Category: Bible

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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Does Christ Impute Honor?

The doctrine of “imputed righteousness” is a mainstay in Protestant theology. So naturally people ask, “Can we say that God imputes honor?” The biblical answer is clear and obvious—Yes! But to explain, a little bit of brush clearing is order.What
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Honoring Theology

Western theology sounds like a scratched DVD at times—it get stuck repeating the same words, and has a hard time telling the whole story. When the guilt-innocence meaning of theological terms is hard-wired into many us, we struggle to imagine alternative
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The Different Faces of Honor-Shame Cultures

This post is part of the online conversation “Leading and Ministering in Honor-Shame Contexts” in April 2016. Click here to read reflections and insights from mission practioners. Honor-shame cultures share something in common with wine. They both have terroir—a unique flavor depending on the context. Honor
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A Fear-Power Gospel Video (& more!)

This short video visualizes the biblical story in fear-power terms, and could be a great teaching tool. A special thanks to Tim Brand of Many Hands For Haiti for this, and the original Creole version. Readers of The 3D Gospel have asked for such a
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One Gospel for Shame, Guilt, & Fear Cultures?

Guest Jackson Wu teaches Chinese pastors and blogs at www.JacksonWu.org. His latest book is One Gospel for All Nations: A Practical Approach to Biblical Contextualization. When meeting up recently, he mentioned how our books share some overlap. Here’s the idea.
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Honor-Shame in Jude and 2 Peter

Andrew M. Mbuvi (Ph.D., Westminster) is Associate Prof. of Biblical Studies and Hermeneutics at Shaw University Divinity School. His latest book is a commentary on Jude and 2 Peter (NCCS: Cascade, 2015). In this post, he summarizes the honor-shame dynamics
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The Meaning of God’s Grace

Dr. John Barclay is Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham University. His latest book Paul & The Gift (Eerdmans, 2015) is being hailed as “pioneering” and “ground-breaking.” At the recent Society of Biblical Literature, several people called it “the most important book on Pauline
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3 Aspects of Jesus’ Noble Birth

As Christmas approaches, Christians recount a peculiar birth story filled with strange genealogies, distant travels, and supernatural events. God has come, but not quite as expected. How should we read these culturally foreign birth stories?When you hear, “Once upon a
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The Gospel for Western Shame

Guest Alan Mann (M.A.) lives in the UK. His latest book Atonement for a Sinless Society (Cascade Publishing, 2015, 2nd ed.) explores the gospel for guilt-less Westerners. This post shares his theological journey.When I was a theological student in the 1990s we
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Jesus’ Death, for Muslims

How is Jesus’ death good news for Muslims? Ten years ago this month EMQ published my article, “A Muslim Theology of Jesus’ Birth and Death.” Though it was well before I began thinking in “honor-shame” terms, I was surprised to see how much my ideas were already
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Jesus’ Miraculous Healing Honor

Zech Hogan, a student from my class at Eternity Bible College, developed this 3-minute video about Jesus’ healing of the bleeding woman. Zech offers a great example of “Honor Christology.” For being a short video, it is quite amazing. I appreciate his creative and impactful
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3 Facts About Isaiah’s Suffering Servant

Isaiah 53 is central for understanding the identity of Jesus Christ; in part because NT writers frequently quote it to explain the cross. Evangelicals tend to read this passage as how “the suffering servant removes sinners’ guilt before God” or
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7 Reasons Jesus Has Supreme Honor

God acted decisively through Jesus Christ to confirm his glory and restore honor to the human family. Jesus, being the essence and perfect embodiment of God’s Honor, was uniquely qualified for the task. For Jesus to atone for sin, he
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Towards an “Honor Christology”

by Jayson Georges“Who do you say that I am?”—Jesus Your answer determines everything. Interestingly, this question was for Jesus’ disciples, not unbelievers. Who we say Jesus is doesn’t always match who he actually is (Mt 16:13-20). The limited Christology found in
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