This article, co-authored with Jackson Wu, was originally posted at Christianity Today on Ed Stetzer’s blog (Feb 16). Shame is getting exposed, finally. Commentators now observe how Western culture, especially the millennial generation, is becoming more shame-prone. Consequently, more Westerners are …

Exposing the Truth about Honor and Shame: The 4 Dimensions Christians Must Understand Read more »

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Anselm’s satisfaction theory (explanation here) has shaped Western atonement theory. Unfortunately, Anselm’s theology “went wrong” in two ways: (1) Anselm himself overlooked key parts of biblical theology, and (2) then latter theologians misinterpreted Anselm.  Making Anselm More Biblical Anselm’s Cur …

Improving Anselm’s Atonement Theory Read more »

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In terms of honor and shame, how does Christ’s death atone for sin? This question got answered 1,000 years ago by Anselm, a Benedictine monk and archbishop of Canterbury who developed the “satisfaction” atonement theory. Anselm’s work Cur Deus Homo …

Atonement for Honor-Shame Cultures Read more »

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Last year Christian publishers released 4 books titled “Unashamed.” These are Christian efforts to speak to a popular topic in Western culture—the longing to be free of shame and to “be myself.”  While inspiring and encouraging, these books assume the distorted, Western …

Super Duper “Unashamed” 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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The English word “thanksgiving” means food and football. The biblical concept is far different. In honor-shame cultures, the ideology of patronage structures most relationships. This means clients are morally obligated to express thankfulness and gratitude to patrons. The failure to properly reciprocate …

Unthankfulness = Sin. So, Happy Thanksgiving! 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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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 »

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Martin Munyao (Th.M., Daystar Academy of Nairobi) was a pastor and theology teacher in Kenya. He is earning his Ph.D. at Concordia Theological Seminary.How did God use Israel’s cultural dynamics of honor-shame to reveal himself? As an example, we take the …

Honor & Shame in God’s Revelation (1 Kgs 22) Read more »

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What happens during a sacrifice? How do sacrifices work? What was killing an animal in the temple supposed accomplish?Malachi 1:6-2:9 explains the logical underpinning of temple sacrifices. Basically, the priest’s defective sacrifices failed to honor God. The priests’ unclean animals have shown …

How OT Sacrifices Saved Read more »

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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 »

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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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