“It may come as a surprise to learn that in all sorts of ways I believe postmodernity is to be welcomed. It offers an analysis of evil which the mainstream culture…still resists; it deconstructs, in particular, the dangerous ideology of ‘progress.’ I regard the main function of postmodernity under God to be the preaching of the doctrine of the Fall (the truth of a deep and fatal flaw within human nature) to the modernist, post-eighteenth-century arrogance that supposes it has solved the world’s problems.” (N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God, p. 32)
Ministry that is properly situated to reach postmoderns embraces postmodern ideas about evil. We affirm the “will to power” that points out that we human beings (both individually and in our institutions) consistently abuse power in order to oppress others and to further our own agendas. We affirm that we should be careful not to trust others too far. We affirm a skepticism that says that everything is progressing in a wonderful Hegelian dialectical path. We affirm that Auschwitz and brutal World Wars and even current empirical power grabs by the governments of the West prove that our supposed morality is questionable at best. We affirm that even those who are religious are not immune to the bent human need for power (as we have seen throughout the history of the church and most recently in the power-wrangling of the Religious Right).
“Postmodernity may be correct to say evil is real, powerful, and important, but it gives us no real clue as to what we should do about it. It is therefore vital that we look elsewhere…” (p. 33)
A Christian movement that displays the grace of Jesus Christ in righting injustices speaks to the postmodern heart and mind. It says that God knows that the world is not the way it should be. It says that God is indeed doing something about it. It says that the ultimate solution to these problems is God…God hanging on a cross.
technorati: emerging church, missional, social action, postmodernity, justice