Wednesday, May 19, 2004

WARNING!!! I've been reading about postmodernism again!

Out of the part of the church that's paying attention to what's going on in culture, there seem to be 2 schools of thought on postmodernism. 1)It is evil to the core and foriegn to Christianity 2) It is the greatest thing since sliced bread and is the key to revitalizing the church.

While I fit neither catagory, I fall much closer to the latter. Postmodernism is a cultrual shift that is irreversably taking hold. Fighting against it and trying to convince the world to return to modernism is futile at best. In addition the idea that we must first convert someone to modernism before we can convert them to Christianity is equally ridiculous seeing as how Christianity predates moderism. Even so, it would be the heighth of ignorance and shortsigthedness for the church to marry itself to postmodernism in the same way it wed modernism. Instead, we should follow the tradition of Paul on Mars Hill who used the prevailing mindset and philosophy of the day to reveal the truth of God. He refuted the parts of the philosophy that were incompatable when neccessary, but he used what he could instead of dismissing the whole thing.

For example: One of the major things that some Christian leaders are freaked out about is the fact that postmodernism rejects the idea of a metanarative (an overarching story that is true everywhere and encompasses all things). Now, this is a problem because that's exactly what we believe in. However, local naratives are incredibly important and meaningful to postmoderns. Is is possible that we can elevate the importance of our local stories (our personal interactions with God, Our faith communities being Jesus to each other and the world, etc.). I believe that if we do this, they will come to belive in our metanaratvie as a natural progression more readily than if we were to try to prove or argue that a metanarative really does exist.


No comments: