About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Postmodern Christianity


Modernism is a detailed, analytical, and structured, approach to reasoning issues through.  For the most part, it has been the approach to life in the western world for a few centuries.  It's the reason why we enjoy the conveniences of our technological advanced societies.    


Postmodernism in many respects replaces this detailed analytical approach with a more superficial approach to thinking issues through.  Since much of postmodernism believes that truth varies from place to place and from person to person, it sees no need to exert any great effort in the pursuit of truth and thinking issues through.  Postmodernism emphasizes present experience.  Whether the experience is good for us or bad for us; whether it's right or wrong in the eyes of others; as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, go for the ultimate experience.  This was the world view of hippies in the 1960's, many of whom are now in positions of authority in government, law, education, and all parts of society. 


Postmodernism has infiltrated many parts of that which we call church.  The Emergent Church Movement is one example.  No longer do so-called postmodern Christians see the Bible as God's instruction book to pattern their lives after.  They don't view the Bible as a book to educate them about God's ways, history, or future events.  The Bible is merely an inspirational book, thus negating much of its content.  Experience trumps truth.  Inspiration replaces education.       


In the 1970's I noticed that the demand for Christian educational books such as works of theology, history, culture, original languages, and Bible commentaries, were replaced by testimony books.  Now there's nothing inherently wrong with testimony books, but one can't grow as a Christian on a steady diet of inspirational testimonies.  A generation of believers has now been raised on testimonies instead of being educated in Biblical truth.  This postmodern influence has stolen the great doctrines of the Bible from our hearts and minds.  We prefer to be inspired instead of being educated.  Such inspired ignorance will be of little help when we find ourselves in conflict with an anti-Christ culture.   


I believe the apostle Peter spoke to similar humanistic world views in his day.  In 1 Peter 1:13 he says, "prepare your minds for action". (NIV)  The KJV says, "Gird up the loins of your minds".  I say, "Tie up the lose ends of your thinking processes and prepare for the coming cultural conflict".  However you say it, Peter was telling his readers to prepare their brains for action that would rise when they interacted with their anti-Christ culture.  I believe preparing one's mind includes a Biblically rational approach to life.  The apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 12:2.  "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind".  Peter's readers needed more than inspiration.  They needed mental preparedness, the capability to explain why they lived and believed as they did to anti-Christ civil authorities. (1 Peter 3:15)


Inspired ignorance, or this so-called Christian Postmodernism, won't cut it when we stand before our anti-Christ culture in defense of our faith.  I'm not underestimating the Holy Spirit's involvement in these matters as stated in Mark 13:11, but He can't work with us or through us if there's nothing in us to work with.  Without a brain that has been transformed and educated in the Word of the Lord, the Holy Spirit's involvement in our lives is limited.  Peter may have spoken to suffering saints in his day, but he speaks directly to you and I as well.  Without being educated in Biblical truth, we'll find ourselves fumbling around like feeble fools when our day of action comes.  Our so-called postmodern Christianity will fail us in the time of cultural conflict.  


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