Blog Archives

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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Posted in Bible, Honor, Jesus, NT, OT, salvation, Shame, Sin, Theology, Wesetern

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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Posted in Bible, Honor, NT, OT, Shame, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Honor, Ministry, Missiology, NT, OT, Resources, Shame, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Christology, Jesus, NT, Theology

To Be, or Not To Be … a Patron?

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. In many countries, patronage is the de facto socio-economic system.Patronage can be defined as “a reciprocal relationship between unequals.” The
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Posted in Communication, Culture, Jesus, NT, Relationships

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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Posted in Bible, Honor, Jesus, NT, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Culture, Honor, NT, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Christology, Honor, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Ministry, NT, Theology

How Jesus Atones For My Shame

Guest Mako A. Nagasawa is a campus minister at Harvard and Boston College with the New Humanity Institute, and founding director of New Humanity Institute.“Don’t you know how much I sacrificed for you???” Those words shaped my sense of self,
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Posted in Honor, NT, Shame, Spirituality, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Christology, Jesus, NT, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Jesus, Jesus Christ, NT, Resources, Theology

The Apostolic Honor Code (1 Pet)

How does God’s Kingdom reshape morality and ethics in honor-shame contexts?The most common proposal for Christian’s ethics in shame-based contexts is something like, “People should not care about other people’s opinions, but just do what is right. Get rid of all vestiges
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Posted in Culture, Honor, NT, Spirituality

How Jesus Changed the Honor Code

Was Jesus teaching an “honor code”? One dimension of Jesus’ earthly ministry was helping people realign their notions of “honorability” and “shamefulness” with God’s values of honor and shame. Jesus’ teachings reveals how people access true and eternal honor from God
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Posted in Honor, NT, Theology

God’s New (Testament) Face

“I will never again hide my face from them, when I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God.” (Ez 39:29). New Covenant saints behold the face of God as never before.The knotty passage of 2 Cor
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Posted in Culture, Honor, NT, Spirituality, Theology

Top (Mis?)Quoted Verses of 2014

Christianity Today recently listed “The Most Popular Verses Shared on Twitter in 2014.” Here are the winners:Interestingly, the top four verses have an honor-shame nuance that common interpretations typically filter out. A quick look at these 4 verses provides a window into
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Posted in Culture, NT, Theology

10 Ways the Cross Atones for Shame

Guest Mark Baker (Ph.D., Duke) is Professor of Mission and Theology at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. Two of his books Recovering the Scandal of the Cross and Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross explore the saving significance of the cross.  
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Posted in Missiology, NT, Theology

Charlie Hebdo, Being Human, & Gal 5

I happened to be in France the week after the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. Reactions to the events revealed the rather large gap between the cultural values of “individualism” and “collectivism.” Yet, the incident surrounding Charlie Hebdo reveals not only two distinct
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Posted in Culture, Honor, NT, Sin

Theology for Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures – Free Resource

How can we reframe Christian theology for cultures of guilt, shame, and fear? I developed a  “Theology Guide” which  systemically charts 40+ theological categories in the language and values of each culture type. For example, the section about God reads:
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Posted in Culture, Honor, NT, OT, Theology

New book: THE 3D GOSPEL

Learn how the gospel speaks to all cultures. Western theology emphasizes legal forgiveness of sins, but people in the Majority World seek honor or spiritual power.  In today’s globalized world, Christians need a three-dimensional gospel. Learn how the Bible speaks to cultures
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Posted in Communication, Culture, Evangelism, Honor, Ministry, Missiology, News, NT, OT, Relationships, Shame, Sin, Spirituality, Theology

6 Places Honor & Shame Hide in the Bible

Here is something we have all experienced:  You are looking to buy a new car, and begin eyeing (for example) the Toyota Corolla.  Now that you are thinking about buying a Corolla, they begin popping everywhere on the road!  Where
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Posted in NT, OT, Shame, Theology

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