Skip to main content

Posts

Confronting the Snake: How Jordan Peterson Preaches the Gospel

  [2000 words, 14 minute read] I recently attended a Jordan B. Peterson speaking event at the San Jose Civic. The event was part of a book tour promoting his latest work, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. The auditorium was almost completely full, the audience about 85% male, and I spotted only a smattering of Asian Americans. About halfway through his lecture, I realize this an elaborate 75-minute gospel presentation. Gospel as in not only just Peterson’s soapbox but the good news of Jesus Christ. It was gorgeous and awe-inspiring. Although I'm a pastor, I tire of most gospel presentations including my own. They're like sub-par romantic comedies: formulaic, emotionally manipulative, boring, and trying to be funny but falling woefully short. Worst of all, there's no subtlety; they hit you over the head with a trite message over and over. There's pressure in evangelical culture to present the gospel like a bad romantic comedy. It has to follow the formula. There’s a
Recent posts

How I teach my kids about money

Money has a mystical quality. In ages past (aka 10 years ago), people carried around paper currency. New, crisp bills had a sacred aura. The stamped sheets of green had a fresh aroma like a new car. And then there were metallic circles called coins. I remember my parents used to collect pennies in rolls. I haven't seen a roll of pennies in years and I'm certain it functions better as a paperweight.  Technology has worked to make money invisible and touchless. It's no longer a physical transaction. We pay our credit cards online and shift them out of our attention through auto-pay. We set up recurring donations to our local church or charity. Taxes, healthcare premiums, and 401(k) contributions are automatically deducted from our paychecks and the remainder is directly deposited to our bank accounts. Even as money has become less visible, it's also become more visible in strange and magical ways. Every now and then, I scroll through my Venmo public transaction feed and g

Why I invest in stocks

Our church started a sermon series about money. Money has all kinds of contradictions for Christians. For instance, I believe: I am a citizen of an invisible nation and worship an unseen king Nothing I've received truly belongs to me There is an afterlife and my choices matter into eternity Money presents supernatural temptations Generosity is the way the power of money is subverted On the other hand, I contend with these earthly realities: I grew up in the Silicon Valley as the child of Chinese immigrants who worked their "dream jobs" at IBM and Apple through the 1970s and 1980s. My parents emphasized saving money (the "Asian conscience" ), and like many of their Silicon Valley peers, accumulated significant wealth from their stock and real estate investments I want to provide for my wife and my future needs as well as provide for my children and contribute to my kids' costs of higher education I worked in tech and am well-educated, competitive, and enjoy

Review of Fault Lines: Towards a More Expansive View of Evil

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been around for a long time. I pursued an education minor at UC Berkeley during the mid-1990s and Paulo Freie’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968) was required reading in my ED190 class. Power dynamics is the bedrock of critical theory - the broader belief system for various types of oppression including racial, gender, socioeconomic, cognitive, disability, and sexual orientation. I vividly recall a class session where my instructor, a female graduate student, dressed in black leather, barked commands, and marched around the classroom, slapping a black riding crop on students’ desks. Her cosplay was exhibit A on the oppressiveness of traditional education. I remember classmates rolling their eyes at one another and taking it all in with amusement.  The non-role play class sessions were stimulating in other ways. We had good discussions and our instructor worked hard to treat us as peers and engage us in dialogue. This emphasis on dialogue as both a means a

Asian Americans and Silence

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent. - Confucius When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. - Proverbs 10:19 In this past year’s movement to promote racial and cultural awareness, it is a painful irony that we, as Asian Americans, are derided for one of the unique virtues we possess. This post is a response to slogans like "silence is complicity", for allies to appreciate the underrated value of silence particularly in Asian culture, and an encouragement for Asian Americans to experience freedom from shame and guilt when we are silent. I want to argue that silence is a valid option in a culture that places great value on the frequency, volume, and pitch of emotional self-expression. In a world of shouting and noise, silence is crucial. I am deeply grateful for my Asian American brothers and sisters who have spoken up during this unique season where a