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Friday, July 01, 2005

Post-modern?

Those who are regular here are aware that I have been concerned by some of the ideas that are being put forth by those who have been identified as post-modern Christians and the reaction of many to their ideas. My “pomo” brethren will be glad to know that lately I’m very encouraged with what I’ve been hearing. Here’s a taste of what I find very tasty.

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13 Comments:

Blogger pecheur said...

Community is good. Intentional community is church. Now whether that is post modern I am not sure.

I am still very uncomfortable with the label "post modern Christian". My position is that a Christian may have to work in a postmodern context, but if he/she ever becomes a post modern Christian, then I am a little apprehensive. Why? Because postmodern philosophy and Christianity do not mix well. What does darkness and light have to do with each other?

And even though the emergent church model is the grandfather of the model I will have to use while doing ministry in a real post modern context, I have some reservations about it also. Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren and Donald Miller et al are great guys who are trying to do something to revive the church in America, but how long will the emergent church wave (fad) last?

7/01/2005 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

If this were a baseball game, Pecheur just hit a homer (no, not a "Homer") :-)

I think this goes all the way back to the Church Fathers- from the beginning they wrestled with the compatibility of "foreign" thought with Christianity. Tertullian said "no way"; Augustine said it was okay, and compared it to the Israelites taking from the Egyptians when they left. I think the PoMo discussion is exactly the same: some people are still saying "no way," while others are identifying fully as "PoMo" and serving as "spokespeople" for this movement.
I think Pech is right on in pointing out that it will be temporary (although "temporary" in theology could mean 100 years). On the other hand, theology has never been anything but temporary movements! Many of those who are saying PoMo thinking will twist the "true gospel" don't even recognize the baggage their "true gospel" carries! I find that these types are generally the most Platonic thinkers I come across! Some of them even quote Church Fathers without recognizing that the Church Fathers were incorporating Plato into Christianity :-)
Another issue is the Evangelical love for the "either/or" fallacy: just because aspects of PoMo are incompatable with a Christian worldview, that does not mean we must reject ALL PoMo offers! I think that if we're unable to evaluate other perspectives to see what's bad and what's good, we end up being divisive when it's inappropriate. Pretty soon, people will think of us as close-minded and self-centered. Oh, wait- that already happened ;-)

7/02/2005 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Here's a bit more fuel for the fire. Not long ago I had mentioned that I would like to hear the perspective of a historian. I’m watching this new blog with anticipation.

7/03/2005 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Here's another perspective.

7/05/2005 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

I have got to spend some time here.

Matt's comments trully are like iron sharpening iron. And I think I would have to agree, that there are things good about PoMo and others to be left behind. The Roman Empire and Christianity through Postmodernism and Christianity. Where are we and who are we?????

Confused Pech

7/05/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Ok I have a question for you who know. What's the difference between the NT in Greek and the NT in the KJV? And what's the difference between the KJV and the NKJV? What is the overall difference between these text?

7/06/2005 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Kc,

That is a great question and I would love to answer it completely. But in order to do that I am going to need a little time. So if you could accept a real basic answer I would love to fill you in on all the details that you would appreciate. I think you'd dig it.

There is no one Greek text. There are thousands. So those smarter than us have put the manuscripts in families. Basically, the Byzantine tradtion or family is mostly behind both the KJV and the NKJV. The NKJV has taken the foundation of the KJV and with new finds (including the Dead Sea Scrolls) and a better methodology of doing textual criticism has retranslated the KJV using the Byzantine textual family (tradition). What makes both translations inferior is the unacceptance of older Alexanderian family (tradition) manuscripts (except in footnotes of the NKJV where an alternative reading is given). There is a ton more stuff and I can't wait to share it with you.

7/06/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Pech. I was unaware of the importance of the Alexanderian work. Do you have a favorite translation? Is there a difference in content and concept or just perspective?

I will try to relate this to our considerations on the Emergent/Pomo movement.

7/06/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Preferences? Sort of. For a very wooden literal translation I prefer the NASB (but it is not well written because of the above manner of translation). If I am looking for a dynamic translation I like the NIV. But with the NIV there is a lot of interpretation and I always check it with other English translations. My favorite version with techincal study notes is the NET (free on the web, translated by DTS profs, so I have to give it a plug, but it isn't too bad). Now when I want a good devotional read I'll pick up the NLT. It is a paraphrase like its predecesor the Living Bible, but for just a devotional value,it's fine. Now there is nothing "wrong" with the Byzantine based translations, they just are not the better translations. And it's not even a matter of archaic English, people can get that. look at us. It's that since 1611 or 1785 there have been great strides in understanding lexica and culture of the ancient Near East especially with the Ugaritic textual finds. These tools simply were unavailable in the 17th century. They did the best they could with what they had and did a remarkable job!!

Basically, I have a prefered translation depending on what I need Scripture for. And usually, if I've got the time, I'll check out several translations (even ones with agendas, e.g. NAB and NEB) to see where the problem spots are, then I may dust off my Greek New Testament (that's another issue, there are two major Greek corpi--Nestle-Alland and UBS##). Since I have e-sword, I can do this rather quickly. If you do not have a copy of it and want one go to its web site and you can download it or wait and I can send you a copy. I rarely crack my paper Bible unless I am doing a devotion.

As far as different content. Zero difference unless you are reading the WLT of the JW's who are strictly incompotent in Greek and have built a cult around misunderstanding basic Greek Grammar. Most of the mainline translations say the exact same thing but from an interpretive viewpoint. But revelation itself is propably interpretive to some degree since the original writers were not mechinically writting God's revelation. I am wondering if this discussion could also be thrown into the "inerrancy" debate raging through out the SBC at the moment?

I am anxious to see how this fits into a PoMo discussion since I see the textual critical issues being an epitome of "Modern" thought.

Hopes this stirs your curiosity and satisfies it enough for you to want more. =)I'd sure feel important. =) haha

7/06/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pech you are important whether you feel like it or not. Yes I want more. So much more I’m considering how I might take Greek (you can have the Hebrew stuff) and I HATE language courses of any kind! I’ve been pushed into studying from the NKJV by Corry and others who get bogged down on the KJV. I’m still in love with it though. I’ve been having to look at numerous translations from various studies and discussions. You’ve got me very interested in the NASB now and I think I’ll get one soon. I’ll check out the NET too. Which brings me to my point (grin).

“As far as different content. Zero difference unless ….”. That’s the way I see those who identify with the Emergent Church and the Christian PoMo movement. Forget the academia nuts and focus on those in the real world “context”. As far as different content. Zero difference unless they are just building a cult. Once you accept the terminology it seems they’re message is our message. The good guys (the ones in white hats) are just like the good guys 25 years ago. Devoted, loving, caring ministers with a sincere desire to serve God and His creation. To them a “Community” can refer to the Church or the world. There’s no distinction made between the two because we are supposed to have the same “relationship” with both. To have a “relationship” is to have a love of or for something or someone. Believers have a relationship with Jesus and everyone should. They should also have a relationship with (love for) the world. Pech the void has been present in men since the garden. I think that PoMo philosophy has had the same effect on the real world that any other philosophy has had. It’s changed the way the academic community thinks and the way the rest of the world talks. ;-)

7/06/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

I must warn you the NASB is rough and sometimes awkward with its use of English. You will find the KJV much more beautiful as far as style and flow of 17th century English.

Hmm, interesting point and I think I can agree with most of it.

But Modern philosophy and thought was full of optimism about man's ability to find fulfillment. Postmodernism is about existing in nothingness. The whole premise is absence of fulfillment and always expect disappointment. So in that sense, postmodern thought and modern thought are saying two different things. Now ultimately, it doesn't matter, they both lead to the same end-death, as does every philosophical proposition or model. So in the sense of their ultimate goal they both end in dead end streets (pun very much intended)=) If the Christians are right, it is the only hope for any philosophical system. And postmo's are trying to "fit in" this model to get their message heard. But if they adopt the model and "christianized" it then their message has been corrupted if not changed.

7/06/2005 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

I failed to point out that normally when they refer to themselves as Post-Modern they are referring to the philosophical age, not the philosophy. Most derail the philosophy and claim to stand in contrast to it. One other translation; icons and idols are now “symbols”. They are having the same problem with customs we’ve all had. Some in the “community” have made their customs a “symbol”. ;-)

7/07/2005 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Good point.

7/08/2005 04:02:00 PM  

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