Blog Archives

Raising Support in Honor-Shame Cultures: 5 Tips

As the global Church expands, there is a growing need for money to fund ministry. The Church in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has a vision for global missions, and this vision requires financial resources. Traditional fund-raising models are often
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Posted in Communication, Culture, Honor, Ministry, Relationships, Shame

Teaching in Honor-Shame Cultures: 5 Must Knows

In 2001 I taught American literature at a university in Central Asia. It was my first year living overseas, and the experience of teaching cross-culturally caused many instances of culture shock. I enjoyed the friendships with students, but I resented
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Relationships, Shame

A Better Definition of Honor-Shame Cultures—”Connection”

How might we define “honor-shame cultures”? Many people implicitly associate “honor-shame culture” with “violence.” Westerners perceive honor-shame cultures as aggressive and combative. This reason (proposed in my prior post) is because the Western mind perceives honor-based violence as “senseless” and “incomprehensible,” unlike the
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Relationships, Shame

New Site: RealHonour.com

RealHonour.com is a new website/ministry. The free site is a secure digital forum for Christians from a Muslim background to fellowship with each other globally and locally. Learn more from their extensive FAQs.   I highlight RealHonour.com because it an innovative
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Posted in Ministry, Relationships, Resources

Giving Indirect Advice (A Folktale)

A great way to acquire wisdom for cross-cultural wisdom is to watch the wise. I’m always amazed by Central Asians who handle problems with cultural savvy—they can influence people in such honoring ways. Unfortunately, Westerners often struggle to navigate thorny issues in
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Posted in Culture, Relationships, Resources

4 Benefits of Learning about Honor & Shame

Why learn about honor and shame? Here are four benefits.1. HermeneuticsI once saw a Turkish person read Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15). He read the opening verse about the son asking for his inheritance, closed the Bible, and declared, “That
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Posted in Bible, Communication, Honor, Relationships, Resources, Shame, Spirituality, Theology

Cashmere­—The Kyrgyz Honor

Sy Belohlavek, director of June Cashmere, explains how honor frames the vision and structure of an enterprise in Kyrgyzstan.   Recognition is the acknowledgement of someone’s existence and validity. This honor is acclaim for an achievement or ability. There is a kind
Posted in Culture, Ministry, Relationships, 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

FREE CHAPTER: 8 Guidelines for Fruitful Relationships

InterVarsity Press is making Chapter 7 “Relationships” of Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures available as a free PDF download. Feel free to download, read, and share this resource. Mark and I glad to offer this chapter. It includes over 20 case examples from 15 different global
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Posted in 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

3 Tips for Evangelism in Honor-Shame Cultures

A conversation with a young Central Asian Muslim changed my theology forever.We were having a conversation about God, and there was an open door to share the gospel, so I said something like, “Your sins make you guilty before God,
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Posted in Culture, Evangelism, Jesus, Ministry, Missiology, Relationships, Theology

5 Lessons I Learned From Being a Terrible Patron

Rich (B.Th) has worked in the Arab world for 6 years and is researching patronage in Arabic language, culture and theology.Arabs look to community leaders to help them, including managers, fathers, businessmen, celebrities and teachers. My university students expected me to
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Posted in Culture, Evangelism, Honor, Relationships

How Do “Lives Matter”?

“Black lives matter.” “All lives matter.” “Blue lives matter.”These activist slogans are causing a stir. What is the matter with “lives matter”? How can such affirming statements be so divisive?Lives Do Matter. But How?Each slogan claims worth and value for
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Posted in Culture, Relationships

How Honor-Shame Cultures Confess Sins

How should people confess their sin? What form should confession take?I was raised Catholic, so the the word “confession” means reliving those experiences as a mischievous little boy shuddering in a confessional booth saying, “Forgive me father for I have
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Posted in Communication, Culture, Ministry, Missiology, Relationships, Shame, Spirituality, Theology

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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Posted in Bible, Culture, Honor, In The News, Relationships, Shame

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

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

Resolving Conflict…Without Shaming

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. Have you heard (or personally experienced) this story before?  Once upon a time…a national Christian worked for a Western ministry
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Posted in Culture, Missiology, Relationships, Sin

An Answer for Addiction

What is addiction? How is addiction healed? This new TED talk—“Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong”—connects these questions about addiction to shame and honor (granted, it uses language besides “honor” and “shame” to do so). Research shows
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Posted in Communication, Culture, Honor, Ministry, Missiology, Relationships, Resources, Shame, Sin, Spirituality

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