Let’s start with the obvious—patronage has a P.R. problem. For many people, patronage seems like nepotism, corruption, colonialism, and the mafia! The phrase “biblical patronage” sounds like an oxymoron. Although patron-client relationships are often corrupted and broken, I propose that …

How to Make Patronage “Biblical” Read more »

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The Patronage Symposium (October 2018, Beirut) wanted to develop resources for an ongoing conversation on patronage. Along with audio recordings of all the presentations, we are glad to share this visual explanation of patronage. Although the concept of patronage can …

“Patronage”: A Visual Explanation Read more »

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Author and teacher Lois Tvarberg is co-founder of the En-Gedi Resource Center. This post is adapted from her recent book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus  International communications trainer Sarah Lanier has traveled the globe to teach about cultural differences. In …

Biblically, What Is Your ‘Name’? Read more »

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There are many models that explain how global cultures differ. They all simplify reality in different ways. This post shows how the guilt-shame-fear paradigm compares to other well-known cultural models. 1. Hofstede’s 6 Dimensions An organizational anthropologist named Geert Hoftstede …

Guilt-Shame-Fear & Other Cultural Models Read more »

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The post is adapted from chapter #3 of  The Bridge to Racial Unity: Discussion Guide 2.0 from Be the Bridge ministries. A personal awareness of racism and racial injustice can generate uncomfortable feelings of shame and guilt. In America’s individualistic …

Shame and Guilt in Racial Reconciliation Read more »

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As the global Church expands, there is a growing need for money to fund ministry. The Church in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has a vision for global missions, and this vision requires financial resources. Traditional fund-raising models are often …

Raising Support in Honor-Shame Cultures: 5 Tips Read more »

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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 …

Teaching in Honor-Shame Cultures: 5 Must Knows Read more »

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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 …

A Better Definition of Honor-Shame Cultures—”Connection” Read more »

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A great way to acquire wisdom for cross-cultural wisdom is to watch the wise. I’m always amazed by Central Asians who handle problems with cultural savvy—they can influence people in such honoring ways. Unfortunately, Westerners often struggle to navigate thorny issues in …

Giving Indirect Advice (A Folktale) Read more »

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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 …

4 Benefits of Learning about Honor & Shame Read more »

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We all judge other people cultures according to our own cultural values. This is fine when two people share the same culture. But when people from two different cultures interact, using your own culture to judge others can be disastrous. The cultures …

INFOGRAPHIC: How Cultures Clash Read more »

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InterVarsity Press is making Chapter 7 “Relationships” of Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures available as a free PDF download. Feel free to download, read, and share this resource. Mark and I glad to offer this chapter. It includes over 20 case examples from 15 different global …

FREE CHAPTER: 8 Guidelines for Fruitful Relationships Read more »

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For people to understand, you must speak their language. Obvious, huh?But most Westerners ignore this basic rule of communication in their cross-cultural relationships. To meaningfully communicate love and honor to people, we must use the cultural “grammar” of honor-shame in …

6 Keys for Relationships in Honor-Shame Cultures Read more »

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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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