Thursday, June 29, 2006

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

It was my last basketball game in the United States. Leading a fast break, I planted and immediately as I elevated off my left foot I knew I was in trouble. Multiple snaps and a bad fall to the ground my basketball life in the USA was over as I knew it. The fact that I won't play basketball here anymore is of little relevance to me. However, seeing as I am trying to leave overseas within the next month and Arizona within the next two weeks, the timing is horrible. So, to the Evil One, you may be able to take my ankle but you cannot take my Spirit! I would ask that all of you who read this to pray for me. Pray for a speedy recovery and that I do not have to delay leaving overseas. Thank you very much!

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Postmodern Culture (now!)

Life in the Western world is changing as we speak. It is hard for any of us to understand this because none of us have experienced a shift in culture in our lifetimes. "Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself--its world view; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world. And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their parents are born. We are currently living through such a transition." -Peter Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society.

Yes, we are in this transition. It is important for the church and Believers to understand this change or the ramifications will be huge. Postmodern culture is vastly different than modernism.

"If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad." --Sheryl Crow

"I go to synagogue, I study Hinduism...all paths lead to God." --Madonna

Whereas the modern culture stresses epistemology through science-based reason, postmodern culture understands truth and knowledge through experience. This is key in understanding postmodern culture. There is a self-determined pluralistic view of culture and religion. Why is this happening? I feel it is fairly simple to understand. There is also a shift happening from Westernization to Globalization. This is because of a communication revolution as we notice a shift from a print culture to an electronic-based, worldwide culture. There is no longer any reason why an American shouldn't know what is happening in Uganda, or Turkey. We now have access to other stories, other viewpoints, other cultures. Thus, a more pluralistic mindset is emerging because Americans are finally seeing that the rest of the world is a much different place than America, not worse or better, just different. A growing awareness that other cultures, non-European, non-Western cultures, must be met by means other than conquest or domination. Postmoderns are embracing this and it changes how they "do life".

So, the shift is on. Pluralism (relativism) is huge for postmoderns in all aspects of life. "What is good for you is good for you" is a prevailing thought for this culture. There are beautiful things about this, and some potential disasters regarding this as well. The church will have to be able to address these issues properly. Experience is big. Postmoderns don't want their brains to dictate their lives. They believe the whole core of the senses and life as it unfolds to be truth. Propositional truths are becoming obsolete. Therefore, as I concluded at the end of my modern post, I will suggest to you that as moderns tend to be governed by their brains, I believe postmoderns are governed by their senses...or dare I say, heart. More to come.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hail Argentina!

Yes, I have been paying attention (maybe even more than the normal person) to the World Cup. And I can't help but give my allegiance to Argentina. Why might you ask? Well, as most of you know, I have spent more time on Argentine soil than any other in my life besides the USA. I love the culture, the people, and their soccer. So, alas! Hail Argentina!
Mortals! Hear the sacred cry:
"Freedom, freedom, freedom!"
Hear the noise of broken chains,
see the Noble equality enthroned.
The United Provinces of the South have
now opened their very honorable throne.
And the free people of the world reply:
"To the great Argentine people, Cheers!"
"To the great Argentine people, Cheers!"
And the free people of the world reply:
"To the great Argentine people, Cheers!"

Monday, June 19, 2006

Quotes That Convict Me

"To want to admire, instead of follow Christ, is not an invention of bad people; no it is more an invention of those who spinelessly want to keep themselves detached at a safe distance from Jesus". --Soren Kierkegaard

"All around you people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don't tiptoe".

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Modern Culture (1500-2000)

To know where we are heading, we must see first where we came from. Modernism, as first realized probably during the Enlightenment, can be summed up like this:

"I think, therefore I am." --Rene Descartes

"Knowledge is power." --Francis Bacon

This is the modern understanding, epistemology as we know it. Today I will talk about the cultural change, in the secular sense, if you will, and eventually I will undertake the ramifications of this on church culture.

Modernists tend to view knowledge (epistemology) as a man-centered trust in reason to discover truth. Thus, power and faith come in the form of reasoning, science, and logic. This is also used to understand God. Communication was spurned on by the invention of the printing press and thus learning was manifested through reading. Modernists are usually governed by a rational, logical system of learning. Truth is absolute and could be attained, or known. Knowledge was mostly "local", as global communication was not available. Thus, what was happening in the Western world was heavily important to modernists, it was reality.

We can all see modernity around us everywhere. One needs to look no further than the mega-church to see it. But as we move out of the modern world and into the postmodern, we must know what the big change is all about, so we can respond appropriately.

Overall, if there is one idea that I am trying to convey about modernity it would be this: the brain. Modernists tend to view reality through the head. This is key, and will be crucial to further posts.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Postmodern Undercurrent

Labels. I personally love them. Some I equate to myself include:

Orthodox Postmodern Evangelical
Orthodox Progressive Christian

etc. etc. Two of these I came up with off the top of my head, one is very broad. Most postmoderns do not like being put in a box, I however, do!

Since I have not been working recently, I have had ample time to read and learn over the last couple of months. I have learned a lot, and my faith has been stretched. I am going to address an issue that needs to be addressed, because it hits home and if we do not address it we will "miss the boat" as Believers. It is a complex issue and it is an issue that needs lots of time and space so I will not tackle every part of it here, today. Rather, I will string out numerous posts on the issue and look forward to having some feedback from it.

The issue? Postmodernism, or emergent, or progressive thought/culture/Christianity. For those of you who are not privy to the shifting landscape within Christianity in America, I would say:

1. Where have you been?
2. Let's talk.

There is an undercurrent, a huge undercurrent in Evangelical Christianity as we know it today. Even greater perhaps and certainly correlated is the undercurrent in society in general. A new way of thinking is emerging (pun intended), and the old way is becoming obsolete. Postmodern thought is sweeping over America erasing modern thinking as we know it. The ramifications of this are huge; positively and negatively. This current is invading "sacred" ranks as well "secular" ranks. It is here to stay as well.

There are numerous things I find appealing to this change (which I will address soon), but there are also some blatant pitfalls that need to be discussed.

Let's talk.