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. …

Honor & Patronage Among Church Leaders Read more »

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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, …

3 Tips for Evangelism in Honor-Shame Cultures Read more »

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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 …

New Book: Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures (IVP) Read more »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 …

An Answer for Addiction Read more »

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Last month, I heard this story from Bob Lupton, founder of Focus Community Strategies and author of Toxic Charity. Their ministry adopted a “Toys for Tots” drive during the holidays. Churches would gather presents, then bring them to people in …

How to Give Aid…Without Shaming Read more »

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Our previous post introduced the idea of restorative justice. Here are three applications of restorative justice. 1-Cross-Cultural Relationships Here is a common scenario Western missionaries face: When I confronted a national believer over the problem of _________, he felt shamed and …

3 Ways To Apply Restorative Justice Read more »

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Violence is inseparably linked with dishonor and shame. To better understand these deadly partners, here are two learning resources—a book and a Missio Nexus webinar. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic (1996) has become a modern classic in sociology. The …

Shame & Violence: Deadly Partners Read more »

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Series: “Putting Honor into Action” This short video  “Because Who Is Perfect?” from Pro Infirmus is an inspiring example of relationally and non-verbally proclaiming God’s counter-cultural honor. They feature and promote the inherent dignity of people. I believe this project beautifully testifies …

Because Who is Perfect? (video) Read more »

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Christian mission mediates God’s honor into the world. The church is the very means by which people experience and understand the glory of God. We are God’s instrument for overcoming shame. Communicating God’s honor happens relationally, not just verbally. How …

Putting Honor Into Action Read more »

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This “Field Guide” (at www.ZwemerCenter.com) explains 9 must-knows for ministry in honor-shame societies, especially Muslim contexts. Muslims live (and die) for honor. Guilt and shame are two different cultural/moral systems. Shame is not just an Arab or Asian characteristic. The Bible is …

9 Must-Knows for Muslim Ministry Read more »

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How is Jesus’ death good news for Muslims? Ten years ago this month EMQ published my article, “A Muslim Theology of Jesus’ Birth and Death.” Though it was well before I began thinking in “honor-shame” terms, I was surprised to see how much my ideas were already …

Jesus’ Death, for Muslims Read more »

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Ancestors play in a familiar role in African society and religion. Some African theologians have used the category of ancestor to develop an “ancestral Christology.” The notion of Jesus as an ancestor, or brother-ancestor, seems worth exploring as a potential example of …

Is Jesus an “Honored Ancestor” for Africans? Read more »

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