Thursday, August 31, 2006

Postmodernism: Friend or Foe

Wow, 2 posts in one day!

Since my days of youth minstry I have heard how bad this new postmodern generation will be to the future of the church. Over and over, I have heard statistics of how young people do not believe in absolutes. I'm not so sure this is a bad thing.

I have thought many times that the emerging world looks more like the first few centuries of the church than has the generations of the last 400 years. We worry about things like sensuality, abortion, gay marriage, separation of church and state, materialism, and situational ethics. In the first few centuries, we saw temple prostitutes, orgies, homosexuality, tremendous persecution of the church by a religiously pluralistic government, and gods for every situation. In the first centuries the Christian church seemed to get singled out. Sound familiar? In spite of all this we saw some of the most rapid growth in the history of the church.

The problem for the evangelism in a world where non-Christians believe in absolutes is that they absolutely believe that we are wrong. While I'm sure it has happened, I have never seen a debate where someone was so convinved by the other side that they changed sides at the end. Is a culture that focuses on experience such a bad thing? The Psalmist said "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps 34:8). I think that postmodern people who initially don't believe in God might be willing to accept Christ as they experience His goodness.

I was re-reading my highlights today in the book "The Present Future" by Reggie McNeal. I assigned this book as reading for our next team meeting. I liked his thoughts on the emerging post-modern culture. He says:

"We need to take courage. Though secularism and nihilism have taken their bast shot to kill God, they have lost. The post-modern world, governed by quantum physics and its emphasis on relationships, is God's end run around the modern world. A quantum world stands ready to accept divine design and divine interaction. God himself is stirring the pot (not the kind you smoke). If we can pay attention we will eventually discover that not only will we not lose God in this emerging postmodern world, we will find him again."

The church will become a bit messy by the standards of the past 50 years of the church. But, I think that's a good thing. Jesus sought out people with problems and many of them joined him. If you don't like messes I don't suggest you enter the medical field. But, Jesus, himself, was the great physician.

1 comment:

Design Ministry said...

Well put. God, the HS, and Jesus as well as the Christian faith have survived 2,000+ years of movements, fads, and even institutions. How silly are we to think they are so breakable and fragile. Thanks Ken!