Thursday 23 February 2012

Linsanity: from excellence to acceptance

Talented NBA player. Harvard graduate. Asian American. Christian.

The first two qualities might seem impressive enough to your average sports fan, but it's the latter two that have sustained the media's limelight on Jeremy Lin, and propelled this 23-year-old basketball player into international stardom - an overnight phenomenon widely known as "Linsanity".

As Carl Park notes in a recent article posted on The Gospel Coalition, Linsanity is only partly about basketball.

More significantly, it's about that outside experience being recognized by others and, even further, evolving into inclusion. Can what happened to Lin in the NBA happen to him and other Asian American Christians in the broader American church? Can it encourage Asian American Christians to give more of their gifts and leadership to the community---and Community---at large? It sounds grandiose, insane. But, as we've seen the last two weeks, insanity happens.

Are Asian churches only relevant to Asian communities? Should Chinese Churches focus all their efforts only in reaching the Chinese with the gospel? Jeremy Lin breaks that stereotype through a display of excellence on the court, yes - but also, humility off the court, together with Lin's candid boldness in speaking up about his faith in Jesus Christ.

Perhaps we could learn to do the same.

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