Towards a Contextualized Theology of Work for the Philippines


Note: The material below was first presented in an Asian consultation on marketplace theology which took place in Manila November 28-30, 2007. Much of the material on the Philippines was presented by Dr. George Capaque.

  • How does a Filipino understand work?
  • What meaning does he/she give to it?
  • This is an attempt to develop a contextual understanding of work; a people’s theology of work using local materials (culture) mutually interacting with biblical faith
  1. The Anthropological Dimension

(To develop a contextualized theology of work we must know how the human person is viewed; what makes persons “tick”; how persons see themselves in relation to family and community; how decisions are made; how the physical and spiritual aspects of personhood are related; sexual identity)

Asian Perspective on Marketplace Ministry


An Asian Perspective on Marketplace Ministry

By Paul Ng, Singapore



Even as the marketplace believer grapples with the new paradigm required to fulfil his call in life and as institutions of learning and churches deal with issues like new methodologies and content, another major area has to be looked into. This is the area relating to contextual issues. Even with new content and methodologies, the way that we view our world has a tremendous impact on how we empower believers for ministry. Hwa Yung deals with the quest for an authentic Asian Christian Theology in his book, “Mangoes or Bananas.”[1]


From the various issues raised in Hwa Yung’s book, I have opted to look at five of these and how it relates to the marketplace. Due to the great diversity within Asia, I will review these five issues mainly from the perspective of the Chinese because much of East Asia eg Japan and Korea share a similar belief system to that of the Chinese with roots in Confucianism and Buddhism. These five are the Supernatural, Family and Group Solidarity, Filial Piety, Authority and Leadership and Ethics. I will also look at the effect that culture has upon the workplace.


[1]  Haw Yung, Mangoes or Bananas?: The Quest for an Authentic Asian Christian Theology. Regnum Studies in Mission (Oxford, Akropung, Buenos Aires, Irvine,CA, New Delhi: Regnum Books International, reprint 2000. Original 1997), 71-96 (page references are to the reprint edition). While he demonstrates how Asian theologians have yet to break out of Western captivity, he has also suggested two themes by which we can perform further theological reflections on contextualization. These are firstly the various types of literary genres required to fully express theological reflection in Asia and secondly the concerns that must be taken into consideration in this process.[1] Under the first theme he considers biblical exegesis, Christian apologetics, systematic theology, ethics and theology for and from the grassroots. For the second theme he suggests unearthing hidden presuppositions, in-depth studies of Asian Cultures and Traditions, Dialogue with Asian Religions, insights from Cultural Anthropology, addressing the challenge of ‘Power Encounters’ in Asian Christianity and Learning from Western Christians.

Contextualizing a Theology of Work for Africa


Note: the following article is a chapter from Setorwu Kwadzo Ofori’s D Min thesis for Bakke Graduate University entitled, “A Study of How Theology of Work Would Affect Theology of Preaching for the Practice of Business as a Calling: A Survey Conducted among Pastors of the Global Evangelical Church”, used with permission.

Historical Background

Introduction: The Bible reveals a Creation and the Redemptive Mandate. Despite the clarity of the Creation Mandate that sets the tone for a theology of work, the church has focused largely on the Redemptive Mandate.

Various Calls: Since the beginning of Israelis history, God has called people who worked and functioned in service to God and humankind. From Abraham, a pioneer leader called into Canaan, to Amos the man called from farming profession to become a prophet, from Joseph who represented Pharaoh, believed to be a son of the sungod, Ra, to Daniel whose support determined the heartbeat of Nebuchadnezzar, from Esther who served as queen in a heathen kingdom to Lydia whose handicrafts bore testimony to Christ, from Paul the tentmaker to the twenty-first century businessman who serves as witness in an Islamic country, God continues to call people from all walks of life to serve him through their work.

Transformation Theology for Africa


The following chapter is a portion of the D Min thesis of Cosmas Chukwunyelum Ilechukwu. Copied with permission.


            In this part of the study, an attempt is made to review some relevant literature with a view of providing a strong theoretical basis for the work. The literature review was done according to the following categories: an overview of African traditional beliefs and thought systems, an overview of African traditional worldview and its comparison with the western or scientific worldview, the implication of African belief system on socio-economic development in Africa, and the church as an agent of transformation.


Reading the Bible in the Global Marketplace

Reading the Bible in the Global Marketplace
R. Paul Stevens
Professor Emeritus, Marketplace Theology,
Regent College

“What do you teach at Regent College?” This seemingly innocent question was broached by the guest master of an Orthodox monastery. I had undertaken a four-day pilgrimage on Mount Athos, the monastic peninsula of the Eastern church. In the course of praying my way from monastery to monastery I struck up a soul friendship with one of the guestmasters. “Marketplace theology is what I teach.” “What’s that?” - his inquisitiveness now aroused by something foreign, he thought, to the spiritual life. “It is the integration of Christian faith with work in the world.” “It’s not possible,” he retorted.  “That’s why I am a monk.” I can understand how he came to that erroneous view. It has to do with how we read the Bible, how we regard the spiritual life and whether the God-coming of Jesus was really into the work-a-day world that we inhabit.

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