Thursday, July 24, 2008

Worthy is the Lambeth posting to be posted here (2)

"The world has been orphaned by religion which no longer answers its questions."

Bishop Nick Baines of Croyden is blogging Lambeth as it happens. One posting includes this report of Brian "Generous Orthodoxy" McLaren's address.

"Basically, he described the world as having moved from pre-modernism through modernism to an emerging postmodernism. The West spent five hundred years in modernism whereas Africa (and parts of Asia?) will spend five years in modernism before moving on. However, he says, Christian churches flourish where people/cultures move from premodernism to modernism and decline when modernism no longer addresses the questions posed by postmodern minds. Massive church growth in Africa has something to do with its move from premodernism to modernism, but the growth might not necessarily last. More importantly, it implies a sociological element in the growth of Christianity which must be taken seriously. Hence, the challenge for the Church in places of massive growth lies not in wielding power or thinking that numbers justify its methodologies or theologies, but rather in making disciples of Jesus. The same phenomenon cannot happen in the West because the conditions that make for such evangelistic 'success' no longer apply here.

... The point is that he challenged in an eirenic and supportive way the opportunity for the Anglican Church to take seriously its vocation to make disciples of Jesus who will commit to changing the world. However, we need to find appropriate (essentially relational) ways to engage and reach out to postmodern people. I will not quickly forget his statement that 'the world has been orphaned by religion which no longer answers its questions'."

That's food for thought!


Anonymous said...

'postmodernism' simply means extreme relativism in matters of religion and and a high degree of relativism in personal ethics. Nobody is a postmodernist when it comes to science or their contract of employment - words mean something after all! It should be the same for Scripture as well.
One challenge for Christians is therefore to present a deep, mind-convincing apologetic for our faith, while another is to nurture a consistent, realistic spirituality.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous
I tend to agree with you re post-modernism.
I posted the precis of Brian McLaren's remarks because of what they say about the challenge of evangelism in a world of 'cultural shift'.
There is, IMHO, a grave danger of the world leaving religion rapidly behind.