“Where are you from?” Korean North Americans are asked this question often when they first meet people from the dominant culture in the United States. The question carries political, sociological, and cultural implications. But on hearing it, what it seems to imply or what the speaker seems to insinuate is, “You are not an American. You don’t belong here. When do you think you will go back to your original country?” Thus, the question both reflects and sustains the highly racialized idea of Korean Americans as “perpetual strangers.” This racialized view of Korean Americans also reveals the dominant culture’s hegemony, prejudice, and unjust dealing based on skin pigmentation that considers them always “others” and not equal human beings.
In response, it is imperative that prophetic preaching arise among Korean American Christians. This preaching focus can help Korean Americans combat the impact of the racial supremacist doctrines and unjust cultural practices of US society and eventually work toward the society’s transformation through the good news of the gospel. The good news of the gospel always seeks racial reconciliation, cultural harmony, and social equality, which Korean Americans hope and pray to achieve in their lives in the wider culture of the U.S.
This writing introduces key characteristics of prophetic preaching from the Korean American perspective, given their unique life experience and justice issues. This work will be important in many ways since in numerous places the Korean American pulpit has often been criticized for being too oblivious to the dominant culture’s hegemony and too individualistic and other-worldly due to its highly evangelical, mission-oriented stance. Notwithstanding the criticism, the Korean American faith life and pulpit have shown highly positive potential for prophetic proclamation. This work is a faithful attempt to bring that potential to the light and encourage the practice of prophetic preaching in the Korean American pulpit and beyond.
Yang, Sunggu, "The Pilgrim's Voice: A Prelude to Korean American Prophetic Preaching" (2020). Faculty Publications - George Fox School of Theology. 404.