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 »

Tagged with: , ,

Here is a gospel narrative of salvation-history from a patron-client framework. This short summary summarizes Chapters 7–9 of my book Ministering in Patronage Cultures, where I develop a biblical theology of God, sin, and salvation in light of patronage. Used …

The Gospel According to Patronage: A Summary Read more »

Tagged with: , , , ,

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 »

Tagged with: , ,

For the upcoming Patronage Symposium we developed this document “Patronage—A Quick Definitions Sheet.” Since “What exactly is patronage?” was a common question that people asked in the patronage survey, I figured this resource would be worth sharing more broadly.  Introduction This …

“Patronage”: A Quick Definition Read more »

Tagged with: , ,

The Patronage Symposium will gather people to examine the gospel for patron-client contexts. To learn more, visit www.HonorShame.com/patronage. Here are three related announcements: 1. Registration Ending Soon (Feb 10) The Patronage Symposium will be limited to ~40 people to foster substantive …

The Patronage Symposium: 3 Quick Must-Knows Read more »

Tagged with:

All Bible translations face a problem—the cultural gap between the Bible and contemporary readers. English words evoke Western assumptions and values that are unlike those of biblical writers. The word “grace” (Greek: charis) is a good example of this problem of …

The Problem of “Grace” in English Bibles Read more »

Tagged with: , , , , ,

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.Church …

Honor & Patronage Among Church Leaders Read more »

Tagged with: , , , ,

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 »

Tagged with: , , ,

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 »

Tagged with: , , , ,

Honor and shame is the soil bed in which various cultural traits grow.  In this post I mention eight cultural phenomena embedded in honor-shame values, and explain why those traits are associated with honor-shame.  If you fail to understand the subsurface connection, …

Understanding 8 Traits of HonorShame Cultures Read more »

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,