Asia Commentary Series Launches in South Korea

21 September 2016 |

Langham Scholar Rico Villanueva

When typhoon Haiyan destroyed a large city in the Philippines in 2013, a five-year-old girl asked her parents why God had allowed the storm to happen.

“Thankfully, her question and her pain have a place in the presence of God,” said Rico Villanueva, a Langham Scholar and author of a recently launched commentary on Lamentations.

His book is part of the new Asia Bible Commentary series, a joint project between Langham Partnership and the Asia Theological Association (ATA), for which Rico is also the General Editor.

“Intimacy with God”

Rico explained the importance and relevance of the book of Lamentations during his keynote address at the launch of the series in South Korea in late July:

“The book of Lamentations is a rich resource in times of disaster. . . grieving is important in the process of healing. The absence of grieving hampers the process of restoration. Long before psychologists emphasized this, the book of Lamentations already modeled it for us.”

Rico notes the tendency of some to lament and cry, yet not cry out to God, or of others to view lament as a sign of weak faith.

Rico shares that, “Lament is a sign of bold faith for it is able to confront the difficult questions in the presence of the Lord . . . People’s determination to keep on pursuing God even amidst all their pain and suffering is surely a sign of hope . . . Lament is a manifestation of one’s intimacy with God.”

Biblical Answers from an Asian Perspective


Lamentations, written by Langham Scholar Rico Villanueva, offers a contextual commentary on the book for South Asians

A number of Langham Scholars are also involved in the project, which is hoped to have a lasting and crucial impact on the Christian church across Asia.

Commentaries on the book of Judges (by Langham Scholar Athena Gorospe), Psalms 1-72 and 1,2,3 John have now been published, and all the books are by Asian authors.

And for the people of South Asia–where natural disasters, grinding poverty and civil unrest are daily realities–a commentary written by and for South Asians helps readers understand and apply God’s Word in their context and culture.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Rico said that the new series is crucial because the church is growing quickly in many parts of Asia, yet is lacking biblical resources.

“Up to this point,” he says,  “comparatively little has been produced in terms of authentic Asian theological thinking that addresses directly and powerfully the big questions posed by culture and context in Asia.”

Click the video below to hear more from Rico about the growth of the church in Asia and the partnership between Langham and the Asia Theological Association.

 About Langham Scholars

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