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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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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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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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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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 …

An Answer for Addiction Read more »

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Recently Doug Coleman asked thoughtful questions about sin in honor-shame terms. Jackson Wu has engaged Coleman’s thoughts on his site (one, two, and three). I greatly appreciate their gracious and constructive tone during this “public conversation,” as they help us understand the nature of …

Thoughts on Sin and Shame Read more »

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