Am I Post-evangelical?

Am I Post-evangelical?

I just finished reading “A New Kind of Christian” and I was surprised to see so many of my own thoughts and conclusions put down on paper. It makes me wonder whether God is leading me in my understanding or am I just reflecting the cultural shift around me? A deeper question might be, is God changing a lot of us at the same time?

I can’t say that I’ve always been that impressed with all the hype around “Postmodernism”. In my experience it is a buzzword that academics employ to make themselves look current. I’ve always been more concerned with the heart of the true gospel. There is merit is meeting the challenge of the changing culture around us. There is more merit in rediscovering the heart of the gospel. Postmodern thought will color the gospel just as modern or medieval thought did. Can we be bold enough to truly let go of our cultural bias and let the word and the Spirit lead us in to truth?

I find it particularly sad that many Christians look upon postmodernism with fear, loathing and suspicion while remaining oblivious to the influence of modern thought on their own practice and theology. I despise modernism’ influence on Christianity. A few years ago I discovered a few verses of scripture that really challenges some of foundations of “modern” Christianity.

1Cor 1

One the main messages here is that division is carnal. Modern Christianity attempts to place all authority in scripture. This is something that I agree with. I trust no other source of revelation or truth more than than the bible. However in modern Christianity reason is used to discern the truth in scripture. Each fact or principle in scripture is abstracted and then applied to our context. The problem with this method is that the authority easily shifts from scripture to the interpreter. Thus you get 10000 different interpretations of the Christian faith and 10000 different denominations.

1Cor 2 “So your faith might not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God”

The modern gospel says “accept Christ in to your heart, and live a life worth of him”. For the most part what is meant is “accept the Christian world view and live according to its principles”. There is very little Christ in today’s gospel. We are converting people to a worldview, “the wisdom of men”, rather than to Jesus Christ.

1Cor 3

Spiritual knowledge is spiritually attained. The bible is one of God’s revelations to us but it can only be understood through the help of the Holy Spirit. Reason alone, or reason and a cursory prayer will not lead us in to truth. Truth was never intended to be removed from the context of experience, community and the Spirit. Once you abstract these principles its like turning oranges in to juice concentrate. Orange juice can be sweetened, it’s easy to drink, and quite tasty. However this process removes nutrients from orange juice. That is why vitamin C is often added back to the juice. Modern biblical interpretation takes truth, makes it easy to consume while removing any hope of life change. Instead synthetic life change is used to make people think they are really growing.

It’s sad how we put so much effort in to teaching and discipleship yet there little difference between Christians and non-Christians. We continue to use the same methods and follow the same philosophy even though its more than evident it doesn’t work.

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