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

April 4, 2018

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

March 29, 2018

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

March 28, 2018

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

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