BLOG

  • 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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  • The 3D Gospel in 11 Languages!
    The 3D Gospel is now available in 11 different languages. I am grateful for the global interest and eagerness of translators to complete the projects. Most interesting to me is the variety of cover designs. The visual styles reflect how cultures communicate the same idea in different ways. Same words, but different colors and fonts (and …

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  • Paul & and the Power of Grace (Book Review)
    John Barclay’s Paul & the Gift (Eerdmans, 2015) has been widely hailed as “the most important book” in New Testament studies in 40 years. Now, for the benefit of many, Barclay has published an accessible and practical version—Paul & the Power of Grace (Eerdmans, 2020, pp. 159). According to Barclay’s reading of grace in Paul, …

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  • An Update about HonorShame.com
    The tagline for HonorShame.com is “resources for Majority World ministry.” The aim of the website and blog has been to equip people with ideas and resources to better understand the pivotal roles of honor-shame in culture, theology, and ministry. From 2014 through 2020, weekly blogs generated new insights and global conversations about honor and shame. …

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  • “Honor” in the New Testament
    The main New Testament word for honor is timē. The word refers to the value of an object. In material transactions, the word means “price” or “a sum (of money).” For example The tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver (Acts 7:16 NRS). “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie …

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  • “Shame” in the New Testament
    The New Testament uses a variety of words to speak about shame. This post discusses main three roots for shame. This first pie chart shows the various Greek terms behind the word “shame” in the NRSV. The primary NT word for shame is aischuné (αἰσχύνη). The word can mean “ashamed,” “shamed,” and/or “shameful.” These nuances …

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  • Honor-Shame and Relativism: What Evangelicals Don’t Get about Donald Trump
    Guest Dr. Stan Nussbaum is an independent mission coach, researcher, and author. His latest project is SYNC. No culture is pure honor-shame, pure guilt-forgiveness, or pure power-fear. All are mixes and all change over time. American culture is a guilt-forgiveness culture in the process of drifting toward honor-shame. American evangelicals typically perceive the cultural change …

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  • Shame in the Old Testament
    Shame is a hot topic in the Old Testament! To convey the concept of shame, the OT uses at least ten different words over 300 times. With many different words, shame is the proverbial ice in Eskimo culture. Several verses in the Bible pile up the shame words (Psa 31:11; 79:4; Jer 50:2), but Psalm …

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  • Honor in the Old Testament
    “How heavy are you?” In Western contexts, this question can be offensive. But in honor-shame cultures, the very question can be a gesture of respect because their mindset often assumes “weight=honor.” Here are a few examples from Central Asia. The slang word for a man’s gut is “authority.” The word for skinny is “sick,” and …

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  • 7 Problems with Defining “Honor” & “Shame”
    What do the words “honor” and “shame” mean? What is their theological meaning? These questions are surprisingly complex, for the several reasons listed here. This post explains 7 challenges with defining “honor” and “shame.” Honor and shame are invisible. The terms are social constructs, abstract ideas that exist only inside of people (FYI, that does not …

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  • Book: Shame-informed Counselling and Psychotherapy
    Dr. Edmund Ng is the founding president of the Asian Christian Counselors Association. This post stems from his new book Shame-informed Counselling and Psychotherapy: Eastern and Western Perspectives (Routledge, 2020). Whether it is in people-helping or mission outreach, I firmly believe that we need to develop a deeper theological and theoretical understanding of the Christian …

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  • New Evangelism Training Videos (CRU)
    In 2018 CRU released “Honor Restored,“a digital tool designed to help you share the good news of Jesus with friends from honor-shame cultures. Since then, the app has been translated into many languages and used widely. The creators now have developed a series of training videos to help believers better understand honor-shame for evangelistic purposes. …

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  • Advent Devotional: “Honor, Shame, and the First Christmas”
    Cameron D. Armstrong (PhD, Biola University) serves with the International Mission Board in Bucharest, Romania. He is part of the Theological Education team and teaches at the Bucharest Baptist Theological Institute. Cameron and his wife, Jessica, have two children. One way to keep the fires aglow this Christmas is to consider the Christmas story in …

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  • When to Shame? When to Honor?
    When should we honor (or shame) someone? This question is complex and has many facets. However, the book Economies of Esteem (OUP, 2004) offers interesting insight into “esteem equilibrium” (pages 126-29). As an economic theory, their model is descriptive, not prescriptive. However, I think their insight can help us in the areas of moral and …

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  • New Book: Honor, Shame, and the Gospel (WCP)
    William Carey Press has published the new book Honor, Shame, and the Gospel (240 pp.), edited by Chris Flanders and Werner Mischke. This compendium brings together many of the outstanding presentations from our 2017 conference at Wheaton. The book is available in Kindle ($9.99) and paperback formats ($17.99). In Honor, Shame, and the Gospel, over a dozen practitioners …

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  • Jesus’ Purifying Death
    After Jesus died, something strange happened. “The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the holy ones who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many” (Matt 27:52–53). What is the meaning of such an event?   Scholars have pointed to …

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