As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Postmodernism in the real world

I recently went to the National Youth Workers Convention and attended almost every seminar they had that had anything to do with the "emerging church" or "postmodernism" (for more on the emerging church, see Most had to do with how we deal with the rise of postmodernism in youth ministry; ie, what sort of questions they ask, how to create a worship service that is appealing both to Christian and non-Christian postmoderns, etc. However, one seminar that I attended really interested me more than nay other. Rather than dealing only with practical issues, it dealt with postmodernism strictly as a philosophy. It was a debate, of sorts, between Tony Jones and Duffy Robbins, both of whom are committed Christians, but who have taken opposite viewpoints on how to approach postmodernism.

This leads to what I would like to discuss. As I understand it, postmodernism is a philosophy that basically questions everything we've ever believed about what is true. It rejects, or at least calls into question, all of the philosophies predating it, especially tose of the "modern" era. Where this impacts the church, and one of the most unsettling things that Tony Robbins said, is that we should feel free to debate everything about Christianity. To quote him, "Just because a group of bishops made a decision in 325 doesn't mean we can't debate it today." Now what he's speaking about is the Council of Nicea which nailed down the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union (Jesus is 100% God and 100% human). Another thing that was mentioned was the fact that in just about every culture, polygamy is taboo. However, if a tribe in the Congo sent 100 men off to war and only 10 came back, wouldn't it be acceptable for them the have more than one wife in order to perpetuate the tribe. For that matter, the idea of marriage, at least in the way we look at it in America, is a purely human construct. One man said, "But if it's wrong, it's wrong all the time regardless of the circumstances." So there's the delimma between the modern mind and the postmodern, is there room to question, or is it set in stone. For that matter, what's set in stone and what's open for debate. Let the games begin.

Let's post of this rather than just putting in responses.

One very confused Josh


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