Author: HonorShame

4 Practical Ways To Use The Culture Test

Since being released in late 2014, people have found creative and strategic uses for The Culture Test. The following four stories shows areas where an awareness of guilt-shame-fear dynamics can be beneficial. 1. Theological Apologetics Martin was a Kenyan Christian
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Is Africa ‘Power-Fear’ or ‘Honor-Shame’?

People often assume Africa is a “fear-power” culture. The animistic and magical practices of African Traditional Religions (ATRs) reflect the values of fear-power. Although Africa ranks higher in the fear-power category than other regions of the world according to The
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A Fourth Category of ‘Pain-Pleasure’?

Along with guilt-innocence, shame-honor, and fear-power, should there be a fourth category of “pain-pleasure”? This post considers the merit of this idea. The Idea of Pain-Pleasure Philosophers have long considered the feelings of pain and pleasure to be part of
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The Meaning of ‘Fear-Power’—3 Options

The label “fear-power culture” has various meanings, depending on the perspective of the speaker. This posts explains the three ways people have defined “fear-power culture.” 1. Religious: Fear-Power as Spiritual Control The worldviews of Majority World cultures, especially tribal religions,
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The Model of Guilt-Shame-Fear—A Short History

The idea of “guilt vs. shame” has a long history in 20th-century scholarship (see previous post). But how did the cultural model of guilt-shame-fear develop? Here is a super short history of the cultural trichotomony.  In 1954, Christian anthropologist and
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The Meaning of ‘Shame’—A Short History

Where do these categories of “guilt-shame” or “shame-honor” come from? Like all ideas, the notion of “shame” has developed over time. This post summarizes the main currents of shame research in the 20th century. The Beginning: Ruth Benedict The binary
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Guilt-Shame-Fear & Other Cultural Models

There are many models that explain how global cultures differ. They all simplify reality in different ways. This post shows how the guilt-shame-fear paradigm compares to other well-known cultural models. 1. Hofstede’s 6 Dimensions An organizational anthropologist named Geert Hoftstede
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The Value of Cultural Models

In 2015 I taught a course in Chad, Africa. I considered bringing gifts for the 12 Chadian students, but we had a very tight luggage allowance. The school director suggested instead that I buy a goat at the end of
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3 In 1: Integrating Guilt, Shame, and Fear

People often voice the concern that reducing cultures down to “guilt,” “shame,” or “fear” is oversimplifying reality—“Aren’t cultures a combination of these factors?” Most certainly. Cultures are too complex to be isolated into just three boxes. These are not three
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The Story Behind ‘The Culture Test’

What is the providence of The Culture Test? People have asked this question, as it impacts the validity and authority of the results. The short is: Jayson Georges developed The Culture Test as a ministry training tool. If you want
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The 3D Gospel: Updated and Revised

The 3D Gospel started in mind as a 2-page PDF that would help people understand the results of The Culture Test. But it mushroomed into an 80-page book that I published on Amazon. Since then, The 3D Gospel has become a
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4 Problems with Guilt-Based Morality

Western theologians and missionaries often assume that “guilt-based” morality is ethically superior. This, I believe, is a dangerous assumption. A guilt-based approach to ethics has several shortcomings that limit its moral effectiveness, particularly in collectivistic contexts. These limitations do not
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New SEANET Book for Buddhist Contexts

Paul deNeui is Professor of Missiology at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. He recently edited Restored to Freedom from Guilt, Shame, and Fear: Lessons from the Buddhist World (SEANET 13; William Carey Library, 2017; TOC here). This post is
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The Gospel in 2 Poems

Christian Burkhardt is a pastor at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA. His two poems aim to awaken our “Longing to Belong” and direct us on how to be fully satisfied by seeking God’s face, as we were “Made for
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The Meaning of Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  That is how most English Bibles translate Romans 3:23. Western Christianity typically interprets these words as, “Every individual person has done something wrong and not lived up to God’s
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The Problem of “Grace” in English Bibles

All Bible translations face a problem—the cultural gap between the Bible and contemporary readers. English words evoke Western assumptions and values that are unlike those of biblical writers. The word “grace” (Greek: charis) is a good example of this problem of
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Guilt, Shame, and Fear in Secular Research

When I wrote The 3D Gospel and developed www.TheCultureTest.com in 2014, I thought that the concept of guilt/shame/fear cultures was unique to Christian missiology. But recently, I encountered a very similar cultural model by a secular psychologist. Richard Shweder is a
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Shame and Guilt in Racial Reconciliation

The post is adapted from chapter #3 of  The Bridge to Racial Unity: Discussion Guide 2.0 from Be the Bridge ministries. A personal awareness of racism and racial injustice can generate uncomfortable feelings of shame and guilt. In America’s individualistic
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8 Tips for Doing “Honor-Shame Theology”

How can we develop an “honor-shame theology” for today? How might be better explain the gospel in honor-shame contexts? Here are 8 practical tips to help you better utilize honor-shame in global ministry. This post summarizes part of my plenary
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6 Ways Honor and Shame Make Disciples (Not Converts)

Jackson Wu (Ph.D., SEBTS) teaches theology and missiology to Chinese leaders. He blogs at www.JacksonWu.org. Honor and shame are essential for being and making disciples. They are more than mere labels used to describe culture and improve cross-cultural communication. To
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