More thoughts on postmodernism
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 10:02 AM [+]
I still have many questions about it
Jim asked me what it was that kept me reading Brian Mclaren's letter over and over again. (see this post here)Well, to some extent I am just fascinated by post-modernism, especially the Christian version of it - though likely I should know next to nothing about its existence if not for so many of my friends and acquaintances who number themselves among the ranks.
I am obliged to point out that I in no way intend to make personal accusations against either McClaren or Colson...rather I want to understand what is going on and to do that I need to take into consideration what is being said publicly about post-modernism. Honestly with regard to Seraphim's suggestion, I simply do not have the time (or interest perhaps?) to examine the "primary sources" as it were. I want to engage people (friends) who have joined up. Perhaps if they convince me that this whole thing is more than a passing fad I shall be inclined (obliged?) to head over to the B&N as you suggest. By Mclaren's reckoning I'd better, but I think Orthodox Christianity has weathered (generally unchanged) worse storms that what is being predicted.
One thing that perplexed me about Brian's article was how he seemed to jump back and forth between "those" [post modern] people and "us". While at other points he most certainly identifies himself as one of â€œthoseâ€� [postmodern] people and in the same vein he frequently labels Colson (condescendingly?) a "modern" which to me is also perplexing because labeling is typically seen as so passe' amongst the po-mo's. Of course I think we all know that if we use words at all we cannot fully escape labeling and so I do not fault such usage.
Further clarification: Brian references Colson's work with inmates and analogizes that work with his own outreach to postmodernists. But the analogy seems weak to me because Colson did not himself become incarcerated in order to minister to the prisoners. Get my meaning here? I'm not sure this whole thing is as much an outreach to a new cultural movement as it is an actual embracing and integrating of a cultural movement into Christianity.
It seems that these post-mod Christians have bought into postmodernism first and are now trying to adopt their religious faith to conform to it. This seems backwards to me, conforming my religious beliefs (to varied extents) and practices (generally to a much larger extent) in order to fit my (or a culture's) preferences. Of course, adapting Christianity isn't inherently problematic I don't think. But, there are lines that ought not to be crossed wouldn't you say? Where those lines are and who decides is really the crux of the matter and leads us back to that problematic question of authority.
I really don't know who to trust in regards to this idea of an ever-evolving Christianity...certainly not myself. It is a bit scary to me and in no small way has Orthodoxy been a safe haven for me to withdraw into, thereby saving me from this trepidation. Some of you may think of me as a sort of visionary cowardice...but stop for a moment and think: what if my fears are warranted?