What is postmodernism

Dictionary with Glasses for DefinitionA question that I’m asked often when teaching is

“what is postmodernism?”

It’s a term I throw around loosely, since that’s just part of my worldview. I’ve used it several times in this blog already and will continue to do so.

But often, my audience has only heard the word, not ever having thought about just what it is.

I offer a few characteristics of it, such as

  • relativity,
  • spirituality and
  • community,
  • cafeteria style assembly of your personal worldview.

I’ve not tried to define it, because its much easier to describe than define.

The web is full of much explanations, attempts at definitions, neither of which I will even attempt here.

I came across a great article in the Presbyterian Outlook that does a pretty good job of describing postmodernism. If you can follow the link without registering, I hope you can read it.

Here is the description proposed there:

Postmodernity is a paradoxical worldview that flows from a modernist worldview
and is characterized by a shift in culture that moves from being scientific,
analytical, institutional, and mechanical
to one driven by the mystical,experiential, relational, and organic.

Presbymergent offers further comment on the article. To quote:

I found Bruce’s article in The Outlook incredibly helpful. For one, he has crystallized the “Postmodern” church—as much as something postmodern can be fixed—succinctly . . . . I believe Bruce summed it up with the simple phrase, “Jesus loves us.” This understanding, of course, transcends cultural shifts.

Jesus loves me!

Getting lost in the love of Jesus, experiencing it in its richeness, exploring its depths as we read the Word and meditate on it, gets us lost in the wonder of worship. We can describe it, we can experience it.

My favorite Spanish worship song by Jesus Adrian Romero contains the line

“Si no fuera por tu gracia y por tu amor”

which translates, “if it wasn’t for your grace and your love.”

None of our pursuits for God, none of our worship, none of our evangelism and good works would matter to a hill of termites if it wasn’t for God’s grace — shown in His love for us.

I’m firmly convinced that experiencing God’s love propels us towards evangelism. Guilt compels, grace propels.

I can’t fully describe postmodernism. I can only disclose that I am a post modern.

I don’t have all the right vocabulary, all the right connections, but this I do know — post modernism is here to stay . . . at least for a while.

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Comments

  1. Darrel Davis says

    Did not Paul say, ” For Christ’s love compels us…” Love is the supreme motive for evangelism – as well as everything we do as Christians. When it comes to Evangelism, we are loved first by God which leads us to share that love with others.

    Billy Graham said that “the greatest hindrance to evangelism today is the poverty of our own experience.”

    Good thoughts Chris…

  2. Pastor Chris says

    Welcome aboard Darrell.

    I’ve often used that verse when tyring to explain why I’m so passionate about explainging the love of Christ to people.

    I’m not compelled because of a guilt driven “I have to”, but joy driven “I can’t help but” share the love of Christ that has been given me.

    Pastor Chris
    EvangelismCoach.org

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