“For the gospel to grip the heart of the Kenyan people, it must address the values of honor and shame.” –Martin Munyao

Martin Munyao writes:

Martin Munyao
Rev. Martin Munyao is completing his PhD studies at Concordia Theological Seminary

It is my prayer that thought leaders and seminary professors from Kenya will join me in attending this conference. We must begin a conversation about honor and shame in both the academy and church in Kenya. Together we will be able to identify the cultural and theological blind spot about honor-shame brought through years of Western theological influence. Kenyan thought leaders must be able to address the blind spot and mainstream an honor-shame missiology for the Kenyan context.

I would love to see a Cultural Anthropology course in the seminary that fully tackles the subject of honor and shame cultures of Kenya. For the gospel to grip the heart of the Kenyan people, both young and old, it must address the Kenyan values of honor and shame.

The Honor-Shame Conference will, I believe, move us forward so that:

  • Martin Munyao testimonialThe honor-shame conversation will influence pastoral formation and training around the world.
  • Global church leaders and practitioners will work together to rescue biblical theology for shame-honor contexts from Western theology’s one-sided domination.
  • The global Church will be blessed when believers read their Bibles with understanding about honor and shame. Many will unashamedly identify with, interpret, and apply various biblical notions of honor in their lives.
  • Making discipleship practical and fruitful: pastors and theology teachers might think through ways to subvert cultural notions of honor that are not consistent with biblical honor—while also affirming cultural practices that do not contradict the Bible.

I am eager to attend the very first honor-shame conference. Lord willing, I will be there!


Rev. Martin Munyao (ThM) is a pastor from Kenya who is completing his PhD in Missiology from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He and his wife and children are planning to return to Kenya after he completes his PhD.


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