Friday, August 16, 2013

Postmodernism and The Emergent Church, Part Two - Thomas Jay Oord at The Ooze

Part Two - Breaking Free: Liberationist Postmodernism

Modern ways of knowing are based on the idea that abstract and universal thought are the only way to understand reality.  But truth can't be captured in logical syllogism or scientific analysis alone because humans draw from and rely on personally-gained wisdom. 

Even though language isn't the only lense on reality, modernity compartmentalized and fragmented knowledge of the world while failing to consider the experiences of those at the margins.  This constitutes a critical failure in having a holistic approach to reality. 

Postmodern revisionists seek to account for a variety of sensibilities; including religious, scientific, ecological, liberationist and aesthetic.  They seek a story big and adequate enough to include everyone while still appreciating and promoting diversity.  This revisionism is part of a perpetual practice of recasting and adapting a worldview to new experiences and information.  

Unlike modernism, postmodernism doesn't diminish anything that is "other-than" but affirms that all creatures have direct interaction with the divine., whose spirit  works in all of creation.  This is interrelation of all creatures is what makes community essential.  Our well-being is caught up in and largely dependent upon the well-being of the whole.  Many revisionist postmodernists look to the doctrine of the Trinity to ground their emphasis on divine relatedness.

This is one of the rich narratives that modernism trampled under foot as it pursued progress full-speed-ahead, leaving a path of needless destruction in its wake while wreaking havoc on the planet.  Postmodern revisionism seeks wiser ways to proceed in the future by turning to both ancient wisdom sources and emerging insights that could help to facilitate the experience of abundant life.  It sees progress towards a better world as possible by divine common grace and proper creaturely responses, something Wesleyans call "prevenient grace."

The full article is available here