Blog Archives

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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Posted in ethics, Honor, Shame, Wesetern

Super Duper “Unashamed”

Last year Christian publishers released 4 books titled “Unashamed.” These are Christian efforts to speak to a popular topic in Western culture—the longing to be free of shame and to “be myself.”  While inspiring and encouraging, these books assume the distorted, Western
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Posted in Culture, ethics, Resources, salvation, Shame, Spirituality, Theology, Wesetern

New Training Video about Ethics and Discipleship

“Transforming Honor” is a new training video about biblical ethics, morality, and discipleship in honor-shame cultures. My aim with this video is to (1) transform Western misconceptions about honor cultures and (2) transform honor into a positive source for moral change. The 33-minute resource is
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Posted in Communication, Culture, ethics, Honor, Ministry, Missiology, Resources, Spirituality, Wesetern

Guilt-Innocence Cultures are WEIRD

Guilt-innocence cultures are W.E.I.R.D.—Western, Education, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.In 2010, three cultural psychologists published an article titled “The Weirdest People in the World?” The authors explain that most psychological research in conducted on a small, unrepresentative subset of human population—W.E.I.R.D people.The
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Posted in Culture, ethics, Shame

The 5 (Unwritten) Rules of Honor-Shame Cultures

During my years in Central Asia, I always dreaded being pulled over by a policeman. No matter how much I tried to demonstrate my innocence according to all the traffic rules, the officer usually showed little interest in concepts like
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Posted in Communication, Culture, ethics, Resources

INFOGRAPHIC: How Cultures Clash

We all judge other people cultures according to our own cultural values. This is fine when two people share the same culture. But when people from two different cultures interact, using your own culture to judge others can be disastrous.The cultures of
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Posted in Communication, Culture, ethics, Relationships, Resources

6 Keys for Relationships in Honor-Shame Cultures

For people to understand, you must speak their language. Obvious, huh?But most Westerners ignore this basic rule of communication in their cross-cultural relationships. To meaningfully communicate love and honor to people, we must use the cultural “grammar” of honor-shame in
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Posted in Communication, Culture, ethics, Ministry, Relationships, Resources

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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Posted in Bible, Culture, ethics, Honor, leadership, Ministry, Relationships

The Iraq War & ISIS began with a Cultural Miscue

The Iraq War has cost America 3 trillion dollars, claimed over 100,000 lives, and helped create ISIS. So, what triggered this spectacular catastrophe? Many factors caused the Iraq War, but the precipitating cause seems to be the West’s inability to grasp the
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Posted in ethics, News

12 Proven Facts about Honor Cultures

Here are 12 claims about honor cultures from Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche (Oxford University Press, 2016) by Ryan Brown, professor of social psychology at the University of Oklahoma.In honor cultures, “men are hyper
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Posted in Culture, ethics, In The News, Resources, Shame

How Honor Baffled (& Awed) C. S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis preached “The Weight of Glory” in 1942. In this sermon he speaks personally about his understanding of the biblical promises of honor and glory. Here are 4 phases of his theology.1. C.S. Lewis saw honorOne can hardly read the
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Posted in Culture, ethics, Honor, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, ethics, OT, Theology

Is “Redskins” a Racial Slur, or Honor?

The NFL team in America’s capital is called the Washington “Redskins.” Is that a racial slur against Native Americans? Recent conversations in this heated debate revolve largely around the moral ideal of honor. Here’s the story.Native American leaders have argued
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Posted in Culture, ethics, Honor

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