Sunday, December 11, 2005

post-course post from the postmodern class

Just a little bit of follow up to the course mostly from Friday’s class:
Typical comment from a younger person: “Church is like taking medicine – it’s good for you but why should you enjoy it.”

The Enlightenment and subsequent modernity meant that the only God that was left after all of our rational postulation was a personal God – there is no room for a mysterious terrifying God. God is a manageable God.

Here’s a great quote to get you chewing, D. A. Carson in Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: “True tolerance must begin with disagreement. If there is agreement, there is no need for tolerance. ”

Oh yeah we talked about making decisions in the postmodern church. We identified that the modern method of voting is damaging to the church and that it promotes the entrenchment of consumer mentality. In Dirksen’s church people have to sign a document with their name. For instance when they choose their leaders they not only sign their name to endorse these people as leaders they also sign to support the church with their resources and energy. I think this is interesting. Recently I witnessed in our church a staff member being hired with a relatively large % of the vote – done by secret ballot. Of course when two or three months after he arrives he is not being supported then we wonder where those 80-90% of the people are to support this guys through his life and ministry. Well my take is that they were never there in the first place. I think if I ever go somewhere else to take a position I will ask them to do it the way Dirksen’s church has done. I can totally see how this contributes to the consumer mentality.

We also talked about the tendency in our churches to ‘share’ things in the past tense. Once we have dealt with issues or once they are safely in the past we can share things. I cannot remember the last time anyone shared a struggle they were currently dealing with.

Simulacra – a copy without an original (this may be much of our religious traditions

For any of you who have read McLaren’s Generous Orthodoxy I would like to see what you think about the question of whether or not he displaying Universalistic theology or if it is just an adjusted orthodoxy like he claims



Gil said...

Interesting thoughts here Dale. I like some of the things that Dirksen seems to be trying to tackle. I agree wholeheartedly that our democratic citizenship has deeply affected our expectations of church membership and procedure (a point that you highlight nicely).

I have read Generous Orthodoxy and McLaren is definitely flirting with universalism. I'm not sure that's all that bad, he just doesn't seem to want to be pigeon-holed. I may be in his corner here, I really object to the idea that what I believe about people who don't know Christ is a litmus test for whether or not I'm a 'true believer'. It's not that I don't think it's an important question but the most important question is Jesus' 'Who do you say that I am'?

For me the book isn't all that great. McLaren is too interested in demonstrating how 'well-rounded' he is to say anything really substantive. It has its moments but I was hoping for more.

Incoming... said...

yeah i think my take on Generous Orthodoxy would be similar. It does feel like McLaren is stretching too far. I can see where universalism might come through in this book but sure not aggressively so. But then obviously even according my class mates that take might be out there. Just like Dirksen's short article in the Briercrest Passport generated some flack...

Anonymous said...

Still, my favorite McLaren book has to be "More Ready than you Realize" In it, he was not really trying to 'be post modern' but just shared his thoughts on how evangelism has changed. I really liked what he had to say in that. Also his book with Tony Compolo, Adventures in Missing the Point was really good. Both had a lot of interesting points.

Anonymous said...

sorry, that was from Gil

Incoming... said...

hey Klassen get a blogger ID so as it's not so confusing
good take though