Category: Bible

The Problem with Bible Translations: Your Culture

Anyone who reads the Bible today faces an unavoidable fact—Scripture was originally written in and for a culture different than our own culture. This makes the Bible difficult to understand. Consider the meaning of these words: He whistled at her,
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Improving Anselm’s Atonement Theory

Anselm’s satisfaction theory (explanation here) has shaped Western atonement theory. Unfortunately, Anselm’s theology “went wrong” in two ways: (1) Anselm himself overlooked key parts of biblical theology, and (2) then latter theologians misinterpreted Anselm.  Making Anselm More Biblical Anselm’s Cur
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Can You Shame God?

Can you shame God? The biblical answer is yes. Though this may initially sound sacrilegious, the fact that people shame God pervades scripture and profoundly impacts your relationship with God. People despise and scorn God. In other words, we fail to
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Lausanne Article: “Honor & Shame in God’s Mission”

The latest issue of the Lausanne Global Analysis includes my article “Honor & Shame in God’s Mission.” This short primer (1,600 words) is available online for free, so functions as a 5-minute introduction to honor-shame. The article explains: (1) the meaning of honor & shame,
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Set of 30 Bible Stories about Honor & Shame

Biblical writers communicated God’s honor for the shamed through stories. Narratives recount how God saves his people from disgrace and displays honor.Here is a story set of 30 biblical narratives that address honor and shame. For a more complete list ,
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4 Benefits of Learning about Honor & Shame

Why learn about honor and shame? Here are four benefits.1. HermeneuticsI once saw a Turkish person read Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15). He read the opening verse about the son asking for his inheritance, closed the Bible, and declared, “That
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Shame & Honor—Are They “New” Ideas?

Sandra Freeman has served with her husband in Botswana since 2001 doing discipleship and business mentoring. She blogs at “Edge of the Kalahari.”Someone recently expressed concern about honor and shame, saying they are normally cautious about new ideas. I agree it
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Honor & Patronage Among Church Leaders

Patricia Toland (Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies, Biola University) has served in Africa and Latin America since 1990 mobilizing the Latino church and training Latino Missionaries. She also lectures, trains, and ministers internationally to missionaries on the field and in universities.
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New Book: Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures (IVP)

My latest book Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials (InterVarsity Press) is now available.This 270-page book equips Christians to proclaim and embody the gospel in honor-shame contexts. Our aim was simple: to show how honor-shame is central
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Sarah & Hagar: A Struggle for Honor

Dr. Marvin J. Newell is Senior Vice President of Missio Nexus, a network that connects evangelical mission agencies, churches and training centers across North America. He served over two decades in Indonesia and teaches at Moody and Western. This article
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NEW: Spanish Resources

The Latin America church has exploded in the 20th century, and is joining God’s mission to the nations in amazing ways. For those partnering and ministering in Latin America, here are some honor-shame resources now available in Spanish.  El evangelio en 3DThe 3D
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Honor & Shame in God’s Revelation (1 Kgs 22)

Martin Munyao (Th.M., Daystar Academy of Nairobi) was a pastor and theology teacher in Kenya. He is earning his Ph.D. at Concordia Theological Seminary.How did God use Israel’s cultural dynamics of honor-shame to reveal himself? As an example, we take the
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The Law is NOT Legal

In the Bible, the “law” is not primarily a legal concept. For Western Christians, their view of the “law” is heavily influenced by cultural assumptions. (Some might call this “syncretism.”)When teaching about the “law,” I prefer to use the original words
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How OT Sacrifices Saved

What happens during a sacrifice? How do sacrifices work? What was killing an animal in the temple supposed accomplish?Malachi 1:6-2:9 explains the logical underpinning of temple sacrifices. Basically, the priest’s defective sacrifices failed to honor God. The priests’ unclean animals have shown
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How Self-Righteous Judaizers Boasted

The Problem with “Self-Righteousness”The term “self-righteous” is not a biblical term. Yes, the Bible does speak about a type of righteousness that is not of God, but the nature of this false-righteousness is rather different than commonly assumed.Romans 10:3 speaks about this
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Redemption. From What?

 What does redemption mean? What are we redeemed from? The biblical term denotes “release from bondage.” Because of our own weaknesses (social, physical, or spiritual), a stronger patron-like Savior must enact our release.HOW do redeemers redeem?In the Bible, people are redeemed
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Making Peace like Jesus, not Germany

The diplomatic tiff this week between Germany and Turkey is the same thorn bush that often entangles Western missionaries.The German Parliament adopted a symbolic resolution declaring the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 a “genocide.” The Ottomans killed over 1 million Armenians,
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What the “Hell”?

For a long time, I thought of hell primarily in terms of physical pain, where the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” indicated extreme bodily discomfort. Hell is an overcrowded waiting room with no A/C and people with B.O., right?!? Then I
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Partaking in His Glory (Dr. Ken Bailey)

Dr. Kenneth Bailey (1930-2016) was an MK and New Testament professor who has spent most of his life in the Middle East. His many books (e.g., Jesus in Mediterranean Eyes) explain the cultural and honor-shame elements of the gospels. This explanation of
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Tim Keller & TGC Video on Shame

In this Gospel Coalition video, Tim Keller offers some reflections about the role of shame in evangelism.I’m obviously delighted that Keller and TGC discuss honor-shame cultures in their gospel conversation. And Keller and the other folks at TGC are brilliant guys doing great work, for which
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