Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials, By Jayson Georges and Mark D. Baker
Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures
  • Length: 295 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: September 01, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5146
  • ISBN: 9780830851461

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Many a Westerner has had a cross-cultural experience of honor and shame. First there are those stuttering moments in the new social landscape. Then after missed cues and social bruises comes the revelation that this culture—indeed much of the world—runs on an honor-shame operating system. When Western individualism and its introspective conscience fails to engage cultural gears, how can we shift and navigate this alternate code? And might we even learn to see and speak the gospel differently if we did?

In Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures Jayson Georges and Mark Baker help us decode the cultural script of honor and shame. What's more, they assist us in reading the Bible anew through the lens of honor and shame, often with startling turns. And they offer thoughtful and practical guidance in ministry within honor-shame contexts. Apt stories, illuminating insights and ministry-tested wisdom complete this well-rounded guide to Christian ministry in honor-shame cultures.

"Georges and Baker have taken the seeds of previous work on honor and shame in the environment of the biblical world and in modern cultures and cultivated them into fruitful insights and guidance in the areas of theology, crosscultural engagement and, especially, missions. They provide a culturally sensitive reading of Scripture and of modern non-Western situations, significantly advancing the question of how awareness of this dimension of the texts and our global community can improve our interactions with people living from a decidedly different axis of values and in our thinking about the contextualization of the gospel."

David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary, Trustees' Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek

"What Georges and Baker have done in this wonderfully helpful volume is unprecedented. They have plumbed the depths of current scholarly discussions on honor and shame from multiple sources (biblical studies, theology, anthropology, and intercultural studies) and have made such information wonderfully accessible for the practitioner. Intelligent, informed, and culturally perceptive, this resource will impact the theory and practice of missionaries and local leaders in unprecedented ways. Throughout, the writing is critical yet engaging. The appendixes ("Key Scriptures on Honor-Shame" and "Biblical Stories Addressing Honor-Shame") will prove to be exceptionally helpful resources. Those working in the global world of today must read this book. To not do so would be a true shame!"

Christopher Flanders, Abilene Christian University

"I was so glad for this book to stretch my heart and mind. Baker and Georges gave me new tools and hope for ministry, not just in a Majority World context, but in Western contexts that are increasingly both secular and globalized. Their experiences and thoughtfulness as missionaries give particular power to their call for us to love and care for people in 'old' ways."

Mako Nagasawa, director, New Humanity Institute

"An exceptional book on this timeless worldview and timely topic. The authors interweave real life stories to help us rediscover a biblical worldview and see how to apply the living Word of God today."

Samuel E. Chiang, president and CEO, Seed Company

"Although Jayson Georges has written on the important topic of honor-shame in the past, this book, coauthored with Mark Baker, takes an understanding of honor-shame dynamics to another level. Every message bearer working in non-Western cultures needs to read and apply the insights and principles of this book if they are to avoid the typical cultural blunders too often committed by too many. Within are crucial insights for effective crosscultural ministry."

Marvin J. Newell, senior VP, Missio Nexus, author of Crossing Cultures in Scripture

"Building responsibly on biblical and anthropological foundations for understanding honor and shame cultures, the authors offer practical reflections on how to engage honor-shame societies in the work of intercultural mission. This book will especially be of help to Christian workers from the West serving among Majority World peoples."

Edward L. Smither, dean, associate professor of intercultural studies, director, Zwemer Center, College of Intercultural Studies, Columbia International University

"We can learn so much from failure if we want to, and the authors share here their failures and successes in working among societies where honor-shame values operate rather than those of guilt-innocence. Their plea is that we read the Bible with fresh eyes, seeing how the gospel was communicated in the honor-shame cultures in which it was written, rather than using the contextualized guilt-innocence paradigm we have accepted as the only way to minister. The text is full of examples that help the reader understand how differently honor-shame codes play out in the understanding of salvation and discipleship. It is a healthy shift for Western missionaries to rethink their evangelism strategies, especially in the collectivist societies in which many of them work. Sherwood and I strongly recommend this book to people trying to understand a way of structuring the world that is very different from the one in which they grew up."

Judith Lingenfelter, professor emerita, School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University

"Anyone from a guilt-innocence culture who would like to interact positively with people from an honor-shame culture would be well served to read, study, and implement many of the suggestions from Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures. This is the type of work that a cross-cultural worker will want to own and consult again and again throughout their ministries."

Ann Plantinga Kapteyn, Calvin Theological Journal, 52.2


1. A World of Shame

Part I: Cultural Anthropology
2. The Heart of Honor-Shame Cultures
3. The Face of Honor-Shame Cultures

Part II: Biblical Theology
4. Old Testament
5. Jesus

Part III: Practical Ministry
6. Spirituality
7. Relationships
8. Evangelism
9. Conversion
10. Ethics
11. Community

Appendix 1: Key Scriptures on Honor-Shame
Appendix 2: Biblical Stories Addressing Honor-Shame
Appendix 3: Recommended Resources
Name and Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Jayson Georges

Jayson Georges (MDiv, Talbot) has served crossculturally for over fifteen years in Central Asia, a refugee community in the United States, and now in the Middle East. He is the coauthor of Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures and the author of The 3D Gospel and The Honor-Shame Paraphrase series. Georges has taught about honor-shame and patronage around the world and is the founding editor of

Mark D. Baker

Mark D. Baker (PhD, Duke University) is professor of mission and theology at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California. He served as a missionary in Honduras for ten years and has written a number of books, including Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures (with Jayson Georges) and Recovering the Scandal of the Cross (with Joel B. Green).