The 10 Topics Readers Want

Your responses to the 77-second survey was tremendously helpful. Thank you!

Since over 300 people responded, I selected two respondents to win a copy of Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures. Congrats to Ken B. and Beth P!

The Top 10 Topics Readers Want

Here are the topics you want to see addressed, ranked in order of mentions. I share this list for two reasons.

  1. One in 6 people said they were considering writing guest posts. So if you have helpful reflections on any of these issues, let me know.
  2. Some of the topics have been addressed a bit, so I offer a few ideas and links where appropriate.

1. Honor-Shame in the West (29 people). This topic was requested by an overwhelming margin. One, how to reach HS subcultures within a broader guilt-innocence culture? And two, how to understand HS in youth/millennial culture?

From the survey, 68% of readers live in Western context and 69% live in their own passport culture. This fact surprised me (I assumed all ya’ll lived overseas), but explains this interest. Hopefully we can address Western shame more.

See Crouch’s cover story at CT. Brene Brown’s work is helpful for diagnosing the problem of Western shame:

2. The Specific Varieties of Honor-Shame (10). The specific nature of honor-shame in various countries (Japan, Mexico, etc.), religions (Islam, Buddhism, etc.) and specific cultural issues.

See Kinds of HS Cultures and the various Culture Profiles. If you have lived in a particular HS culture for 7+ years or researched HS in that culture, email me about writing a Culture Profile for that country.

3. International Students/Refugees/Diaspora (9). How to best understand, bless, and reach people from an HS context immigrating into the West? (This is the ministry focus of many subscribers of

There’s one post on Diaspora, but there should be more. Like evangelism, this is an important, practical area I’d like to address more (that’s an invitation!).

4. Relationship of Honor-Shame to other Culture Types (9). How does guilt-innocence intersect with and relate to honor-shame in America? Globally, how does fear-power and honor-shame intersect?

See One Gospel for Guilt, Shame, and Fear. The story of Paul in Ephesus (Acts 19) is an interesting example of all three coming together.

5. Peacemaking/Conflict Resolution/ Forgiveness/Not Offending (8) How do you do it in face-saving contexts? . . . especially when the language of forgiveness is not present in the culture?

See posts: Restorative Justice, Dignity Resolves Conflict, and How to Broach Shame.

6. Explaining Honor-Shame to Westerners (6). How can we help Western supporters, PSA-proponents, and monoculturals get the idea of honor-shame?

I find that people who have lived cross-culturally are far more receptive to honor-shame. They desire help for interpreting their cultural dissonance and tensions, whereas people who never encounter other cultures don’t feel a need to understand honor-shame. I explain the concepts to them, but they believe it is some cute trick for Muslim evangelism, not a core theological or hermeneutical concept they need to understand. At times I doubt whether a Western person who has never significantly worked cross-culturally has sufficient experience or desire to engage the concept. I don’t say this critically, but in a trouble-shooting manner, asking the question: What keeps people from grasping the idea?

7. Fear-Power (6). Missiologists have been addressing this issue for 30+ years.

Here are some resources, academic and practical. I don’t plan to address this much at, but you can start!

8. HS in Scripture (5). HS in general, specific Bible stories, and Romans.

Here is a list of past posts. But yes, there is much more work to be done here, especially in the area of theology.

9. Evangelism/Proclaiming the Gospel (4). How do you do it? Practical tools, tips, and ideas for honor-shame cultures. Yes, a topic that needs more attention.

See Relational Metaphors.

10. Patronage (4). All the “p-word,” everybody’s favorite! Some ideas are in this document. Lately I’ve been thinking about a “biblical missiology of patronage,” but not sure what form those ideas will take. Stay tuned.


Thanks again for your feedback. Now I’m socially indebted to you!

resources for Majority World ministry

2 Comments on “The 10 Topics Readers Want

  1. After working with ex gang members for 9 years, I can say that with gang culture, inner city areas which are commonly called the hood…honor/shame which they would call respect/disrespect…these are of huge impotance to them. Sharing the profound disrespect that Adanm and Eve showed to God, really hits a chord within them. They readily recognize that showing disrespect is cause for the other person to seriously beat you up or shoot you. They understand that the person who did the disrespecting is obligated to fix the fractured relationship. Then they begin see how Jesus fixed the sitation that they are not able to fix, by taking the rap for us, restoring respect to the Father, and covering our shame, bringing us into a tight relationship with Him.

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