“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
~Matthew 11:28. (NIV)
Clueless Christianity: EMPulse #13. A Christian Message to a postChristian Heart:
“it’s not that easy bein’ green”. [Part 2…, of many]
We’ve taken quite a long hiatus to seek God in our Advent series. It is now time we return to our primary thrust of offering Christ to the postChristian Heart.
Let’s start by examining some of the shifts from our present assumptions to the mindset of our postmodern/postChristian world.
Summarizing the Gospel:
~the gospel-made-simple, since 1949.
Historically, the Christian message has always contained at least four ingredients—
- There is a God in the heavens who has created us and loves us; He wants us to worship Him.
- We have rejected God’s love for us as well as His call for us to worship Him; this rejection we know as sin.
- Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was sent to earth, voluntarily, to pay the penalty for our sin and rebellion against our Creator.
- Belief in Jesus Christ, coupled with repentance, will result in our forgiveness and salvation from certain punishment for our sin and rebellion. And we get to go to heaven.
Or, more popularly—
- You have a problem—you are a sinner.
- We have a solution to your problem—Jesus Christ
- Agree with our solution to your problem—Believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (as opposed to being just a church member).
- Your problem will be solved— Then you will be saved from eternal damnation in hell and go to heaven.
The difficulty postChristian people have with either of these formulations is that they no longer hold a presuppositional platform in their thinking process. These historical Christian Truths rest on certain assumptions once widely understood in both Modern and preModern times. They are now lost to thepostModern/postChristian mind.
It might surprise you that this gospel was designed in 1949 in post WWII and based on a sales model of the Fuller Brush Company and the Hoover Vacuum Company.
These were the assumptions and presuppositions of the vast majority of Christians worldwide, but especially of those in the Second and Third Worlds— Europe, colonized Africa/India, and the West, North America. These assumptions, the core values of the Christian faith, are now obliterated amidst the milieu of skeptical pluralism in postModern/postChristian societies.
ØThe Gospel in Limbo: the loss of a Christian conscience
The assumptions of postModern/postChristian philosophy are no simple matter to collect due to their very nature. For if you start with the assumption The only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth (Paul Feyerabend, 1924-1994), which postmodern philosophers posit, it becomes somewhat impossible to state what is and what is not in describing it. Nonetheless, with special thanks to Mathematical Physicist Dr. Milo Wolff, the assumptions of postmodernism might be as follows—
The current Postmodern belief is that a correct description of Reality is impossible. This extreme skepticism assumes that;
a) All truth is limited, approximate, and is constantly evolving (Nietzsche, Kuhn, Popper).
b) No theory can ever be proved true – we can only show that a theory is false (Popper).
c) No theory can ever explain all things consistently (Godel’s incompleteness theorem).
d) There is always a separation between our mind & ideas of things and the thing in itself (Kant).
e) Physical reality is not deterministic (Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, Bohr).
f) Scientific concepts are mental constructs (logical positivism, Mach, Carnap).
g) Metaphysics is empty of content.
h) Thus absolute and certain truth that explains all things is[i]
To put it another way, the assumptions of postmodernism in regards to Christianity might be—
- There is no single theory, be it scientific, philosophic, or religious, that can explain everything. (Read- Christianity does not have the corner on Truth.)
- All accepted assumptions about our values, philosophies, religious beliefs, or scientific discoveries must be reexamined and challenged.
- Religion, though once important to explain mystery, is of no further use.
- Karma— payback is sweet. What you give out is what you will receive.
- Individual, pragmatic values are more important than group systems.
- The tenets of the Christian faith are, at best, mythical, relying on unreliable and unverifiable historic documents.
- Personal Christian experience is most likely a projection of wishful thinking, culturally delimited by experience and religious exposure.
- Individual beliefs are not binding on anyone else.
No matter how you slice it, the assumptions of postModern thought cut across and thoroughly reject the historical formulations of the Christian faith. They leave, literally, no room for any reformulation of Christian Truth in their “mindset.” Truly, we are two ships passing in the night.
NEXT TIME~ A Christian Message for a postChristian Heart— part 3.
Framing a postChristian Gospel: opening Pandora’s box
Offering a postChristian mind its Heart,