Tuesday, March 08, 2011

GIANTS IN THE LAND - BALLS AND STRIKES

It was 1999ish when I read The Challenge of Postmodernism: An Evangelical Engagement, a book edited by David S. Dockery consisting of chapters composed by ten other scholars. I had recognized for quite awhile that, on the level of the “common” Christian, truth was not in high demand. People were concerned with feelings and experiences that aided in feeling good and valuable. Both feelings and experiences are valuable, but without truth as the plumb line for measuring one’s feelings and experiences, the narrow path can become wide very quickly. As I read the aforementioned publication, I began to gain a measure of insight about the trend I had personally observed. I had noticed that Christians wanted instruction on practical matters (not bad in and of itself) but they were not very interested in understanding the truth that was foundational to such practical instruction. The problem with this is that it creates a dependent and easily misguided people. The church is not supposed to produce such people; it is to equip people for the task of advancing the kingdom of God. This concern has been at the center of my interest in understanding the issue of postmodernism (along with other cultural considerations). This trend has blossomed and it continues to do so in many different ways. My concern heightens as I observe vast numbers of churches playing into this demise in the name of engaging and “reaching” our culture. Must we engage our culture? Yes. Are we to “reach” our culture? Yes! However, I would tend to agree with Jock McGregor who observes, in a lecture he calls Postmodernism and Evangelism, that much of this effort ends up reflecting the spirit of the age instead of countering it. It is with this concern that I will provide blog entries about postmodernity.

Before closing with a passage of Scripture, I would like to offer a simple, but helpful, illustration given by Winkie Pratney about the shift that spans the pre-modern, modern and postmodern ages. Imagine an umpire standing behind home plate on a baseball field. As the pitches come in, his task is to call balls and strikes. If he called a pitch a strike and the batter were to argue the call, the pre-modern umpire would simply say, “It’s in the strike zone, it’s a strike and that’s how it is.” The modern umpire would say, “That’s how I saw it.” The postmodern umpire would say, “I call it the way I want to, I decide whether it’s a ball or strike and I feel that was a strike.” The first operated according to a set parameter, an absolute, the second was more sensitive to personal observation, vantage point and empirical evidence while the third was more sensitive to personal feelings and relativistic possibilities.

“If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5, NASB)

“Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.” (2 Timothy 2:14-17, NASB)
THE END..........FOR NOW

1 comment:

Debay said...

EXCELLENT!
On another note: Did that umps pants split? Interesting...