May 16, 2018

  Here are a few phrases I’ve grown tired of.   China is so “Western” now. X-city isn’t “real China.” I feel like I don’t live in China anymore. Why do people lament like this? What exactly do they call “Western”? Who are you calling “Western”? Time and again, they refer to various technological advances and conveniences found all around China. Everyone and their clothed dogs own a cell phone, maybe two. Buildings exceeding 20, 30, even 40 floors are… Read more

May 9, 2018

When we silence or cover scandalous actions and speech “under the blanket,” we only fool ourselves. In reality, we are not showing love. It is not loving to permit or tacitly approve when men objectify women or misuse their power. Read more

May 8, 2018

Still don’t understand ancient patronage systems? Well, now you can thank Donald Trump. His presidency helps us better see what ancient patronage looked like. Read more

May 3, 2018

A student working with Muslims wanted to develop a story that takes honor and shame seriously. As a motif, he explored the link between clothing and honor-shame. After verbally sketching several passages that use clothing in this way, I encouraged him to try it out. Here is what his group came up with. Read more

April 30, 2018

It kills me when well-intended pastors like Andy Stanley unwittingly do damage to the church because they do not give more careful thought to their words. In our age of YouTube and social media, his remarks gain traction among missionaries. And that’s why we can’t overlook the significant problems with his comments. Read more

April 27, 2018

Guilty of jaywalking? You should be ashamed of yourself, says the Chinese government. When tempted to think honor and shame are theoretical issues, or if you begin to think Chinese are becoming “western”, then keep this story in mind. Read more

April 26, 2018

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

April 25, 2018

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

April 18, 2018

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

April 11, 2018

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

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