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Postmodernism

Beauty, the Beholder, and the Believer   by Robert P. Mills, PCUSA minister and Assistant professor of Humanities and Music Theory at Liberty University, VA, and Director of Music at Northminster Presbyterian Church, Madison Heights, VA.  The notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder seems so intuitively obvious that there is little discussion today to challenge its accuracy.  But, beauty has not always been subjective.  Until the Enlightenment, beauty was understood as an objective quality. Then slowly a shift began to take place and beauty became a relative quality assigned by the observer.  Once beauty became subjective, Truth and Goodness soon followed.  Mills draws application to the church and its ministry form the relativizing of Beauty, Truth and Goodness.  Nov/Dec 2009 Theology Matters, p. 1

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore, Toto! Postmodernism in Our Everyday Lives by Dr. Dennis L. Okholm, Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.  Okholm explains "postmodernism" and it's impact on the church.  He examines: The 'Modern' in Postmodernism; the 'Post' in Postmodernism; Crucial Characteristics of Postmodernism in Everyday Life--the rejection of a 'master narrative', the authority of the self, the power of language, the construction of reality, the priority of images, the importance of management and therapy; What Should the Church's response Be When It's Blown out of Kansas? Jul/Aug 1999 Theology Matters p.. 1

Doubtful Disciples by Dr. M. Craig Barnes, Senior Pastor of the National Presbyterian Church and author of numerous books and articles. This is a reprint of a sermon delivered on May 23, 1999.  The text is Matthew 28:16-20.  Barnes writes, "he point of having faith is not to pretend you are certain.  The point of faith is that it allows you to keep worshiping in spite of your doubts."   Jul/Aug 1999 Theology Matters p. 7

Postmodernism: A Declaration of Bankruptcy by Kathryn R. Ludwigson.  This is reprinted with permission from The Challenge of Postmodernism: An Evangleical Engagement, edited by David S. Dockery, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995),  p. 281-292,  Jul/Aug 1999 Theology Matters, p. 9.

The Centrality of Holiness to Christian Faith: Why Holiness Has Become Irrelevant in Postmodern Religion by David F. Wells, Andrew Muctch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of numerous books including Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision.  Wells writes, "The greatest dangers to evangelical faith, I believe, lie as much in what we do know as in what we don't.  They lie not only in the doctrinal fog represented on many a church pew each Sunday but also in the great truths of Christian faith which are professed on those same pews but which, nonetheless, now lie dormant."   Wells examines the meaning of "the Holy".  He writes, What the holiness of God means is rather clear: it is what it means to us that is problematic and obscure."   Wells argues that we define life in terms of the therapeutic.  "We now translate many of life's wrongs into diseases; we focus these in the self; we think that our remedy can be found within; and,...insofar as there is a religious dimension to all of this, it takes the form of recasting God as the source of our inner healing."  Wells examines the "Disappearance of Sin" and the needed remedy of biblical preaching.  "The God of Calvin and Luther has, in these sermons, disappeared.  In his place is one far less transcendent, far more mellow, one who feels our pain as any good Boomer might, and who is so much more user-friendly."  Mar/Apr 1998 Theology Matters p. 1

When Everything is Permitted  by Wolfhart Pannenberg, reprinted with permission from First Things Journal, February 1998, No. 80, pp. 26-30.  Pannenberg writes, "It may well be the case that the moral crisis of modern secular societies is attributable to the fact that God is no longer publicly recognized as the source of moral norms...Historical experience demonstrates that, for societies and for individuals, the autonomy of reason cannot successfully replace the authority of God. In this respect Rousseau is fully vindicated.  As is Dostoevsky, whose Ivan Karamazov observed that, without God, "everything is permitted."  Pannenberg's solution to the moral dilemma begins with a renewal of Christian morality in the Christian community.  Mar/Apr 1998 Theology Matters p. 8 

From Father God to Mother Earth: The Effect of Deconstructing Christian Faith on Sexuality by Berit Kjos, author of several books including Brave New Schools, Your Child and the New Age, Under the Spell of Mother Earth and A Twist of Faith. Kjos writes, "This spiritual movement demands new deities or a rethinking of the old ones.  The transformation starts with self, some say, and women can't re-invent themselves until they shed the old shackles.  So the search for a 'more relevant' religion requires new visions of God: images that trade holiness for tolerance, the heavenly for the earthly, and the God who is above us for a god who is us."  Kjos examines the Masks of the Feminine Gods; Gateways to the Goddess, the Paradigm Shift; Sex and Feminist Spirituality; Unholy Tolerance; The Nature of Temptation; and From Tolerance to Truth.  Sep/Oct 1997 Theology Matters p. 1

Dancing on the Suspension Bridge: The Irrational World of Postmodernism by David W. Henderson, PCUSA pastor.  An in-depth description of postmodernism in which there are no absolutes and how Christians can respond to it. Mar/Apr 1997 Theology Matters p. 1