Guilt-innocence cultures are W.E.I.R.D.—Western, Education, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.In 2010, three cultural psychologists published an article titled “The Weirdest People in the World?” The authors explain that most psychological research in conducted on a small, unrepresentative subset of human population—W.E.I.R.D people.The …

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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 …

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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 …

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Here are 12 claims about honor cultures from Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche (Oxford University Press, 2016) by Ryan Brown, professor of social psychology at the University of Oklahoma.In honor cultures, “men are hyper …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 »

When David slept with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:1-13), why was that sin? David thought nothing was amiss, “but the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh” (2 Sam 11:27). Exactly why was God displeased? Despite common assumptions, the Bible does not portray David’s …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Sam Louie (M.A., Clinical Psychology) is a therapist and speaker near Seattle, WA. He published Asian Shame and Addiction and Asian Honor, and blogs at Psychology Today.As a therapist specializing in shame and addictions within the Asian-American culture, here are 5 …

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Readers enjoyed Colin E. Andrew’s earlier post “5 Rude Things Honor-Shame Cultures Say.” In this post, he turns the tables. Here are 5 “rude” things Westerners say, even when trying to be polite. 1. “My friend!” “Hey Rafshan! This is my …

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