If you ever sang “Take my Life” in church, you have probably been taught that “ holiness ” refers to a moral condition, a state or moral purity that reflects God’s unique character. Accordingly, you were taught Lev 19:2, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”[1] However, both the Hebrew and the Greek Septuagint of Lev 19:2 use indicative, not imperative, verbs. In other words, you are holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. In… Read more

Section 3 of The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest is called “The Canaanites are not depicted as guilty of breaking God’s Law.” To make that claim, John and Harvey Walton make a few observations and claims that will certainly grab attention. (In this series, click for Part 1, Part 2) “What’chu talkin’ about, Walton?” As I read this book, I imagine some readers echoing Gary Coleman’s line on the 80’s show Diff’rent Strokes, “What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Walton?” This section… Read more

Why did Israel attempt to clear the Canaanites from the promised land? Read more

Although John Walton never shies from controversial topics, his recent book is bold, even by his standards. In The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest (TLWIC), he takes up multiple contentious subjects yet without being cantankerous. It is cowritten with his son, J. Harvey Walton, who was the lead writer. Nevertheless, this latest installment of The Lost World series matches the tone and methodology of his prior works, which I’ve previously reviewed here and formally. Why review this book? The… Read more

Here are a few recent articles about the influence of honor and shame in contemporary China. I’ve included a small snapshot introducing each article. Why are women accused of witchcraft? Study in rural China gives clue (Jan 13, 2018) But a study we conducted of one Chinese region provided an opportunity to test the most common hypothesis – that witchcraft accusations act as punishment for those who do not cooperate with local norms. According to this theory, witch tags mark… Read more

    Credit for Original Picture: Flickr/katerha. Adapted with permission CC 2.0 Read more

Few things are as tragic and ironic as the church’s response to Andy Savage’s sexual assault of Jules Woodson. Read more

Missionaries routinely distinguish training from teaching. This is a problem. This way of framing words is a rhetorical device that subtly misleads us. Read more

Today’s guest post comes from Moyra Dale, who spent over two decades in the Middle East and holds doctorates in education and theology. See her full bio below. It has been good to see further discussion in western journals and books on the subject of shame and honour in the past few years. We welcome the recognition of shame and honour as significant categories, both in the Bible and in contemporary cultures, including western society. US author Brené Brown in… Read more

Many people have the same complaint against Christianity and against theological training. They say the church is full of hypocrites. Or, some say, seminaries produce people full of head knowledge but who don’t obey. This complaint is fundamentally flawed. Knowledge produces hypocrites In any room, the biggest hypocrites always are theologians and pastors. It has always been this way and it will always be so. Why? We can only obey what we know. Someone teaches us something, then we can… Read more

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