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4.8 out of 5 stars
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The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures
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on June 15, 2016
As an online missionary with Global Media Outreach, I am the fortunate recipient of a wonderful education in cultures around the world. Recently GMO pointed me to a book about the way cultural teachings about right and wrong are shaped by various other cultural norms. In the West, for example, we are brought up to believe that law embodies right and that lawlessness is evil run rampant. Each person stands on his own before the judge, and each is responsible to comply with the law in his own strength of character. This cultural model affects the way we understand the gospel, too. For us, the story of sin and salvation works out in our individual lives, placing each of us alone before God to deal with our individual sin for our individual salvation.
Until I read The 3D Gospel, I did not realize that the gospel could be understood any other way. I would have said, and I would have been very sure that I was right, that this is how God sees it. In the past, exposure to other cultural patterns before I read 3D Gospel led me to believe that other cultures needed to “grow up” and see it our way.
The author of The 3D Gospel makes it very clear that our understanding that the Bible is for everyone is absolutely true. Cultures in which the individual has an overarching responsibility to avoid bringing shame to the family, the local community, or the tribe are known to God, and they are loved. God did not forget them when he inspired the language of the Bible. God also lovingly integrated into Scripture language that resonates with cultures who fear the spirit realm and have developed their communal deportment to manipulate spiritual power. The Bible, in fact, embodies all three of the cultural views of right and wrong that shape cultures around the world. I was already familiar with stories and Bible verses that address the way each form of culture receives the good news about Jesus, but when I heard those words in the past, my mind immediately translated each story and each verse into my own cultural worldview.
The notion that people from the USA feel a need to educate people in other cultures to think the way we think is one of the most reviled images of America. That attitude is at the root of rejection of Americans and American ideas. It is an attitude unbecoming to someone who wants to share Jesus, the light of the world, with people who live in darkness. Many people around the world speak and write English with great skill. For that reason it is easy for us to wrongly believe that we all think alike. We don’t. The 3D Gospel is a good introduction for any person who loves people and wants to tell everyone about Jesus.
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on April 14, 2015
Many have seen this book as primarily a missiology book about how to communicate the Gospel in non-Western cultures. I am recommending it for it's helpfulness to Westerners and ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL. Many evangelicals see the gospel too exclusively through the understanding of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA).

Although I have some quibbles with some elements of PSA, I affirm the strong scriptural basis for most of that understanding of the Gospel, but not as the only understanding or the most primary understanding of the Gospel. Several other authors, especially those working in non-Western cultures, have observed that PSA tends to be much less compelling of an understanding in those cultures than other presentations, such as the Satisfaction Theory of St. Anselm or Christus Victor. SOME OF THESE NON-PSA UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE GOSPEL HAVE SURPRISINGLY STRONG SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT, for those of us who take our PSA goggles off and look with greater openness at the scriptural data. This book is an easy, concise way to look at the gospel in its more multi-faceted completeness. It is apparent that the Gospel is more broadly relevant to cultures and human needs than a PSA-proscribed mindset tends to be. I keep thinking, "How did I miss all of these other truths about the Atonement and the Gospel?" I'd been suffering from an eclipse of the Gospel by PSA, despite my decades of studying the Bible!

In the back of my Bible on my page of my notes for presenting the Gospel I have written this reminder: "Jesus is the answer/cure for...
--guilt
--shame
--weakness
--meaninglessness
--badness/sinfulness
--pride
--foolishness"

It's true that people have a guilt problem needing forgiveness, even if they might at a point in time be more concerned about their shame or by the seeming meaninglessness of their lives. God cares about bringing solutions to all of these other needs through the Gospel too. He has provided through the gospel much more than forgiveness. All of the various "God-shaped vacuum" needs of unbelievers are rightly used by God to draw precious people to Himself. For believers, we too need the Full Gospel of Jesus Christ to touch every need we have.
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on April 2, 2015
This book is an excellent introduction and primer on the "3 cultures" model. It is the best short treatment I've read. It helps us to understand why people in countries around the world say and do things that we often misunderstand - and it applies to any context: commercial, political, religious, etc., The focus of the text is, of course, the application of the principles to Christian evangelism and mission, but if you don't understand the culture at large then you'll likely be frustrated in cross-cultural religious work.

For those unaware of it, the "3 cultures" model describes human societies as operating on the basis of maximizing (building up) the first and minimizing (or reducing) the second of the following values:
- Innocence/Guilt (predominantly seen in what we today call "Western" cultures);
- Honor/Shame (predominantly seen in what we consider "Eastern" or Asian cultures); and
- Power/Fear (predominantly seen in tribal cultures.
No culture is purely of one type, however, and although the text is brief, it gives enough examples to understand both the general cultures and common exceptions within them.

Of great value for evangelism and missions are the two sections:
- one lists various traits/values that are taught in Scripture and relate especially to one or the other of the 3 culture models; and
- the other presents the essential Gospel story in a suitable form for each of the culture models.

I think this is the best low-cost presentation of the model, that has both theory and practice.
16 people found this helpful
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on October 6, 2016
The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame and Fear Cultures, is a very insightful book, particularly for people in the West who have traditionally communicated the Gospel theologically through the understanding of guilt, sin, and propitiation. Georges’ book describes how to communicate salvation to people in shame-honor cultures and fear-power cultures. He compares each of these three approaches to salvation as the whole gospel that is then relevant for the whole world. He says, “In the Bible, God speaks to the primary heart desires of all cultures—innocence, honor, and power. The Gospel is truly a multi-faceted diamond capable of rescuing humanity from all aspects of sin” (” (Jayson Georges, The 3D Gospel, Time Press 2016, p. 55). For westerners, his explanation of salvation from a shame-honor perspective is worth the cost of the book. A very valuable resource.
Dr. M.L. Codman-Wilson, Ph.D. 10/6/2016
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on April 15, 2016
If you want to be more effective in sharing your faith, especially cross-culturally, you will want to read this book. It gave me new insight into why many people accept Christ as Savior, but then default to cultural practices.

The book is only 80 pages long, so it is a quick read. However, the principles discussed in "3D Gospel" opened up several new arenas of thinking for me. The core concepts are simple, but the implications for ministry are absolutely profound.

Applying these understandings will make the difference between making statistical converts and making lifelong disciples. Your message will have a greater impact because it will resonate at a deeper level with more listeners.
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on July 7, 2018
We, in the West, grow up in the Church that is wholly dedicated to the guilt-innocence gospel. Sadly, in all my years, no one in the Church ever mentioned missions culturally. I've even spoken in length to those serving in Far East missions and they never once spoke of sharing the gospel in accordance with the culture. This is a sad, misleading on the part of Western pastors and missionaries.
This book is a real eye-opener, for us all personally, even if we don't ever expect to go on a mission outside the US.
Not everyone in the world understands the gospel the same, but God can reach EVERYONE nonetheless!
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on January 25, 2018
This book was sooooo good. I read this aloud with my spouse and was deeply encouraged and grew in my understanding of how the Gospel is received by other with different nationalities and cultural perspectives. The book can be read in a single sitting and it may be found to be especially beneficial if read aloud with others.
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on May 28, 2018
One of the best books I have read in a long time that would greatly impact how I read the Bible as well as how I share the gospel to people from different cultures (Guilt, Shame, Fear). If you're a Christian wanting to 1) read the Bible in an appropriate way 2) share the gospel to people from different cultures in a culturally and biblically way 3) or just interested in learning how people think differently in these three categories (innocent/guilty, honor/shame, power/fear), you should read this book. And its written in simple language, concise, and engaging. I am very satisfied!
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on May 21, 2018
A quick, easy-to-read overview of the three major ways cultures look at life. Just as Jesus interacted with individuals different based on their backgrounds, 3D helps those of us who know Jesus talk to people who don't yet know him based on their primary way of relating to the world.
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on September 27, 2017
I first just stumbled onto this. Now, I feel it is a needed read for everyone who wishes to understand basic motivations of various cultures. Especially Christians should read and understand this to understand people of other religious groups.....who values "face" and who values "family honor" - - so helpful in understanding various cultures.
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