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 …

5 Lessons I Learned From Being a Terrible Patron Read more »

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 …

How Trump Thinks Like Jesus Read more »

“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, …

Honor-Shame Devotional Video (2-min) Read more »

The Problem with “Self-Righteousness”The term “self-righteous” is not a biblical term. Yes, the Bible does speak about a type of righteousness that is not of God, but the nature of this false-righteousness is rather different than commonly assumed.Romans 10:3 speaks about this …

How Self-Righteous Judaizers Boasted Read more »

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 …

How Honor-Shame Cultures Confess Sins Read more »

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, …

Making Peace like Jesus, not Germany Read more »

In this Gospel Coalition video, Tim Keller offers some reflections about the role of shame in evangelism.I’m obviously delighted that Keller and TGC discuss honor-shame cultures in their gospel conversation. And Keller and the other folks at TGC are brilliant guys doing great work, for which …

Tim Keller & TGC Video on Shame Read more »

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 …

To Be, or Not To Be … a Patron? Read more »

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. How can the gospel change people in honor-shame cultures?Remember, the gospel is not a tool for just making converts out …

A Gospel That Changes Read more »

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 …

Resolving Conflict…Without Shaming Read more »

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. Honor-shame cultures share something in common with wine. They both have terroir—a unique flavor depending on the context. Honor …

The Different Faces of Honor-Shame Cultures Read more »

I’m thrilled to share this wonderful infographic “Culture’s Color, God’s Light” from Global Mapping International. The professional map below visualizes the 8,500+ global results from www.TheCultureTest.com to show which countries are guilt, shame, or fear.     A minimum threshold of 4 respondents was required …

A Global Map of Culture Types Read more »