Friday, June 22, 2007

My Answer to the Small Dispute Below- SPOKE

Reading both of the comments to the Lennon article I see two men who both love Jesus and think Him central. I can assure you CE, that Rick is not anti-intellectual as is the trend in both the Modern and Postmodern churches in many ways.

Now I want to make general observations not personally attached to either of you.

The current state of affairs finds the Church in a sort of subtle civil war. The Church under Modernity (Rationalistic, heavy emphasis on doctrinal truth and various systematic theologies and apologetics); and the Church under Postmodernity (Experiential, heavy emphasis on the more mystical and engaging the culture-at-large and sharing experience).

Not everyone who is Postmodern is anti-intellectual, but many are. Not all who are Modernistic are all in their head and see Truth as a static set of mere principles which exist as some independent and utterly cohesive body of Gnosis. Many tread in both scholarship and the use of rational thought, and also experience the Trinity in a deeply personal and mystical way.

The two really go hand-in-hand. Any good piece of theology or exegesis should lead to worship and gratitude, no? Communion is both a rational and mystical event, no?

Postmodernism is not so much a movement as a reaction to the arrogance of Modernity. The use of the mind, for many, is key (some are not so equipped and seem to do just fine). But it can lead to a disconnect as if God were under our microscope and we could dissect every aspect of "objective truth". At best the desire for doctrinal truth can lead to a solid working theology; at worst it is a great way to replace the Living God with Ideas about God. Let's remember that the Church's apologetic and rationalistic bent came from a reaction to the Rationalism of just the last 200 or so years (most people mark the start at the storming of the Bastille, and the end 200 years later with the fall of the Berlin Wall).

The English Puritans were utterly brilliant and used their keen minds to explore the universe via the Word....but they also fed the poor, did personal catachisms, and their hearts burned with a mystical connection to Christ.

Rationalism has partially been debunked's arrogance and deficiencies. I imagine it will erode even more. But remember, the WORD does not erode even though Rationalism will to some degree.

(On this I assume both men could and would agree).

Since Postmodernism is a reaction and a protest but has no real answers of its own, the real question, gentlemen, is what will come next?

May I suggest a Christocentric paradigm. This site is called "Spoke" for several reasons. One of those many reasons is that it is like the tire of a bicycle. There is a center hub from which each spoke goes out to the outer rim. Holding that analogy, one aspects of Christ's glory may manifest itself in the arts around that rim; other spokes around that rim end in liturgy, exegetical study, apologetics, worship, songs, counsel, confession, etc... All are a part of the same rim. All have spokes leading back to the Hub which is Christ the Living One, the Living Word.

Notice how they overlap in the illustration above. There are many connection points. But they all end in Christ the Center.

I have been to the Center and it is not US.