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A New Kind of Church for a New Kind of World, by Frank Viola


Editor Introduction: Postmodernism, The Church, and The Future


From Pneuma Review Summer 2008

Postmodernism, The Church, and The Future
A Pneuma Review discussion about how the church should respond to postmodernism

The modern era has past us by. Modernism stood in stark contradiction to the Christian faith. It asserted that man’s scientific and objective knowledge could save the problems of the world. God wasn’t necessary.

In fact, according to the tenants of modernism, God didn’t even exist. Why? Because modernism arrogantly taught that only that which can be verified by the physical senses could be trusted. Since God stands outside the realm of the physical senses, His existence could not be proven, thus there was no rational reason to believe in Him.

Modernism is all but gone, and it failed to deliver its promises. It did not solve the problems of the world. In fact, with the creation of nuclear and biological weapons, it made it far easier to destroy the world it claimed to save.

Enter the postmodern world.

In many ways, postmodernism is much more friendly to the Christian faith than its predecessor which denied the spiritual world.

Postmodernism is difficult to define. Pundits, professors, and philosophers disagree on its precise meaning. Nevertheless, here are some of the basic characteristics of the postmodern mind.

frank[1]1. Experience, personal testimony, and spiritual encounter are more persuasive than objective, logical argumentation.

2. Authentic relationships, connectedness, and community are more appealing than Western individualism and rugged independence.

3. A humble attitude that respects and gives an open ear to the views of others is more attractive than the conceited claims of those who say they are completely right and everyone else is wrong.

Intolerance, racism, sexism, bigotry are all rejected in favor of love, respect, and concern for others regardless of the outward barriers that separate us humans.

The Church in the Postmodern World

What is needed is a new kind of church for a new kind of world.

Interestingly, the new kind of church I’m speaking of is really not new at all. It’s the church that we find in the New Testament. Unfortunately, through centuries of religious tradition, the modern church has departed from its Biblical roots.

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Summer 2008

About the Author: Frank Viola has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. He has written many books on these themes, including God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, and The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels. He blogs regularly at Twitter

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