Ben Shin

You’re Giving a Toast, Not Making a Roast!

By Ben Shin Jul. 14, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family

It’s wedding season and there are many ways to celebrate on that special day for the bride and the groom. One of the best ways to celebrate this occasion is through the traditional toast that is given during the wedding reception. However, I’ve recently seen that what should typically be one of the high points of the reception just flops miserably... This is not what we should do to the bride or groom! I’d like to offer a few suggestions in this blog of what not to do in a toast and then what one should do in order to make the celebration a wonderful and meaningful one.

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Pre-Marital Counseling Asian-American Style, Part Four

By Ben Shin Jun. 30, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership

We have previously been working through some of the unique and distinct challenges that Asian-American couples face in regards to preparing for weddings and marriage. This blog has raised some of the issues that typically come out during pre-marital counseling sessions. The goal of this series has been to try and understand some of these cultural dynamics that may be vastly different from the many books that are out there on the subject of pre-marital counseling and marriage that may be written from a Western perspective. Some of these differences include dealing with parents, setting up appropriate wedding venues and services, transfer of authority between parents and spouses, guest lists for the wedding, and other potentially shame based challenges. This blog will now give some general and practical advice on how to resolve some of these tensions.

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Pre-Marital Counseling Asian-American Style, Part Three

By Ben Shin May. 21, 2014 3:00 p.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership

In my last blog, I explored some of the key differences of the dynamics of Asian-American weddings specifically in relationship to “honoring” the parents and their guests at the wedding ceremony. In this blog, I’d like to discuss some of the challenges related to the relational dynamics of the different families prior to marriage. This will include “family matching,” approval of different vocations, and the transfer of authority from the father/mother to the husband and bride ...

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Pre-Marital Counseling Asian-American Style, Part Two

By Ben Shin Apr. 15, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership

In my last blog, I discussed the concept of how the parent-child relationship is viewed differently from an Eastern Asian style than a Western American style. With this difference comes the difficulty of “leaving and cleaving” as found in Genesis 2:25. This also relates to obedience from parents for a lifetime since being a child is viewed more as a permanent status rather than an age range. This is also coupled with a long-term care of the parents supported by passages such as 1 Timothy 5:8 which states that if one does not care for his family that he is worse than an unbeliever.

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Pre-Marital Counseling Asian-American Style, Part One

By Ben Shin Mar. 17, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership

Recently, a friend contacted me and asked for a resource in pre-marital counseling that would be specific to some of the unique cultural needs of an Asian-American couple. I thought about this for a while and realized that I was not familiar with such a curriculum. I explained to him that I typically use material by Family Life’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey and add my own insights on some of the challenges for Asian-Americans in preparing to get married. This first blog will summarize some of those insights ...

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Ain’t That a Shame, Part Two: Learning Important Lessons Today from Examples of the Past

By Ben Shin Feb. 17, 2014 9:00 a.m. Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament

In my last blog, I attempted to explain some aspects of shame and how it is different from guilt, as well as to show how shame should be defined more in terms of a relational understanding rather than simply a judicial aspect of exchange. This blog will show a connection between 1st century Roman culture and 21st century Asian-American culture and the lessons that can be learned from studying and comparing both.

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Ain’t That a Shame, Part One: Understanding An Older Concept In Today’s World

By Ben Shin Jan. 15, 2014 1:45 p.m. Theology, Church Life, Culture, New Testament

The dynamics of shame are one of the greatest cultural dynamics of the New Testament. This paradigm is key in understanding other concepts and various texts accurately especially as it relates to topics such as approval, reputation, glory, and status. While these practices were prevalent in the 1st century of the Mediterranean, they also have current bearing to different segments of society today, specifically Asian-Americans in the 21st century. This blog will be the first in a series of blogs that will demonstrate the correlation of Paul’s use of shame in light of the framework of Roman cultural practices as well as how it relates to modern 21st century Asian-American spiritual tendencies.

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