This month Themelios has a few book reviews you might find interesting.   Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction     For those who want to jump into the deep end of the missiological pool, Michael Wagenman commends Craig Bartholomew’s contribution: In Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction, Craig Bartholomew has now provided an overview of Kuyper’s magisterial world of thought, both in its historical context and potential contemporary application. Bartholomew uses his own South African… Read more

The following comes from a BBC article “How the South Korean language was designed to unify”. Here is an excerpt: “Our husband is also a teacher,” my co-worker told me as she noisily slurped her soup. She was seated beside another colleague, who was slurping hers, too. I was confused. Had I misheard her? Were these women married to the same person? “She’s talking about her husband,” the second co-worker clarified, perhaps noticing my blank stare. “In Korea, we often… Read more

I noticed a man sitting on the sidewalk begging for money. I asked him to lunch. He agreed, but then he asked, “Won’t this cause you to lose face?” Read more

The principle of lex talionis [“eye for eye, tooth for tooth”] is deeply etched on what remains of the Western conscience. Because people do not know the honor-shame dynamics of the ancient world, a problem hangs over how most people understand this biblical principle. Read more

Cru recently released an evangelism tract called “Honor Restored.” This new tool offers people an alternative to The Four Spiritual Laws. For people who live in honor-shame contexts, this presentation will make more sense. You can find the tract on Cru’s evangelism app, GodTools. Download it from Apple’s App store  at Google Play.  So far, Honor Restored is translated into Arabic, Croatian, English, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, and Turkish. It is also in the process of being translated into other languages, including Mandarin. Why I like… Read more

I recently read the memoir Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, published in 1853 by a man kidnapped from the North and forced into slavery for 12 years. A movie of the same name was released a few years ago. On page 89–90, he tells us about his first master, William Ford. His description is breathtaking. I’ve included the passage below, adding a few summary headings to make it easier to follow his eloquent exposition. I’ve italicized a… Read more

I watched The Greatest Showman twice in one week. It is one of the most extraordinary movies I’ve seen in a while (though Wonder deserves mention as well). The second time I saw it, I was overwhelmed by the way honor and shame shape the entire narrative. The Greatest Show of Shame While I’ll try to limit spoilers, I make no promises. The Greatest Showman loosely tells the story of P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman), the founder of history’s… Read more

This most recent issue of ChinaSource Quarterly is dedicated to the topic of contextualization. I had the privilege to be the guest editor for this issue. The articles survey a range of topics relevant to contextualization among Chinese. You’ll want to see these articles! Collectively, these contributors demonstrate the significance of contextualization for China. Whereas conversations on the topic often do not go far enough, these writers illustrate how Chinese Christians understand contextualization how contextualization shapes mission practice in China… Read more

Louis Chew offers helpful insight in his recent article “The Pursuit Of Status: How To Avoid Chasing The Wrong Things.” Seeking “face” can get expensive. Chew writes, As it turns out, Diderot was spot on about how material possessions become intertwined with our identity. The wealthier we get, the more things become a form of self-expression. We no longer buy shirts and shorts for the cloth that covers our skin but also to reflect our tastes and social standing. Geoffrey Miller,… Read more

An article recently came to my attention with a very simple claim. J. Brennan, who serves with the IMB and South Asia, makes this argument: “Seminary education can be a useful means of preparing missionaries, but it’s not a necessary means of doing so.” Brennen’s comments are disturbing for a few reasons. Why? They are unclear and potentially even misleading. What else is “not necessary”? The two keywords that need explanation are “necessary” and “seminary.” Below, I will address the… Read more

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