In a previous post I raised a question about the honor/shame paradigm. Jackson Wu was kind enough to respond with some helpful thoughts. Below are some follow up comments.
Let me say again that my purpose in raising these questions is not to object to the use of honor/shame language or to defend a guilt/innocence paradigm. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have benefited from understanding more of this over the years. Part of my motivation is to work out my own ideas and questions in conversation with brothers and sisters who have spent significant time thinking about this topic. Perhaps the public conversation will help others as well.
The Core Problem?
Jackson states that “dishonor is the core problem that makes sin the evil it is.” While I wouldn’t necessarily attempt to reduce this to one particular factor, at the same time I don’t object. Paul perhaps uses “dishonor” as an umbrella term in Rom. 1:21. However, this still leaves a critical question undefined: How do we know if we have dishonored God? At a very practical level, what does it mean to dishonor God? By what standard is that determined?
Jackson writes, “Conceivably, someone could think of a way of dishonoring a king that does not direct break a stated law.” Theoretically I suppose this is true, but biblically speaking is this actually true when it comes to God (not in reference to a human being)? Is every conceivable sin specıfıcally codified in the Bible (not just the Mosaic Law)? I don’t know. I’ve never attempted to list every conceivable sin and search the Bible for a specific prohibition against it. But I’m not sure that’s necessary in order to be able biblically to define ways in which we dishonor God. Continue Reading