I’ve been working since February on a book concerning honor and shame in cross-cultural ministry. The unfinished book is now going out for initial reviews. Three sections are done; one section to go. The fourth section will address a wide range of practical implications for cross-cultural ministry. My goal is that it will be completed some time in the first quarter of 2014.
If you decide to preview the manuscript, please keep a few things in mind. First of all, the manuscript is not without errors. I’m sure you’ll discover some typos. That’s okay. I am not looking for corrections of errors in spelling or grammar, but feel free to share them if you want to. We have a company waiting in the wings which does professional editing and proofing. They will do that later.
I am seeking your insights and asking if the book is useful and helpful. I hope you will have a lot of “ah-ha” moments. If you do, I’d like to hear about that.
I would also like to hear if you disagree with something. Maybe you’ll see a point I am making that does not jive with your perspective or maybe it just seems unclear or inappropriate somehow. I would definitely like to hear about that.
Here is what I believe you’ll gain from this book:
- Why shame is such a pathology in our world, and why the church is largely unprepared to deal with it.
- The many ways that God’s Word reveals that our shame is covered and our honor restored through Jesus Christ.
- How the honor/shame dynamics in Scripture can be a vital key for ministry among unreached and unengaged peoples.
- One basic reason why people from Western and Eastern cultures are so different.
- More than 70 diagrams, charts and graphics to make complex things easier to see and understand.
- Why guilt is more likely to lead to healing behavior, whereas shame is more likely to lead to hurtful behavior.
- Why so much violence in some honor/shame cultures?
- Theological blind spots—where they come from, and what I believe is the most serious one.
- Why, if you’re a Westerner, the Bible is not your book!—culturally speaking.
- References and citations to more than 70 scholars—many of them PhDs.
Nine basic dynamics of honor and shame that are present in honor/shame societies and in the Bible—to help you makes sense of what the Bible says.
- One major motif of Scripture (related to honor/shame) which ties together the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
- How a “conversation within Scripture” can stimulate fresh ways of thinking about the gospel of Jesus.
- What is the “gospel of the kingdom?”
- Innovative ways rooted in Scripture to articulate the gospel of Jesus Christ—using the “thought forms” of honor and shame.
Friends, my word count on this book right now is about 106,00. That will make this about a 300-page book, so far. So it’s not exactly light reading. But I think you will find it well worth your while.