Atonement for sin is significant in the Gospel, but Scripture places at least as much emphasis on God’s plan for removing our shame and restoring the honor Adam and Eve lost when they dishonored God by disobeying him.
“Death is preferable to shame,” summarizes the worldview of many peoples. For 65% of the world (90% of the unreached), God’s plan for restoring their honor by taking their shame upon Himself means much more than paying for their guilt
And for most of the world’s peoples, shame is a deeper issue than guilt.
Shame has far more negative effects on people than guilt. Shame motivates people to “hide, escape, or strike back”; in striking contrast, guilt motivates people to “confess, apologize, or repair.” Could it be that the cure for guilt is not nearly as urgent and transformative as the cure for shame? Could it be, that when God’s Word is taught with a focus on guilt while ignoring shame, Christians are—by omission—withholding that which most deeply heals the human soul?
— About The Father’s Love Booklet, point 9
Grab these offers
- I helped prepare the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Mission Frontiers on this important theme of honor and shame. In our Special Offers section, Mission Network has arranged to make a limited supply of extra copies available on a donation basis to those who can make good ministry use of them.
- In our Special Offers section, Mission Network has also arranged a 20% discount ($5) on Werner Mischke’s groundbreaking book The Global Gospel.
If you have learned something that could help others regarding how the Gospel addresses honor and shame, please let me know. Thanks!
Here is a quick list of resources:
- 4-minute “honor/shame” video presentation of the Gospel.
- Honor/shame gospel presentation of the Prodigal Son.
- blog on honor/shame topics.
Note especially the brief Five Keys for Relationships in Honor/Shame Contexts.
- list of honor/shame resources.
- The importance of cultural standards in restoring relationships
Key books on this topic:
- Honor & Shame: Unlocking the Door by Roland Muller (2001)
- Saving God’s Face by Jackson Wu (2013)
- The 3D Gospel by Jayson Georges (2014)
- The Global Gospel by Werner Mischke (2015)