Monday, May 7, 2012

POSTMODERNISM #2

I thought I would assemble some quotes from Christian thinkers that can help facilitate a discussion of Postmodernism at - http://allachner.com/forum .

"Because we are commanded by God to form and reform culture, Christians have to be actively engaged with culture: studying it, discerning positive and negative aspects, and working to redeem it. We are to be in the world but not of it, working to restrain evil and advance redemptive potentials. We are called to be salt in the world, working to enrich culture and preserve life-affirming aspects. We are also called to be a light to show the way for cultural development, uncovering and disentangling forces for good and evil, and redirecting unhealthy or destructive patterns toward principles in line with loving god and serving our neighbor. And the culture we are called to form and reform, to move toward redemption, includes even popular culture."  William Romanowski


"Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the gospel in understandable terms, considering the language and thought-forms of that setting."  Francis Schaeffer


"Traditional Christian teaching has been otherworldly in its emphasis. It has had more to say about how to accept failure than about how to succeed, more about suffering than about action. Theology has been the preserve of those who minister as priests and pastors to the inner spiritual life of their people. Consequently, when theologians whose whole work is in this pastoral ministry try to speak about matters of politics and economics, their words do not carry weight."   Lesslie Newbigin


In 1968 Francis Schaffer wrote these words. They are strangely prophetic:
The God Who Is There
"Men are facing a society without structure and they want to fill the void that has appeared. For a long time Reformation ideas formed the basis of North European culture, and this extended to include that of America and English-speaking Canada, etc. But today that has been destroyed by the relativism both inside [82] and outside the churches. Hence historic Christianity is now a minority group....

      "Society cannot function without form and motivation. As the old sociological forms have been swept away, new ones must be found or society breaks down altogether. Sir Julian Huxley has stepped in at this point with his suggestion that religion has a real place in modern society. But, he would contend, it must be understood that religion is always evolving and that it needs to come under the control of society.
      "This suggestion is not as ridiculous as it sounds, even coming from a convinced humanist, if one understands the mentality of our age. The prevailing dialectical methodology fits itself easily into religious forms....
     "Teilhard de Chardin... illustrates that the progressive Roman Catholic theologians are further away from historic Reformation Christianity than classical Roman Catholicism, because they are also dialectical thinkers.
     "The orthodox Roman Catholic would tell me that I am bound for hell because I reject the true Church. He is dealing with a concept of absolute truth. But the new Roman Catholic who sits at my fireside says, ‘You are all right, Dr. Schaeffer, because you are so sincere.’ In the new Roman Catholicism such a statement usually means that the dialectical method has taken over.
Therefore we are not surprised to find that ... others such as Hans KUng have been strongly influenced by neo-orthodoxy. It is important to note that the position on Scripture by the Vatican Council has shifted in the same-direction and men such as Raymond Panikkar, Dom Bede Griffiths [close friend of C. S. Lewis]... are proclaiming a synthesis between Roman Catholicism and Hinduism." 83
"The time, therefore, does seem right for this new theology to give the needed sociological forms and motivations. It is true, of course, that society could look elsewhere amongst the secular mysticisms for a new evolving religion, but the new theology has some strong advantages.
      "Firstly, the undefined connotation words that they are using are deeply rooted in our Western culture. This is much easier and more powerful than using new and untraditional words.
      "Secondly, these men control almost every large denomination in Protestantism.... This gives them the advantage of functioning within the organisational stream of the Church, and thus both its organisation and linguistic continuity is at their disposal.
      "Thirdly, people in our culture in general are already in process of being accustomed to accept non-defined, contentless religious words and symbols, without any rational or historical control. Such words and symbols are ready to be filled with the content of the moment. The words ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ are the most ready for the manipulator. The phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has become a contentless banner which can be carried in any direction for sociological purposes.

      "...because the phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has been separated from true history and the content of Scripture, it can be used to trigger religiously motivated sociological actions directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.... It is against such manipulated semantic mysticism that we do very well to prepare ourselves, our children and our spiritual children." 84
Francis_schaeffer