What’s coming next at VanguardChurch: Exploring Appropriate Christian Responses to Postmodernity

I’ve been commenting over at Every Thought Captive, Phil Steiger’s excellent blog on Christianity, apologetics, and philosophy (see "Metanarratives, Postmodernism and Christianity" and "What is a Christian to do?"). His stand on postmodernity is “there is no room for postmodern philosophy in the Christian worldview.”

I differed with him on that stand. We’ve been going back and forth about this, because I think that many good thinking Christians (of which Phil is one, I believe) are not giving any credence to postmodern philosophy because of their presupposition that all things postmodern are contrary to a Christian World View. In my comments, I’ve cited Tom Wright, Stan Grenz, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Brian Walsh, and Scot McKnight as possible models as to how Christians can engage with the postmodern ideas.

To add to that list, I’ve begun reading a book I purchased this summer, Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: Six Views. The book is edited by Myron Penner and features essays by R. Douglas Geivatt and R. Scott Smith (who are more pessimistic), James K.A. Smith, John R. Franke and Merold Westphal (who are more favorable), and Kevin J. Vanhoozer (who takes a mediating position).

The blogs you’ll be reading from me in the next few weeks will be interacting with what I read in this book. I jumped into it with Kevin Vanhoozer’s essay because I have so much enjoyed what I’ve read by him and what others have said in response to his work. He is one of the brightest new theologians of the 21st Century.

Index of this series: Toward a Proper Christian Response to Postmodernity


Scot McKnight said...

When you start commenting, let me know and I'll give my readers a heads-up on your stuff.

Hunter said...

Hi Bob,

My name is Hunter Barnes, I am co-editor with Myron Penner, of a soon to be released book with Paternoster press entitled, “A Knew Kind of Conversation, Blogging Toward a Post-Modern Faith” Contributors to this book include Brian McLaren, Mabiala Kenzo, Bruce Ellis Benson, Ellen Haroutunian and Myron Penner. A unique feature of this book, is that it will be written on a blog, with our various contributors in conversation with each other, AND with the readers of the blog who choose to comment and contribute. This allows for the reader to be published along with our main contributors in the printed version of the book! I wanted to invite you and your readers personally to come to the site, our conversation will begin on September 15th, but you can sign up to be notified now by going to www.anewkindofconverstion.com.
The topics we will be discussing are: The Bible, Theology and Postmodernism-- Postmodern Apologetics?-- Postmodern Ministry-- Postmodernism and spiritual formation-- Theology and (non) (post) Foundationalism, and What is a postmodern evangelical?

Take care Bob, I hope you join us in this experiment in conversation and publishing.

Hunter Barnes

Jeff Kuhn said...

I look forward to your posts Bob. My personal feeling is that post-modernity is a gift to the church. It's challenging us to separate the truth from all the cultural baggage that we have added to the truth. I agree with Wright in his lecture of "The Christian Challenge in the post-modern world. He writes, "Under God, the role of postmodernity has been to announce the doctrine of the fall to arrogant modernity, and to say, it's not that easy guys, you've just been building the tower of Babel, and God is coming down to have a little giggle at it and to confuse you languages."

What I am wrestling with is how to help a diverse congregation (a spectrum from "modern to the core" to "post-modern all the way") to not only understand each other and work together - but to see that God stretches us by the others in the body - that in our diversity we are actually gifts to one another. I eagerly await what you are learning.

Bob Robinson said...

Yes, this transitional time is difficult at the congregational level--with many not knowing that they are postmodern but are, many who think they are postmodern ut are not, those who are modern and accepting of postmodernity, those moderns who are militant against postmoderns, and those postmoderns who are snooty against the moderns...

Bob Robinson said...

Thanks, Hunter, for the invite!

I've signed up, and look forward to the conversation!