February 27, 2019

Chris Flanders gave a game-changing presentation on the role of guilt and shame in evangelism at the 2018 conference of the Evangelical Missiological Society. Here’s why. According to Christian “common sense,” successful evangelism must satisfy an important requirement. It must evoke a sense of guilt in the minds of hearers. This message abounds in missionary literature, which emphasizes the importance of guilt through the study called “elenctics.” Are we guilty of defining “elenctics” wrong? This strange sounding word stems from… Read more

February 20, 2019

Imposter syndrome is the belief that you’re “an inadequate and incompetent failure, despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful.” You fear being exposed as the fraud you are (or at least think you are). Imposter syndrome affects countless people in a wide range of ways. Our job might be the most common area we might experience imposter syndrome. We think, “How in the world did I get this job, promotion, or praise from my supervisor? If they really… Read more

February 13, 2019

Three untruths have coddled the American missionary mind. I summarized them in my previous post. The Untruth of Fragility: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always trust your feelings The Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life is a battle between good people and evil people. These untruths are the focus of Haidt and Lukianoff’s The Coddling of the American Mind (which is the most important book I read from 2018). In this post, we apply them… Read more

February 6, 2019

The most significant, insightful, and provocative book of 2018, in my opinion, was The Coddling of the American Mind (by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff). I’m far from the first person to make that claim. However, fewer people have identified ways that the book’s key ideas might impact the church and especially missionaries. This post prepares us to do just that. The book expands on the authors’ article originally published in The Atlantic. I cannot write a summary that could possibly… Read more

January 30, 2019

Our family was engrossed in a family night movie when I barely hear my daughter’s soft voice ask, “What’s a n***er?” A part of me would rather have the s*x talk. But that’s not my wife and I signed up for when we adopted her years ago. Read more

January 23, 2019

It’s good to see people thinking about the relationship between grade and honor. Because of the way early Christians understood grace, they adapted honor codes from the ancient Greco-Roman world in ways that are insightful for the contemporary church. Read more

January 16, 2019

Not only does this video show the power of reputation and perceived honor (within the marketplace), it also shows the limits of achieved honor. That is, an individual or company can do something worthy of honor but not get it. Why? The lack of “ascribed honor” acts as an inherent check. Read more

January 10, 2019

Today, I received the proofs for my forthcoming book with IVP. It’s titled Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes: Honor and Shame in Paul’s Message and Mission. I thought I’d share the cover with you. You get a discount if you pre-order it on Amazon or on the book’s IVP page. Contrary to what Amazon says, it’s expected to come out in May. Here is the description on the back cover: What does it mean to “read with Eastern eyes”? According… Read more

January 9, 2019

Countless models attempt to present the biblical narrative in a coherent way but usually “systematize” the grand Story, not reflect the Bible’s inherent plot structure. What are the basic literary contours of the grand biblical narrative? What do we learn when we prioritize those fundamental movements in the Story? Read more

January 3, 2019

You shouldn’t try to be my friend; rather, you should treat me like a beggar because that’s what I am,” said my friend, whom I met on the street a few weeks earlier. He explained how our previous lunch was a burden to him. He felt a natural obligation to treat me to lunch the next time. Unfortunately,… Read more

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