Jackson W. – Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes

Episode: How does Jesus’s death rescue not only humanity from its shame, but save God’s face? The honor-shame framework changes how we think about the gospel, faith, sin, and glory. It challenges our individualistic readings and theologies. Biblical scholar and missiologist Jackson W. draws upon his years spent as a missionary in China in his award-winning book, Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes (IVP Academic, 2019). Co-hosted by Matt Bates.

Guest: Jackson W. also writes under the name Jackson Wu. These are pseudonyms that Jackson uses due to the sensitive nature of his cross-cultural mission work in China. Jackson W. is the theologian-in-residence for Mission One. He recently relocated to Arizona, having lived in East Asia since 2003, where he first served as a church planter before starting a seminary for Chinese house church leaders. He earned an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary before getting a PhD from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a member of the Asian/Asian-American Theology steering committee within the Evangelical Theological Society. He serves as the book reviews editor for Themelios’ Mission and Culture section. His other books include Saving God’s Face and One Gospel for All Nations.

The Book: Jackson W., Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes: Honor and Shame in Paul’s Message and Mission (IVP Academic, 2019). Christianity Today’s 2020 Book of the Year Award of Merit – Biblical Studies. What does it mean to “read Romans with Eastern eyes”? Combining research from Asian scholars with his many years of experience living and working in East Asia, Jackson directs our attention to Paul’s letter to the Romans. He argues that some traditional East Asian cultural values are closer to those of the first-century biblical world than common Western cultural values. When read this way, we see how honor and shame shape so much of Paul’s message and mission. (Publisher’s description, abridged).

OnScript’s Review: Jesus’s death saves not only humanity from shame, but also God. Jackson W. provides a fresh framework for reading Romans. His detailed interpretative work reinvigorates our understanding of sin, faith, righteousness, glory, and much more. The result is theologically rich. Highly recommended. –Matthew W. Bates, author of Gospel Allegiance, for OnScript


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