The Idol’s Temple and the Insider Movement Paradigm

Doug Coleman 1 Corinthians 8-10, Cross Cultural Ministry, Insider Movement, Missiology Leave a Comment

idoltempleI previously mentioned Kevin Higgins’ article on 1 Corinthians 8-10. My article on this passage has now been published in the latest edition of Global Missiology. You can read it online here. My article is not a response to Higgins per se, as I had planned to published the article before I saw Higgins’. However, I do interact with some of Higgins’ comments.

I think this is a critically important text for the Insider Movement paradigm and for cross-cultural missionaries in general. My article focuses not on the question of eating meat sacrificed to idols, but particularly on the question of whether followers of Jesus can legitimately continue to participate in explicitly religious activities that are part of non-Christian religions.

As always, comments and feedback are welcome.

Doug ColemanThe Idol’s Temple and the Insider Movement Paradigm

Some Further Thoughts on Sin, Honor, and Shame

Doug Coleman Cross Cultural Ministry, Missiology Leave a Comment

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

Doug ColemanSome Further Thoughts on Sin, Honor, and Shame

A Sincere Question about Honor and Shame

Doug Coleman Cross Cultural Ministry, Missiology 6 Comments

The concept of honor/shame, and its implications for ministry have gained increasing attention in recent years. Jayson Georges explains the concept via the web site. Jackson Wu wrote his PhD dissertation on the concept and has published a number of articles on the topic. This past week, Ed Stetzer shared several guests posts on his blog looking at honor and shame. (The third post is here, with links to the other two.)

I was first exposed to the concepts of guilt/innocence, fear/power, and honor/shame years ago. These have been helpful in my own life and ministry in a number of ways. Anthropologically, it helps me understand some of the motivations and actions of the people to whom I am ministering. I’ve also been helped to pay closer attention to biblical language regarding honor and shame. And I’ve been helped to see the gospel and its implications in a broader way, and think about how that might speak to cultures in which honor and shame is a dominant paradigm.

While I’ve have spent some time thinking about this topic over the years, I can’t say that I’ve arrived at firm conclusions on some of the related issues. So this post is not intended as a criticism or critique, but a sincere question for brothers teaching on the honor/shame paradigm. Continue Reading

Doug ColemanA Sincere Question about Honor and Shame

Is ISIS Really Islamic…and does it Matter?

Doug Coleman Islam, Missiology 4 Comments

Recently a debate has developed around the question of whether the terrorist group ISIS is really Islamic. Part of this has been stirred by President Obama’s denial that ISIS are “religious leaders,” and his unwillingness to call them Islamic. A lengthy piece just published in The Atlantic suggests that ISIS does indeed have a legitimate claim to the Islamic label, a label they clearly intend to own, and even want to monopolize. Others have contested the Atlantic article, while some high ranking Islamic groups have strongly denounced ISIS–or at least its actions–as un-Islamic. Still others, based on survey data, express alarm at the rising support for radical groups. And still others suggest support is not really all that high.

Why all the debate? Continue Reading

Doug ColemanIs ISIS Really Islamic…and does it Matter?