Category: ethics

“Westerners Don’t Believe in Sin!”

Guest contributor Dr. Cultir Pundit is an East Asian missions leader. He blogs at www.GuiltInnocence.com, a website equipping Global Christians for ministry in the Western guilt-innocence cultures. Westerners believe in guilt, but not in sin. The other day I was
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Can Public Shaming Be Good?

Guest Dan Braga is a church planter in San Diego, CA. He is an M.A. student at Western Seminary (Portland) where I recently taught a course. This post is Dan’s response to the question, “Can public shaming be a good
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The Morality of Patronage

For many cultures, the reciprocal generosity of patronage is a moral obligation. Patrons must give favors and clients must give thanks, lest they jeopardize their own reputation and the unifying fabric of society. So when an affluent person fails to
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Top Books on Honor-Shame Ethics

A stream of 21st-century philosophers are rehabilitating honor in philosophical discourse. Even the collaborative website www.HonorEthics.org is “devoted to the study of honor as an ethical value.” These philosophers argue how honor and shame can be redemptive moral values. As one
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Shaming

Shaming people can be a powerful tool for changing behavior and establishing norms. Jennifer Jacquet (Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University) in Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool explains how people can shame selectively and
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How to Shame…Biblically

People who act shamelessly should incur a sense of shame.The apostle Paul explicitly shamed fellow believers, on several occasions: I say this to your shame. (1 Cor 6:5) I say this to your shame. (1 Cor 15:34) Take note of
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New Series: Ethics in Honor-Shame Cultures

Honor-shame is a moral system. Collectivistic cultures use honor and shame to define and enforce ethics.  This claim may seem strange to Westerners, who generally assume that guilt-cultures believe in right and wrong, but shame cultures do not. This idea
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Not Taking Revenge (Ajith Fernando)

Ajith Fernando (ThM, Fuller) serves as the teaching director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka. This post is from his latest book, Discipling in A Multicultural World (Crossway, 2019), which has a strong focus on practical discipleship in honor-shame oriented cultures. This excerpt
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Paul’s Honor Ethic in 1 Corinthians

Honor and shame are innately social and cooperate realities. For this reason, an honor-centric morality prioritizes relational harmony and communal edification, as seen in Pauline theology. John Barclay says, “Paul’s redefinition of honor thus gives prestige to such traits that
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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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Uncovering the Power of Shame

Guest Samuel Albert is Editor in Chief of www.ChristianMusicAndHymns.com. The Bible has a whole vocabulary to do with shame, reproach and disgrace. There are over 10 Hebrew words that translate these words into English, but they have been almost evacuated
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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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