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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What Exactly is Postmodernism (and why should we care)?

"What exactly is Postmodernism?"

This is the question that I was asked recently after a friend of mine read the "mission statement" of this blog.

"Why should we care so much about what the 'Postmodern' world/culture thinks about God, Jesus or whatever...that's a matter of personal belief and preference."

The truth is that postmodernism/postmodern thought can be a hard thing to define at times. Much of this (I believe) is due to the fact that it is an extremely convoluted worldview by nature; at least, in the "popular" sense, that is.

This is a question that plagues many. Others really don't care. But for the Christian, it is important to realize what cultural contextuality and faith have to do with one another; what impact one should have or not have on the other--where they should meet and where they should divide. After all, a quick survey of scripture will show that Jesus and the apostles were always engaging the culture of their day with the gospel. Shouldn't we be following that example? Shouldn't we be aware of the advantages and disadvantages that said context may have?

Since I'm still making sense of it all my self, I've decided to leave the definitions to the professionals (although they would probably hate the term). David F. Wells, professor/author of the book,
Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World and John Piper, pastor/author of Desiring God, do an excellent job of defining postmodern thought (Wells) and explaining the nature of its effect--specifically on the Church (Piper).

These are interview clips for their upcoming conference. As always, enjoy:

David F. Wells - Postmodernism Defined

John Piper - The Nature of Postmodernism

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow'r are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

That word above all earthly pow'rs,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also.
The body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever

-Martin Luther, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"

Soli Deo Gloria,

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