Last year, Tony Chuang returned to the United States for the first time in about 15 years. Originally from Taiwan, the lawyer had been living in China before moving to Texas where he currently serves as general counsel for a semiconductor company. Chuang became a Christian as a teenager at a summer camp and at one point considered full-time ministry, before going on to earn law degrees in both the US and China.
"During some period of my life, I went to seminary hoping to become a full-time minister," said Chuang, who recently became a CT Sustaining Partner. "However, it seems God has led me to another route as a tentmaker to benefit others more."
Chuang recently shared with CT assistant editor Morgan Lee about what he finds compelling about CT's cause of Beautiful Orthodoxy, his advice for effectively spreading the CT message, and how Chinese Christians challenged his faith.
When did you first hear about CT?
As a young person, I was helped and mentored by a campus evangelistic group full of young ministers who had graduated from prestigious colleges in Taiwan and who were to earn a good living and rise to a high social status. Instead, they devoted their lives to young believers like me, showing love, care, and kindness. In addition to Bible study, several of them made it their mission to help the next generation Christians in the Chinese circle gain exposure to current developments in Christianity.
CT is one of few names that they cited, although it was hard and expensive to get a hard copy of CT in the 1980s in that region. That was my initial encounter with CT and my first love with thinking-minded Christians.
What do you find compelling about CT's ministry cause of Beautiful Orthodoxy?
Christian leaders have helped me think deeper and wider, respond to the secular challenges intellectually, and extend my Christian influence to both Christians and non-Christians. I found Beautiful Orthodoxy's mission serves the similar purpose and does so with a global and cross-cultural emphasis.
What brands other than the flagship CT are you familiar with?
In addition to CT, I have also subscribed to Christianity Today's Church Law and Tax. I have been helping resolve church disputes and management and need to know how to give advice from the biblical perspective to avoid litigation when some immature members claim to sue churches. I don't intend to do this for a living but want to strike a right balance for concerning parties in church to think through disputes through from a higher perspective instead of the purely secular commercial mindset.
What about CT's vision led you to want to become a Sustaining Partner?
One criticism that Christians receive is "nice guy, poor mind." CT correctly and efficiently rebuts such a stereotype by doing it with love intellectually. This is unique and I want to support this important effort.
What is the biggest challenge facing the church at this time? What will it take us to rise to this challenge?
Until recently I was living in a country where Christians face challenges such as poor living standards but live joyfully. Sacrifice becomes norm and ordinary practice. The challenge for them is to get biblically-based teaching and better leadership training.
In contrast, after I moved back last year to the United States, people in churches that I attend (so-called American Chinese churches) live wealthily but are busy with grabbing power, self-promotion, and false pride. Instead, Christians ought to position themselves in the bigger picture of God's Kingdom. I would challenge them to learn empathy for others, especially Christians from other regions of this world. CTs global coverage help us in the church get a bigger picture of what it's like to be a Christian in other places of the world.
What would you say to CT readers like yourself that are considering supporting CT?
I am privileged to be bilingual and have many cross-cultural experiences. With the financial support of more readers, I hope CT can expand its influence by translation of articles or working with indigenous Christian magazines in other countries. CT is already doing a great deal with global issues, and I pray for God to bless these ministry efforts abundantly.
Morgan Lee is an assistant editor of Christianity Today.