BLOG

  • New Honor-Shame Book on Galatians
    This post is an short excerpt from Mark Baker’s new book, Freedom From Religiosity and Judgmentalism: Studies in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. The book interprets Galatians through the lens of charis (grace/gift), honor-shame, and centered-church theory, all topics he has examined in previous books. The letter as a whole presents a contrast between a …

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  • A Revealing Letter about Ancient Christianity
    After Constantine converted to Christianity in AD 312, every Roman emperor was Christian (at least nominally). This fact is remarkable, considering both the great pride Romans had long placed in worshiping their Gods and the fact the (Eastern) Roman Empire continued for another millennium. There was, however, a single exception to this rule—the emperor Julian, …

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  • Free Biblical Training Program In Asia Minor
    I am part of a biblical training program based in Asia Minor that teaches the historical and cultural backgrounds of the New Testament. The week-long program visits many biblical sites in Turkey. This is a funded study trip for Bible scholars and teachers in the Majority World; participants pay only for transport to/from Turkey; all …

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  • Videos from Honor-Shame Conference
    The School of Theology at Singapore Bible College recently hosted a symposium, “Contextual Issues of Honor & Shame in Spiritual Formation.” The lectures from this 3-day event are available to watch via YouTube. Every presentation was outstanding and continues to move the global honor-shame conversation forward in important ways. Below is the schedule of the …

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  • Free Online Honor-Shame Conference (Sept 11–13)
    The Singapore Bible College is hosting the conference “Contextual Issues of Honor & Shame in Spiritual Formation” September 11–13, 2023, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm (GMT + 8:00). The conference can be attended in person or online for free. Click here to learn more. Registration ends September 7, so don’t delay! Their website states: “Join us …

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  • Patronage in 1 Clement
    The early Christian letter of 1 Clement was written from the church in Rome to the Corinthians around AD 90. The long epistle admonished the divided Corinthians to reunite under their appointed leaders. Though it did not become part of the New Testament canon, 1 Clement was highly regarded by the early Church and reveals …

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  • A Sermon about Honor
    If you’re looking for a sermon that will grow your understanding of honor (especially in American culture), I recommend “A Community of Honor in a Culture of Contempt” by John Mark Comer.  In the sermon, Comer explores the idea of honor and how it has been lost in our society due to the prevalence of …

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  • An Ancient Speech about Honor and Shame
    A speech about Dio Chrysostom reveals how honor and shame worked in the first century.
  • Biblical Field Studies in Turkey
      I am part of a new training program based in Asia Minor for training people from the Majority World in the historical and cultural backgrounds of the New Testament. Since many subscribers this blog live and work in parts of the Majority World, I thought this may be of interest. You can read below …

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  • Shame-Conviction and Guilt-Conviction
    Christopher Flanders (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of missions at Abilene Christian University. He served as a missionary in Thailand for eleven years. This post is from his recent article This post is based on his article, “Bringing Shame upon an Honored Missiological Paradigm: A Study of Conviction and Elenctics,” IJFM 37 (2020). …

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  • deSilva’s Classic Book, 2nd Ed.
    David deSilva’s book Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity is a sort of cult classic in terms of honor-shame and NT backgrounds. I still remember reading the book on a camping trip in 2006 and thinking on each page, “This makes so much sense!” Because it is such a tremendous work, I’m glad that deSilva has revised …

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  • Seeking God’s Face—A New HS Book with Practical Reflections
      Jackson Wu and Ryan Jensen have authored a new book, Seeking God’s Face: Practical Reflections on Honor and Shame in Scripture. Many people will enjoy the devotional and challenging content. This post is one of the 101 practical reflections.    When Feeling Ashamed Is Not a Bad Thing Look up to the bare heights, and …

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  • Adding “Guilt” to the Bible
    Translation is difficult work. A major issue in translating texts is that the two languages reflect two different cultures, or ways of looking at reality. So words and concepts do not always translate perfectly across cultures. Translators must make many choices to best reflect the original meaning. However, sometimes one’s own cultural assumptions can find …

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  • Developing Communities with Redefined Honor & Shame
    Mark Baker’s new book, Centered-Set Church: Discipleship and Community without Judgementalism, will be helpful for anyone interested in developing healthy church communities. The problem is that many churches are really good at drawing lines. As a result, some people learn how to be “good Christians” by just following the rules, while others experience shame for …

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  • Defending Shame
    Guest Dr. Te-Li Lau is an Associate Professor of New Testament at TEDS and author of Defending Shame: Its Formative Power in Paul’s Letters (Baker Academic, 2020), from which this post draws. We live in an age where many consider shame to be destructive and harmful. Brené Brown appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday and …

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  • Confronting Lying in HS Cultures
    Ajith Fernando has published a recent article titled “Confronting Lying Biblically in Honour- and Shame-Oriented Cultures” (Evangelical Review of Theology, 2022) This a topic many people struggle to address with truth, wisdom, and love. As he has for decades, Ajith Fernando brings together strong biblical exegesis and insightful missiology. The article can be downloaded for …

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  • John Owen on Salvation from Shame
    The 17th-century English Puritans had an intense commitment to biblical teaching on sin, salvation, and genuine conversion. They brought their attention to both the guilt-innocence and honor-shame themes in Scripture. Just as for the guilty sinner in the hands of an angry God pardon at the cross was an immeasurable treasure, so also for the …

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  • Mercy in Honor-Shame Contexts
    Charles R. Harle (MS, Oregon State University) lived and taught ESL for a year in China then for 18 years worked with colleges and universities in China to recruit, train and place native English speaking ESL teachers. The Oxford Languages Dictionary defines mercy as “compassion or forgiveness shown to toward someone when it is within …

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  • Hospitality: The Theological Meaning
    Hospitality—the welcome and provision of guests and strangers—was important in the ancient world. It remains an important aspect of honor-shame cultures. The previous post explained what hospitality accomplishes at a social level. This post introduces the NT teaching on hospitality.  The NT instructs believers to be hospitable. The action is commanded by three different authors. …

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  • Hospitality: The Social Meaning
    Hospitality is a significant aspect of honor-shame cultures. Many people know this through personal experience. When you visit someone from a Majority World culture, you receive a lavish and generous welcome. Besides the quality of hospitality, the quantity is also significant. People visit each other regularly, and “just sitting for tea” is common. This post …

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