Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Rise Of Christianity In Korea

Next week I will be in Seoul, South Korea, teaching at the International Christian Educators Conference hosted by the Association of Christian Schools International.

My instruction will focus on: 1) the creation of lesson plans that connect academic subject matter with the bigger picture of a biblical worldview, and 2) making connections between the biblical worldview and everyday work.

I hope to persuade Christian educators in Asia that "theology of work" should be part of every Christian school, no matter in what culture that school finds itself.

One might think that theology of work (or, "integration of faith and work") would already be a part of every Christian school curriculum in the world. But, amazingly, it is not.

I know from personal experience that theology of work is absent from American Christian schools because I was the principal of a Christian school for fourteen years. It never occurred to me to offer such instruction, and none of my fellow principals offered it either.

This is not surprising, however, since theology of work has fallen off the radar screen of most churches, too. This is regrettable, since it was once very much on the radar in this country. (See "The Missing Curriculum" at http://www.biblicalworldview.com/The%20Missing%20Curriculum%20Article.pdf.)

I am aware that the "Sunday-Monday Gap" exists in Korea, too. Yet, I have wondered if there is a relationship between the economic development of South Korea and the rise of Christianity in Korea.

As mentioned last week, some Chinese scholars have concluded that the moral foundation of Christianity is what made possible "the emergence of capitalism and the successful transition to democratic politics" in the West.

But what do scholars have to say about South Korea in this regard? Is there any connection between Christianity and the fact that this small country had the 12th largest GDP in the world in 2009?

One scholar who has researched the effects of Christianity on Korea thinks so. Her name is Dr. Kirsteen Kim, a member of the Lausanne Theology Working Group who teaches at Leeds Trinity University College in the UK.

I'll share some of her findings next week.

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