Definitions

Tony, Our Youth Pastor, has started a new blog where he is exploring issues related to Youth Ministry.  He has an interesting post titled, “How Postmodernism Killed Duck, Duck, Goose”.  Truthfully, I believe that child worship (everyone gets a trophy) has killed it more so that postmodernism, but the post is interesting nonetheless.  Tony’s post got me thinking about how the terms “modernism” and “postmodernism” are used in the media – mostly Christian media.  Is everyone working from the same lexicon here?

 

What is your definition of “modernism” and “postmodernism”?

Does it only apply to the Christian church or is it a description of a social movement?

 

One definition I have heard is

 

Modernism = objectivism

Postmodern =subjectivism

 

The objective/subjective distinction seems over generalized as well.  What do each of these words mean in terms of faith and religion?  Does objective mean a logical, esoteric approach to faith where we try to prove truths using the Bible?  This sounds awfully rigid and cold to needs outside of the self.  Does subjective mean truth is relative to what I think it is?  This sounds arrogant and cheapens the cost of discipleship by allowing people to twist topics in the Bible to mean that they want them to mean or only believing those parts that fit their agenda.

Do people embrace the labels “postmodern” and “modern”, or are they just terms used to describe “others”?

Does the fact that I am worried about definitions automatically put me in the modernist group?  Can I just make up my own definitions for postmodernism if I am a postmodernist  (this seems to be what is happening)?   Is relativism an extreme posture of postmodernism? 

If we are to use these words to describe the current changes taking place, we should at least have an understanding of what these words mean.

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