Continuing last week’s thoughts on the Church responding to post modernism, we stated that the problem with postmodernism is that Christ taught a specific set of non-negotiable truths that are relevant for every age.
“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 ESV
How can we respond to Postmoderns?
1) We can continue to do what we have always done and see what the next age brings. It may be a while however. Or we can go to where the postmodern lives. Paul did this by “becoming all things to all men”. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. (1 Corinthians 9:20–23 ESV)
2) We can engage the postmodern person. We can do this by affirming what is right and challenging what is wrong. If there is one thing we can agree with postmoderns is that intellect and reason is not enough to find truth. At the same time, we can lovingly challenge the postmodern’s notion that “there is no absolute truth”. The problem postmoderns cannot account for is that it’s impossible to make absolute statements when you don’t believe in absolutes.
3) Let’s be sure that we are fighting for the right thing. We don’t want to contend for the “good old days” of modernism where people swooned at our insights. One of the faults of modernism is the arrogance and condescension that came from knowledge.
4) Let’s change our methods without changing the message. In an honest effort to reach people, some postmodern seeker-sensitive Churches have reworked certain Bible passages to soften their blow. It is a dangerous thing to amend what one did not write, especially when it involves a saving truth.
5) Experience and encounter. Provide opportunities for people to encounter God. This brings them beyond just head knowledge and into intimacy with God.
6) Use stories and metaphors to illustrate Biblical truth. One final thing we can do to reach postmoderns is to tell a story to illustrate a deeper truth. Postmoderns love stories and will respond to the truth easier when it is embedded in a story. This isn’t just postmodern, this is Jesus. Jesus used parables as a delivery system for eternal truths.
The Church has a sacred responsibility to engage the postmodern world, and with the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit, to bring people to the unchanging Gospel truths that are relevant in every generation.
So let’s not be afraid to go to where postmodern’s live. As the Church, we are obligated to reach everyone, no matter who or where they are.