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In December 2021, Daniel Lee, academic dean of Fuller Theological Seminary’s Center for Asian American Ministry, and Alex Jun, professor of higher education at Asuza Pacific University, wrapped up the sixth season of Centering: The Asian American Christian Podcast—a podcast that seeks to promote “conversations about race and grace” within the Asian American Christian community and beyond. 

This season is unique to the rest of the show in that it explores one main theme: how Asian American Christians should approach the topic of Critical Race Theory. 

Lee and Jun, both of whom hold a Ph.D., go to great lengths to establish inconsistencies in the way many evangelical Christians, Asian Americans or otherwise, typically have approached discussions that involve issues of race. They point out the inconsistencies that occur when we use contradictory lenses while interpreting matters of race as they pertain to matters of faith. 

Jun, for instance, recalls a story where a white person once asked him about the need for ethnic-specific churches. “Why can’t people just go to regular church?” To which he responded, “That sounds like a great idea. When are you planning to come to my church?” (A church with a predominantly Korean American population). Jun was pointing out that there is an inconsistency between what many see as the normative standard and how that plays out in all of our respective church cultures. In this example, the term “regular” still equated to an ethnically specific church, and that it seemed to be the responsibility of the ethnic minority to adapt to this specific ethnic brand of regular-ness. 

The pacing and flow of the show is exceptional. Lee does a great job of playing the devil’s advocate in order to unpack the concepts as they are introduced, forecasting potential arguments the listener might want answered. This makes for a highly informative show and forces me to listen at 1.0 speed—instead of my standard 1.5-podcast-during-morning-commute speed. There have been many instances where I had to pause the show and send a voice message to myself to remember quotations and topics just discussed. 

Though the podcast centers itself around the Asian American church experience, the content is equally beneficial to the church universal. Just as Jesus Christ often spoke directly to one people group to the benefit of the larger crowd in attendance, Centering catches the spirit of this dynamic as well. This season is well worth a listen. (Fuller Studio)

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