Blog Archives

The Honor-Shame Paraphrase

Reading the Bible across cultures can be difficult; however, the task is certainly not impossible. With cultural awareness, people today can accurately interpret the Bible by bridging the cultural gap between our world and the biblical world. The Honor-Shame Paraphrase
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Posted in Bible, Culture, NT, OT, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Communication, Culture, NT, OT, Theology, Wesetern

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

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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Posted in Bible, OT, 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

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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Posted in Bible, OT, salvation, Theology

How David Sinned with Bathsheba

When David slept with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:1-13), why was that sin? David thought nothing was amiss, “but the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh” (2 Sam 11:27). Exactly why was God displeased? Despite common assumptions, the Bible does not portray David’s
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Posted in OT, Relationships, Shame, Sin, Theology

Did Bathsheba Seduce David?

Did Bathsheba purposefully seek to seduce David when bathing? Some books say Bathsheba “intended” to be seen by the king, presumably to seduce David and get closer to the seat of power. But I think this is misreading Scripture. The Bible portrays
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Posted in OT, Theology, Uncategorized

Yahweh’s Counter-Cultural Honor

Guest Ron Mudge (Ph.D., Concordia Seminary) has served as a missionary to Ivory Coast and Togo, West Africa (1996-2006), and is presently the Rouse Associate Professor of Pre-Seminary Studies at Concordia University Wisconsin. Here is a summary of his article,
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Posted in Culture, Honor, OT, Theology

God’s Face

Christian workers will never eliminate social face, nor should they attempt to. A better approach to “face” is to reorient cultural face around God’s face. Fortunately, the Bible has much to say about face; it is a significant concern for
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Posted in Culture, OT, Shame, Theology

Honor-Shame Theology in Proverbs

The previous post listed 50 biblical proverbs about honor and shame. The seven categories frame the primary theological themes of Proverbs in relation to honor-shame.Honor is a reward.Pride leads to shame.Fools are shameful.Humans (dis)honor God.A good name reflects honor.Wisdom herself is honorable.The family
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Posted in OT, Theology

50 Proverbs about Honor & Shame

Here are 50 biblical proverbs about honor and shame, grouped into 7 thematic categories. The next post will analyze these proverbs theologically. I first wanted to introduce these key verses, so you could meditate and reflect on the biblical texts yourself.1-The Reward
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Posted in Honor, OT

Exodus: The Story Behind the Movie

For Bible-related movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings, Christians are often quick to note to what extent the movie is faithful to the biblical story. But, how faithful is our Christian retelling of the exodus to the biblical story? Do we
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Posted in Honor, News, OT, Theology

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

The Call of Abraham…to Honor (Gen 12)

The post concludes our series on Gen 1-12 (Gen 2, Imago Dei, The Fall, Gen 4-11). From the heights of glory and honor in Genesis 2, humanity has fallen to the depths of shame (Gen 3).  Every self-directed effort to
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Posted in Evangelism, Honor, Missiology, 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

The Disgraced Human Family (Gen 4-11)

After the fall of Adam and Eve, the storyline of Genesis reads like a season of Arrested Development (or any other sitcom about a dysfunctional family) – a series of episodes featuring the human family’s disgrace and dysfunction.  Humans sense
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Posted in OT, Shame, Sin, Theology

The Shame of Original Sin (Gen 3)

Adam and Eve’s glorious and shame-free life did not last long. They sin, and shame enters the world.  (Previous posts on their honor at a creation – HERE and HERE.) After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve cover themselves with fig leaves.  They do
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Posted in OT, Shame, Sin, Theology

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