What do the words “honor” and “shame” mean? What is their theological meaning? These questions are surprisingly complex, for the several reasons listed here. This post explains 7 challenges with defining “honor” and “shame.” Honor and shame are invisible. The terms …

7 Problems with Defining “Honor” & “Shame” Read more »

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People often voice the concern that reducing cultures down to “guilt,” “shame,” or “fear” is oversimplifying reality—“Aren’t cultures a combination of these factors?” Most certainly. Cultures are too complex to be isolated into just three boxes. These are not three …

3 In 1: Integrating Guilt, Shame, and Fear 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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Newsweek published the article “Grab and Run: Kyrgyzstan’s Bride’s Knapping” by photojournalist Noriko Hayashi-Panos (Nov 4, 2013). The images capture the sentiments and power of shame.  Bride knapping occurs primarily in rural areas, often when young men are too impoverished …

The Face of Shame in Brideknapping 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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“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, …

Honor-Shame Devotional Video (2-min) 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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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 …

How David Sinned with Bathsheba Read more »

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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. Have you heard (or personally experienced) this story before?  Once upon a time…a national Christian worked for a Western ministry …

Resolving Conflict…Without Shaming 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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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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Zech Hogan, a student from my class at Eternity Bible College, developed this 3-minute video about Jesus’ healing of the bleeding woman. Zech offers a great example of “Honor Christology.” For being a short video, it is quite amazing. I appreciate his creative and impactful …

Jesus’ Miraculous Healing Honor Read more »

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