© 2018

Ascension Theology and Habakkuk

A Reformed Ecclesiology in Filipino American Perspective


Part of the Asian Christianity in the Diaspora book series (ACID)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Neal D. Presa
    Pages 1-13
  3. Neal D. Presa
    Pages 15-26
  4. Neal D. Presa
    Pages 27-37
  5. Neal D. Presa
    Pages 39-48
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 59-99

About this book


This book describes Reformed ecclesiology through the lived faith of the Filipino American Christian diaspora. It proposes a contextual, constructive ecclesiology by engaging with the Presbyterian/Reformed theological tradition’s understanding of the ascension of Jesus Christ with the Old Testament book of Habakkuk as a conversation partner.  


old testament Hermeneutic Homiletic Habakkuk Ecclesiology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Village Community Presbyterian ChurchRancho Santa Fe, CAUSA

About the authors

Neal D. Presa is Associate Pastor of Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Worship for Fuller Theological Seminary, Fellow for The Center for Pastor Theologians, and served as Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church.

Bibliographic information


“Embracing the experience and struggle (pakikibaka) of Filipino American Christians in diaspora, Dr. Neal Presa reappropriates a Reformed theology of Christ's ascension. This creative and contextual work offers inspiration to doing missiology, ecclesiology and spirituality in these turbulent times. Read this book and you are in for our grandparents' affectionate longing, Habbakuk's message of hope in the seemingly God"s present silence in midst of evil's reality, as well as a Filipino American diasporic brand of communal fiesta of witness and self-determination!” (Elizabeth S. Tapia, John Wesley College, Divinity School, Philippines)

“As the center of gravity of the Christian world moves to the global south, new voices emerge that give an added richness to our understanding of scripture and Reformed theology.  One of those voices is Filipino American pastor, ecumenist, and theologian, Neal Presa, who articulates a fresh vision of Christian life in his new book, Ascension and Habakkuk.  The sources that give this book vitality are a surprising mix: the prophet Habakkuk, the heritage of Filipino American Christianity, the Reformed tradition, and the reality of ascension.  Presa has mixed them together with a freshness that reminds us of love of God, love of community, and love of neighbor. I heartily recommend Ascension and Habakkuk to all who seek fresh insights for Christian faith and practice in our time.” (Clifton Kirkpatrick, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, USA)

“By way of acknowledgment, I say thank you for honoring a community of the faithful that is too often, too easily pushed to the margins. Through such a beautiful and accomplished expression, Dr. Presa has honored the Filipino American diaspora and future generations of those who live in the realm of the theology of struggle. It is this both-and dynamic of living in the liminal tension of multiple identities that then become both a challenge and an opportunity for authentic witness in the midst of the struggle to belong.  Dr. Presa connects a multiplicity of intersectional dots that give voice to Habakkuk as he links arms and engages mission and ministry with the Filipino communities.” (Mienda Uriarte, World Mission Office of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, USA)

“Dr. Neal Presa, who is deeply rooted in the Filipino culture and perfectly at home with life and ministry in the United States, uses insightful studies of the much-neglected book of Habakkuk and the less-visited doctrine of Ascension to spell out a Reformed ecclesiology that would speak meaningfully to people in Diaspora.  These biblical-theological explorations built on personal experiences is a significant and valuable contribution to the emerging field of Diaspora Theology.” (S. Wesley Ariarajah, Drew University, USA)