Blog Archives

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

Exposing the Truth about Honor and Shame: The 4 Dimensions Christians Must Understand

This article, co-authored with Jackson Wu, was originally posted at Christianity Today on Ed Stetzer’s blog (Feb 16). Shame is getting exposed, finally. Commentators now observe how Western culture, especially the millennial generation, is becoming more shame-prone. Consequently, more Westerners are
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Resources, Shame, Theology

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

Atonement for Honor-Shame Cultures

In terms of honor and shame, how does Christ’s death atone for sin? This question got answered 1,000 years ago by Anselm, a Benedictine monk and archbishop of Canterbury who developed the “satisfaction” atonement theory. Anselm’s work Cur Deus Homo
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Posted in Christology, Honor, Jesus, Jesus Christ, salvation, Shame, Sin, Theology

Does God Shame Christians?

God’s salvation causes shame. After God atones for your sins, then you will have shame. God wants his people to feel shame.  In Ezekiel 16, God denounces Israel for becoming vile sluts and shameless whores. Then he says to them:
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Posted in Honor, Jesus, salvation, Shame, Sin, Theology

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

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

Lausanne Article: “Honor & Shame in God’s Mission”

The latest issue of the Lausanne Global Analysis includes my article “Honor & Shame in God’s Mission.” This short primer (1,600 words) is available online for free, so functions as a 5-minute introduction to honor-shame. The article explains: (1) the meaning of honor & shame,
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Posted in Bible, Honor, Missiology, Resources, 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

A Western Bias: “Honor-Shame Cultures are Violent”

“Cultures of honor and shame are violent.” This common assumption is a myth rooted in a pejorative cultural bias. Westerners often define honor-shame cultures by their violent retaliation against personal slights. People in honor-shame cultures are sensitive about their reputation,
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Shame, Wesetern

5 Reasons the West is Becoming More Shame Based

“Young people these days are becoming more shame based.” The previous post showed how data from TheCultureTest.com collaborates this common observation. But this observation naturally evokes the “why?” question. Why is Western culture becoming more shame based? Here I identify are
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Shame, Wesetern

The Rise of Shame in America

Younger people in the West are becoming more sensitive to shame.Western culture as a whole, not just particular segments, appears to be shifting from guilt and toward shame. The Christianity Today cover article “The Return of Shame” noted how “shame is
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Shame, Wesetern

Microaggressions and “Reverse Honor”: America’s Latest Moral System

A new moral system has emerged in America. It is shaped by the language of privilege, class, bias, inequality, tolerance, and inclusion. This new moral system has taken definitive expression in the issue of microaggressions.Microaggressions are “brief, everyday exchanges that
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Posted in Culture, Honor, Shame, 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

Overcoming The Myth of Shame

Eddie H. Park  (MDiv, Talbot) is a teaching pastor at EvFree Fullerton and former investment banker. His book The Shame Myth is available for $0.99 (today only, Kindle pre-order version).Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and
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Posted in leadership, Ministry, Shame, Spirituality

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

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

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 Trump Thinks Like Jesus

Jesus Christ and Donald Trump share a remarkable similarity—they both promise honor. What is “honor”?Honor is essentially status or respect in a community. Such honor comes about in two ways—inclusion and exaltation. The campaign of Donald Trump and gospel of Jesus Christ
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Posted in Culture, In The News, Jesus, salvation, Shame, Theology

Honor-Shame Devotional Video (2-min)

“Honor // Shame” is a powerful devotional video. Since it is just 2-minutes long and well-edited, it could nicely introduce a Bible study or sermon. Broaching the topic of shame can be uncomfortable, so why not outsource the dirty work with a quality video!Produced by Ricky Diaz and Luis Espino,
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Posted in Culture, salvation, Shame

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