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David Jang

David Jang has become an increasingly influential figure in Asian and now American evangelicalism, says Christianity Today in the introduction to an August, 2012 investigative report.

He and his followers have founded media outlets (e.g. The Christian Post and the International Business Times -- whose parent company owns and operates Newsweek magazine) -- and Olivet University, a San Francisco-based Christian college and are key influencers in the World Evangelical Alliance.

Many people say Jang leads a group that has encouraged the belief that he's the 'Second Coming Christ.' Reportedly Jang specifically denied ever teaching this.

Critics in Korea, Japan, and China say he was at one time involved in Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Some former members say that they have heard teachings that bore similarities to the teachings of Sun Myung Moon -- that Jesus' work was left unfinished and in need of another "Christ" to complete it.

In its investigative report Christianity Today says

No one CT talked to for this story claimed that the "history lessons" that allegedly encourage the belief that Jang is the "Second Coming Christ" were ever taught in Olivet classrooms, or that Apostolos or Young Disciples members have encouraged the belief among its members in recent years.

Yet questions and concerns remain regarding Jang and his organizations.

In the Summer of 2013, Olivet opened a campus in Wingdale, NY, 65 miles north of New York City.

In an article about the campus, the New York Times made note of the controversies, and wrote

Olivet officials deny any connection with the Unification Church.

Olivet leaders said that the article had misrepresented Dr. Jang and the college, and that Christianity Today was envious of the success of a rival Web site, the Christian Post, which was started by alumni of Olivet. Olivet’s president, Tracy Davis, denied that Mr. Jang had ever told anyone he was a messianic figure.

“People somehow insinuated that though no one explicitly told them,” she said.

Ms. Davis and Olivet’s communications director, Anna Oh, said Dr. Jang never taught at the Unification Church, though; they said that Sun Hwa Theological Seminary was a Korean Methodist school where he taught Christian systematic theology, not Unification theology, and it was bought by the Unification Church.

“Christianity Today is a respected holder of tradition, and we were surprised that we were targeted by them,” Ms Davis said. “It was not based on theological merit.”

Dr. Jang did not respond to a request for comment. Christianity Today says it stands by its story.
- Source: >Amid Questions, Town Welcomes a New College, New York Times, Oct. 4, 2013

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This post was last updated: Jan. 2, 2015