: the presentations by the speakers and the small group discussions, which were followed by the sharing of the key points from the group discussion. The small group discussion made each presentation meaningful and relevant to the contexts where the delegates come from. The forum concluded with the forum summary by Dr. David Sang Bok Kim. He brought us back to the importance of the non-negotiable: Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for Christian mission in the complex pluralistic societies. The forum ended with a communion service and commission led by former ASM leaders, Dr. David Hartono and Dr. Timothy Park.
During the forum, we had special evening program on each day. The first night was the welcome dinner and the Opening worship. The official declaration of the opening of the ASM Forum was done with the sound of the Indonesian gong. The second night was the Mission Night with speaker, Dr. Paul Sene and in cooperation with the local Indonesian church. The final night was the Bali Special with cultural performance, which made the forum very Missionale.
During the business meeting, the leadership was renewed. The former executive committee members:
President Dr. Eiko Takamizawa, General Secretary Dr. Chong Pae Kim and Treasurer Hong Yang transferred the batons to the new Executive committee members: President: Dr. Daniel Kim Assistant President: Dr. David Lim, Dr. Teresa Chai General Secretary: TBA Regional Director: Dr. Atul Aghamkar, and Dr. Robert Oh.
The next forum will be announced in the ASM homepage at www.asianmissiology.org and the compendium of the forum presentation will be published next spring.
We thank God for this ASM Forum held this year! As the outgoing President of ASM, I am honored to have served with my committee: Dr. Daniel J. Kim – Co-President; Dr. Chong Pae Kim – General Secretary; Dr. Hong Yang – Treasurer; together with ASM Regional Directors: Dr. Suraja Raman, Dr. Atul Aghamkar and Dr. David S. Lim. I am grateful to God on how He led us to complete our term and ministry with ASM!
Dr. Eiko Takamizawa is a Professor of ICS at Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea. She is also the Advisory Chair at Korea Japanese Ministries Association and Steering Committee member for SEANET. Dr. Takamizawa obtained her PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity International University.