Emerge and Restore

Exploring faith, God, and church in the 21st century...

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Location: Kansas, United States

Friday, January 07, 2005

left turn

Maybe I've been mistaken in starting this blog by using terms like "postmodern." The issue here isn't whether I agree with a new cultural philosophy, it's about the church answering some questions it's been ignoring for a while. Like, how can we be the church God calls us to be instead of some republican, american-ized, health & weath shadow? How can we be a part of actually redeeming the world, especially a world that is so tragically far away from God's purposes? How can we give the world a truth message that rings true, that complies with the reality of peoples' lives, instead of forcing them to see through our colored lenses? How can we stop mouthing the platitudes that we grew up with and say something meaningful, something helpful, something powerful? In short, how can we change the world? Postmodernism is really probably just a convenient way to do that. To realize that young people don't want to be part of a church that isn't interested in changing the world (and maybe we shouldn't be either?). To realize that to be more faithful to the truth, maybe we should be skeptical of our ability to fully grasp and communicate truth. To figure out that what we do is much more powerful, and much more important that what we say. Maybe we can see this as a beginning of finding away to break away from our selfish, imperialistic American version of the Gospel, and break into something life-giving, something fresh, something reconciling, something true. We want to hold on to what we've always had as "the best" way of doing things...but mostly, I think, it's because the old is comfortable, like the nasty old hunting shirt I'd rather wear than a coat. I hope we can learn to love to grow, to embrace change (that still sounds...unrealistic/untrue), to see things for what they ought to be, instead of what we think we can accomplish. I'm done, except for a good quote that keeps me thinking, by Walter Brueggemann. I hope we can believe it:

"The transformative power of God jeopardizes all of our gestures of equilibrium and our idolatrous images of God as the great stabilizer of the status quo."