Daniel 4 5 Saving Face, Asian American Achievement, And


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Russell Jeung at Bread of LIfe Church Torrance's Asian American Conference March 7-9, 2008

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Daniel 4 5 Saving Face, Asian American Achievement, And

  1. 1. Saving Face and Asian American Achievement Daniel 4 and 5 Russell Jeung, Ph.D. San Francisco State University [email_address] Do not use or reprint without permission of author
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>How our culture (norms, values) affects our faith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How we see God </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we read the Bible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we express our beliefs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How our faith affects our culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our sense of self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our relationships with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our witness </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Azn Pride <ul><li>Use of shame to control behavior and motivate </li></ul><ul><li>Other-awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Confucius and Human plasticity </li></ul><ul><li>Selective Immigration </li></ul><ul><li>Asian American Academic and Career Success </li></ul>
  4. 4. Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream—Daniel 4 <ul><li>I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Daniel’s Prophetic Word: Do what is right, be kind to the oppressed <ul><li>This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.&quot; </li></ul>
  6. 6. Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride <ul><li>All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, &quot;Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?&quot;   </li></ul><ul><li>The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, &quot;This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Beshazzar’s Pride—Daniel 5 <ul><li>King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. </li></ul><ul><li>As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.  Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Beshazzar’s Dishonor <ul><li>&quot;But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Asian American Christian Issues: Need for Grace <ul><li>How might our concern for face affect our openness about our weaknesses and sins? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways do we compare ourselves and judge others? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we accept God’s grace more and be less concerned about what others think? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Asian American Christian Issues: Priorities <ul><li>How might our work ethic be misplaced? </li></ul><ul><li>Why and how do we spend our time on task-oriented activities, rather than relational ones? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways can we prioritize God’s work over our own work? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Asian American Christian Issues: Compassion and Justice <ul><li>Why and how do we feel that we deserve what we’ve earned? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we live lives of gluttony and self pleasure? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we become more concerned about others who are oppressed, more poor or less advantaged? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Asian American Christian Issues: Relationships <ul><li>In terms of what we get out of the relationships, what expectations do we have for our spouses? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we expect our children to achieve? Are these God-centered goals? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do we consider part of our family? Outside of our family? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Nebuchadnezzar’s Restoration <ul><li>At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. </li></ul><ul><li>Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Asian American Christian Blessings <ul><li>Other-awareness and servanthood </li></ul><ul><li>Human plasticity and spiritual disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Shame and honor </li></ul>The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. --Isaiah 62