Description: ""For Thais, face is a fact,"" writes Flanders. However, ""whether in theology, evangelism, or issues involving sin, salvation, or atonement, Thai Christians and missionaries alike seem either uninterested in or possibly incapable of addressing issues related to face. This glaring incongruity between the value of face for Thais and the lack of intentional engagement within the Thai Christian community is deeply troubling. ""Surely, such a lack of careful attention to face is a dangerous posture. Uncritical views of face, furtively attaching to the theology of the Thai church, are potentially detrimental for its life and mission. Such seems to be an unavoidable situation without proper attention to face. Additionally, to ignore face is to run the risk of missing valuable cultural resources, implicit in the Thai experience of face, for the critical task of authentic Thai theological reflection. ""This lack of engagement with face raises critical issues with which we must wrestle. How is it that such a central sociocultural issue has not been a more significant part of the Thai Christian vocabulary or experience? How pervasive are these negative attitudes regarding face? What lies behind them? Might this lack of self-conscious engagement with face have any relationship to the persistent Thai perception of Christianity as a foreign, Western religion? How should Christians understand this notion of face and how it relates to the ways we understand and proclaim the gospel?"" Endorsements: ""Chris Flanders is a missiological theologian! In About Face, he challenges us to think about atonement as Theosis: God participated in our shame that we might be glorified, enabling us to participate in His divine nature. The Western anguish over guilt, legal acquittal for sin, and personal cleansing of sins, Flanders asserts, is foreign to the Thai culture and psyche. About Face provides a contextualized atonement for Asian (particularly Thai) contexts."" --Gailyn Van Rheenen Facilitator of Church Planting Mission Alive ""Missionaries have tended to have a negative view of 'face' as something that hinders other people from accepting the gospel. Flanders argues, correctly I think, that every society is concerned about 'face' but prioritize issues differently. This is a fresh perspective and a necessary read for those who teach and practice missiology."" --Michael A. Rynkiewich Professor of Anthropology (Retired) Asbury Seminary ""Reader, beware. Flanders exposes a strategic area that literally stares expat missionaries and Thai Christians in the face yet both carefully avoid. If you are seeking to understand how concepts of salvation integrate with social constructs in Thai society there is no more thorough study. About Face will challenge readers and Christian practitioners east and west to think missiologically and be changed."" --Paul H. De Neui Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies and Missiology North Park Theological Seminary ""In this research--integrating history, theology, and social science--Flanders leads his readers to a deeper understanding of 'Thai face' and then examines its relevance for gospel witness and a theology of atonement . . . This book is a critical theological work for both western and non-western mission leaders and scholars, and absolutely essential for any missionary who seeks to work in a Buddhist/Confucian context."" --Sherwood Lingenfelter Professor of Anthropology Fuller Theological Seminary About the Contributor(s): Christopher Flanders is Associate Professor of Missions at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He also directs the Halbert Institute for Missions at ACU.
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