Friday, January 5, 2007

What's bugging me today...

Not much of anything, to tell the truth.
I'm home from the Congress on Evangelism...I did not realize how close Myrtle Beach is, although why I'd want to leave my quiet little coastal town to go to their busy coastal city is a mystery. Learned a lot, though...I think Bishop Scott Jones may go on my hero list, along with Ellsworth Kalas, who was already there. It's been a fun year for meeting people who have been influential in my life in some major way.
I met Eugene Peterson at a conference in October...even played groupie and had him sign a book--not The Message, though. I know he did the translating/paraphrasing of it and all, but I couldn't have him sign a Bible. I discovered Peterson when I was working in Christian retail and NavPress was releasing The Message. I was also trying to figure out what I was called to do...volunteer in ministry, be a DCE or other church professional, or what. My pastor at that time was less than helpful...not a fan of women in ministry, I was told. I don't know. But I read The Message and then started looking for more of Peterson's work. His books on pastoral spirituality really shaped who I am today, and helped me see that ordained ministry is my calling.
Back to this week's festivities: We still seem to be struggling for a definition for the term "postmodern", even as we wonder whether it's meaningful to us at all. I've seen it in so many different contexts, referring to technological savvy, the phenomenon of "disaffected youth" (and conversely, activist youth), and, my favorite definition, cribbed from Len Sweet: postmodernism is characterized by holding two seemingly contradictory positions: so ancient worship practices and modern technology can coexist in worship, war is evil and necessary, God's kingdom is present in the world today and is still yet to come, there is that which can be concretely explained and that which should and will remain a mystery.
To some extent, maybe Christians have always had a little postmodern in them. The "now and not-yet" of the Kingdom of God and mystery of faith would seem to suit us uniquely...we ought to have something coherent and valid and relevant and compelling to offer. But I guess the real issue becomes how do we make what we have to offer coherent and valid and relevant and compelling?
I guess that's one thing I'm trying to work out for myself in these little musings: if in fact God and the Church have something to offer that can give meaning and depth and purpose to our lives, how do we do it? How do we make sense of what we can, and share Christ's life, death, and resurrection in a way that offers hope and life to those who aren't connected to it yet? How do we say, "you were born for this," in a way that people can connect to? How do we encourage people to join our Christian community when there are so many competing communities and faiths to choose from?
That's a pretty big "one thing" but hey, what's a journal for, anyway?

1 comment:

  1. with regards to postmodern, that is just a loaded word depending on the context and possibly the sentence that preceded the word..

    barna, puts in his book "revolution" that change is upon us, and the people who are at the cusp of that change are "revolutionaries." his take was people would be in three camps over time. those that go against the revolution and fade off eventually (while keeping the status quo). second camp will work with and support the revolution. third will immerse themselves into the revolution. simple view, but as long as we are not drawing lines in the sand against postmondernism in ministry we stand to do well.


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