By Timothy S. Lee
Known as Asia’s "evangelical superpower," South Korea at the present time has a number of the biggest and such a lot dynamic church buildings on the earth and is moment in simple terms to the USA within the variety of missionaries it dispatches in another country. knowing its evangelicalism is essential to greedy the process its modernization, the increase of nationalism and anticommunism, and the connection among Christians and different religionists in the state.
Born Again is the 1st publication in a Western language to think about the creation, improvement, and personality of evangelicalism in Korea―from its humble beginnings on the finish of the 19th century to claiming one out of each 5 South Koreans as an adherent on the finish of the 20th. during this considerate and thorough research, Timothy S. Lee argues that the outstanding upward push of this actual species of Christianity may be attributed to a number of elements. As a faith of salvation, evangelicalism appealed powerfully to multitudes of Koreans, arriving at a time while the rustic was once engulfed in extraordinary crises that discredited tested social constructions and conventional attitudes. Evangelicalism attracted and empowered Koreans by way of supplying them a extra compelling worldview and a extra significant foundation for organization. one other issue is evangelicalisms optimistic connection to Korean nationalism and South Korean anticommunism. It shared within the aspirations and hardships of Koreans through the eastern career and used to be legitimated back in the course of and after the Korean clash as South Koreans skilled the trauma of the struggle. both vital was once evangelicals’ relentless proselytization efforts during the 20th century.
Lee explores the ideals and practices that experience develop into the hallmarks of Korean evangelicalism: kibok (this-worldly blessing), saebyok kido (daybreak prayer), and kumsik kido (fasting prayer). He concludes that Korean evangelicalism is distinguishable from other kinds of evangelicalism by means of its intensely functional and devotional bent. He finds how, after a protracted interval of outstanding enlargement, together with the monstrous campaigns of the Seventies and Eighties that drew hundreds of thousands to its revivals, the Nineties was once a decade of ambiguity for the religion. at the one hand, it had turn into South Korea’s such a lot influential faith, affecting politics, the financial system, and civil society. at the different, it came upon itself beleaguered via a stalemate in progress, the shortcomings of its leaders, and conflicts with different religions. Evangelicalism had not just risen in South Korean society; it had additionally, for greater or worse, develop into a part of the establishment.
Despite this importance, Korean evangelicalism has now not bought sufficient remedy from students outdoors Korea. Born Again will accordingly locate an keen viewers between English-speaking historians of contemporary Korea, students of comparative faith and global Christianity, and practitioners of the faith.
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Extra info for Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea
50 As one disaster after another befell Korea, the already distorted society became even more so. The number of the disoriented increased, and the intensity of their disorientation deepened. As a result, more and more Koreans suffered and searched desperately for salvation—from disorder, fear, hunger, and humiliation. 51 As Southern Methodist missionary J. R. Moose wrote: “The general unrest and lack of something to which they may cling is causing the people to turn to the Missionary and the message he has; and they are trying to find out if we have something which they can trust.
It was not many, but one, born of one Spirit, lifted to one Father above. ” God is not always in the whirlwind, neither does He always speak in a still small voice. He came to us in Pyongyang that night with the sound of weeping. As the prayer continued a spirit of heaviness and sorrow came down upon the audience. 84 Graham Lee recorded: After prayer, confessions were called for, and immediately the Spirit of God seemed to descend on that audience. Â€. Sometimes after a confession the whole audience would break out in audible prayer, and the effect of that audience of hundreds of men praying together in audible prayer was something indescribable.
The beginning of the great revival can be traced back to a 1903 meeting of missionaries in a town called Wŏnsan in the Kangwŏn Province. Coming together for a week of Bible study and prayer, the small group of Methodist missionaries were moved by a confession made by one of their members, Robert A. Hardie. 60 Afterward he confessed similarly to some Korean believers, including those who were working as his servants. Hardie told them of feeling God’s grace in his repentance and expressed the wish they too might be able to own the “actual and living experience” of grace.