Honor, Shame, and Christian Character (Video)

Home > Understanding the Gospel in Your Own Culture > Honor, Shame, and Christian Character (Video)

If you could snap our fingers to eradicate shame from the world, would you do it? Would it be a better place? This is not as easy and straight-forward a question to answer as you might think.

Consider the ways that honor and shame influence our moral decision. I recently gave a talk at Redemption Tempe (Arizona) that speaks to this issue. It is titled “Honor, Shame, and Christian Character.” It attempts to show a significant and practical application of honor and shame. This post also introduces a series that develops several sections of the talk.

In preparing for the meeting at Redemption Tempe, I had three main goals.

  1. Recognize how honor and shame influence and motivate our lives
  2. Reframe honor and shame as positive tools for forming character
  3. Offer practical suggestions for using shame for godly purposes

The video combines three short talks and is followed by a Q&A session where I’m joined by a clinical psychologist who contributes her own insights concerning shame.

Outline

Here is an outline to help you out as you listen.

I. Living For Honor and From Shame

A. What is shame?

Definition of “shame”?

Three types of shame

B. Shame as a Moral Virtue

A definition of “honor”

Two bases for honor

C. How do we seek to get honor and avoid shame?

D. How do honor and shame motivate moral decisions?

II. Is Shame a Problem or Solution?

Two advantages of shame over guilt

III. Shame as Correction

A. Galatians

B. 1 Corinthians

C. Applications

IV. Shame as Conscience

A. Philippians

B. Philemon

V. Summary and Conclusions

Related Resources

Books

Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes: Honor and Shame in Paul’s Message and Mission (Jackson Wu)

Defending Shame: Its Formative Power in Paul’s Letters (Te-li Lau)

The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (Kwame Appiah)

Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes: Patronage, Honor, and Shame in the Biblical World (Randolph Richards & Richard James)

Articles

Jackson Wu, “Have Theologians No Sense of Shame?: How the Bible Reconciles Objective and Subjective Shame.” Themelios. August 2018.

Saving Us from Me: Cultivating Honor and Shame in a Collectivistic Church” in Honor, Shame, and the Gospel. Edited by Chris Flanders and Werner Mischke. Pasadena, Calif.; WCL, 2020.

Search the Blog

Free Resource

a free gospel discussion guide

We know that many are meeting in homes and small groups while large gatherings remain closed. And so, we want to equip you to grow and share the gospel.

The Promises of God  is a guide to assist you in sharing the gospel or facilitate a discussion with a group.

Get Your Free Guide Now!

Instagram

Categories

You Might Like:

Training Missionaries to Cross Honor-Shame Cultures

Back in October, I published an article in Mission Dei Journal. I’m just not getting an opportunity to let you know about it. The title of the article is “From One Honor-Shame Culture to Another: A Proposal for Training Chinese Missionaries to Serve in Muslim Contexts.” This was probably the most challenging article/book chapter I’ve ever…

Read Now