I find myself captivated when I am party to conversation among other Christians where someone mentions that we are now living in the postmodern era. It seems to be a popular statement to make in the context where the relevance of historic Christian values and teachings are being resisted most often by ambivalence. This observation is much easier to articulate than are the solutions of how to share those God-given values and teachings in what is becoming an increasingly ambivalent and hostile environment. According to Peter Drucker, the postmodern era began somewhere between 1937-1957. Others lobby for a date of inception of postmodern thought as late as the early 1960’s.
My point is that even in conceding the later dates we are a half century or more into postmodernism and to say that we are “now living” in such an era is to reveal that we have some major catching up to do in terms of the speed and momentum of change in the human mindset. Postmodernism, among other things, introduced a new formula for the social construction of truth as opposed to an acceptance of a moral bar of truth that Christians and Jews have for thousands of years attributed to God as revealed in the scriptures. That is to say most people in the past 50 years have migrated to a definition and bar of truth that works for them. Even if acknowledging the Scriptures as God’s truth in response to a survey, their practical application has been a truth of their own making for their own purpose.
This is a problem. In fact, the fruit of this postmodern mindset has actually already ushered us into a new era in many parts of the world – some call it a Post-Christian era while others see it as a Post-Humanism era. If you would like an example to gain greater depth of understanding, read the latest Barna Report on what is happening in Scotland: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/730-scotland-lessons-for-effective-ministry-in-a-post-christian-context#.VgrCfHTlszs
This is a problem for those who are disciples of Jesus as it was a problem for Paul as he shared the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those whose mindset default was to define their own working application of truth and morality. The resistance of mankind in considering God’s bar of moral and ethical truth finds its genesis in Genesis. Really. Adam and Eve chose to resist that truth in a perfect set up so they could do the one thing (only one) that God instructed them not to do. Thus is the nature of our falleness and thus is the temptation to always want to begin with what is best for us by our own perception rather than what God has given as best for us in God’s Word.
But our problem according to Jesus (who we will remember walked in a Pre-Christian world) is really a glorious opportunity to trust God with our very life as we steward his message of life, love, and victory in a truth lived and offered to us freely. Jesus proclaimed that He was indeed the Truth, Son of God and Son of Man, and His great commission was clear to include, “teaching them to obey everything I commanded you.” We were created, designed and purposed for a higher truth than what we can concoct on our own. What a great and holy privilege is ours to steward such a message in such a time as this! Be encouraged by God’s loving presence as we choose to live together in pursuit of the only truth that will set us free! John 8:32-33.