According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power
is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. - anon

Friday, December 28, 2012

What does it mean to be a Postmodern Christian?

 
Surreal
 
 
To be a postmodern Christian is to admit to the postmodernistic presence of the gospel of Jesus previously unadmitted by evangelicalism's many countering arguments and self-sustaining subcultural perspectives, too often found to be exclusionary, divisive, unloving.
 
Moreover, it is with hope - and not despair - that a new kind of emergent theology is arising to replace its more popular predecessor, evangelical theology, by both deconstructing the church's more recent Christian past, and reconstructing a postmodern version of itself that is more relevant and applicable to today's postmodern audiences.
 
That modernistic Christianity (whether evangelical, denominational, or some other "body politic") is failing to connect to today's postmodern generations requiring a newer presence of the Christian faith that would better accounts for:
 
  • the significance of Jesus' incarnational presence in time and history, especially in terms of an historical-religious circumspection requiring an all-pervasive perspective of God's redemption for ourselves, humanity, and the world/cosmos we live in (theism vs. agnosticism / atheism).
  •  
  • the expansive mystery of God, His cosmos, and humanity itself (a "gentle" mysticism decoupled from its twin-brother of "mystical gnosticism" which generally devolves into various forms of Christian secrecy and cultic exclusivism).
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  • better contemporary scientific assimilation with that of a postmodern biblical literary analysis and interpretive hermeneutics which would dispel, and justifiably remove, non-scientific, literal church dogmas from their current ascendancy of Christianized folklores held onto by religious innuendo and theological ignorance.
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  • a fuller congruence between Christian faith and works, love and devotion, words and acts, in all that is said or done as followers of Jesus.
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  • the uplift of love and relationship over intellectualized rationality (narrative theology vs. systematic theology, creeds and confessions).
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  • an organic faith imparted into social involvement and interactive community service projects demonstrating the love and ministry of Jesus.
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  • the admittance to failure in past church practices and programs subjugating select people groups to prejudicial bigotries, social dehumanization, and judicial inequalities (minorities, slaves, women, homosexuality, etc).
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  • a renewed emphasis upon the value of our environment over that of humanity's environmental ignorance, destruction, and consumerist influences.
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  • the reinvigoration of the human touch and presence to a faceless, technological generation, offering in its place the selfless sharing and giving of one's kinetic energy to community members in interactive activities of joint worship, service projects, social comportment and innovations. From recreational opportunities to ecological projects and urban gardens. From housing renovations to community innovations in the arts and well-being. The opportunities to re-invigorate community are endless.
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  • the willing assimilation of one's personal background and beliefs into a pluralistic and multi-ethnic society where each member recognizes, and values, the contributions and presence of differently enabled community members.
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  • a recognition that decentralizes self-importance and engrossed personal perspectives by offsetting mono-cultural social barriers supporting biased ideologies and prejudicial beliefs over that of differently enjoined pluralistic perspectives of lesser-valued social segments within society. Whether expressed in terms of majority v. minority religious, political, or social parameters.
  •  
  • etc.... Which means, that we add to the list above as we become better enabled to recognize the needs of today's postmodern generations; that we learn to recreate a Christian faith without personal-social barriers, resentments, distrusts, jealousy, envy, or pride. But which encourages a faith that uplifts Jesus in all that it says and does. In everything that it says or does. As is the will of God.
 
 
And although this list might be continued in a number of ways, in its preliminary forms it is enough to suggest key ingredients to the emergent Christian faith that wishes to address today's generational postmodern angst and needs. It is not a new perspective but one that is new to many evangelical Christians belatedly realizing the dramatic depth of change that has occurred between themselves and their faith.
 
To know and understand that God is not dead, but is amazingly relevant in this dizzying postmodern era of deconstruction and reconstruction. That the Christian faith is as relevant now as its was in previous historical eras, as each era subtended to the next, in a generalized eschalation of salvific import (or salvific contract) between God and man. Where both the divine and the human continue to grow in community, and in relationship with each the other - God with man, man with God, and man with man. This is nothing to be feared but to be wondered at and praised in the magnificence of God's glory and wisdom.
 
That the Christian hope is one realizing God's reclamation of all things God. That no one person is beyond God's reach and claim. That either in life or death shall all things be renewed both in this life as in the next; whether within the boundaries of heaven, or within that of hell itself - for even hell itself is a purifier (sic, the annihilation of sin and death). That God will be victorious over a free willed creation unsubdued to His restitution and renewal by one avenue or another. That He will not be defeated. Neither by wicked man, nor principality and power, nor by sin and death. That God will be All-in-All, even as He is the Great I Am.



That this victory will be by God's divine love (but not to the exclusion of His divine judgment as some would suppose claiming a form of undifferentiated universalism). That in all things God does love with a love that is patient, understanding, overpowering, and negating man's baser instincts and nature. For God did thus create with purpose and power. And in that purpose He reclaims with love. A love we do not understand. But a love which allows within us the habitation of disbelief, faithlessness, distrust, and moral failure. That looks beyond ourselves and sees Jesus in our stead as our atoning sacrifice and enabling power by His Spirit of redemption.

And it is to this Jesus, as the divine Incarnate God, who does evidence God's incarnational presence to man both historically (2000 years ago), and even now - within our postmodern generations - that gives to the Christian faith its historical bedrock and existential reality. That Jesus, by personal atonement and practical example, shared God's divine heart, love, and vision for redeeming humanity towards all things God.

Ultimately, this is the unfolding story of a postmodern emergent theology. It is one of hope and inspiration founded upon the personage and presence of the Incarnate God created by His sacrificial life-and-death unto the restitution of all things, both in this world, as in the next. Which refuses an opposing atheology that there is no God, no purpose, no destiny, no spirituality, knowing this position to be untenable in a world expressly made, sustained, and governed by God. A world that is highly valued by God and highly treasured by God. A world that God desires be inhabited by His personal presence, fellowship, justice, and divine being.

For it is God's love that has ever made this reality so - despite man's natural recourse to reject God while disdaining His divine will. That by Jesus' atoning death and abiding presence through the Spirit, that man's natural recourse towards sinful arrogance, legalism, and pride, may be opposed and ironically subverted towards an iconic restitution of divine proportions in creational recreation by the Lord God Himself. By His holy acts of sustaining love and purposeful redemption based not only upon who He is, but what He will be to His renewed/renewing creation. This is the redemptive story and divine mission of the God of the Bible. Our Savior. Our Lord. Our God.

R.E. Slater

December 27, 2012
January 3, 2013
 
 
Below are examples of modernism's attempts to describe postmodernism
(usually through fear and misjudgement)


 
 
Example 1
 
A 2009 example of Evangelical Angst
regarding Postmodernism -
 
The Logic of Postmodernism
October 17, 2009
 
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
 
Example 2
 
Another 2009 example of Christian alarmism
re Postmodernism and Emergent Christianity
 
The Curse of Postmodernism
April 28, 2009
 
 
 
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 
 
Example 3
 
A 2010 definition of postmodernism
submitted by a non-church organization
 
Postmodernism definition
 
1. Postmodernism is a general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others.

2. Postmodernism is "post" because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody - a characteristic of the so-called "modern" mind.

3. The most theoretical concepts are defined by their role in the conjectured theoretical network. (A subset are 'operationally' defined by a fairly direct tie to observations).

4. It follows that theoretical concepts are 'open', or what logicians call 'partially interpreted'. Research continues precisely because they are open; the research task is to 'close' them, although never completely.
 
Quote:
 
Postmodernists are uncomfortable with propositions for an obvious reason: they don't like the clarity and inflexibility required to deal with truth in propositional form.” (a quote from Example 1 above)
 
 
Continue to -
 
Index to past articles on "An Open Faith and Open Theology"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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