Tuesday, November 25, 2008

discarding the essential

We live in a post-Nietzchean world of faith and spirituality. Nietzche's declaration that God is dead still holds true, since interest in all things spiritual doe snot necessarily translate to a belief in a metaphysical God or the tenets and dogmas of a particular fait.
Barry Taylor, in the Book "An Emergent Manifesto of Hope", p. 165

I swear, postmoderns have more faith in Nietzche then in God, I think. At least, they take him literally, while they go out of their way to try to take the Bible as non-literally as possible.

The return of God we are experiencing today is not a resurrection of the premodern God as much as it is a new iteration in concepts of the divine, based not on medieval scholasticism or metaphysics but rather on the daring and often precarious notions of postmodern culture.

So...what's new again?

People want spirituality without God? Nothing new there.

"...a new iteration of concepts of the divine"? Well, doesn't that sound like something straight out of Chopra or Wilbur. What might this look like, we may wonder?

Whether "Christianity" has any future at all as a vibrant expression of faith in the Man from Galilee is a matter of debate as far as I am concern. Perhaps the times call for something else, something other, not merely the repackaging of old metaphors (playing the "relevant" game), but a new incarnation of what it means to follow Jesus.

Ah, one of those cleverly worded postmodern phrases, where you are told one thing then told the opposite. In this case, we are told that ""Christianity...as a vibrant expression of faith in the Man from Galilee..." is a thing to be debated and, by extension, discard if need be. But right after that, we are told that we may need "...a new incarnation of what it means to follow Jesus".

So, what does this apparent contradiction mean?

Well, we have to think if there is a way to reconcile these apparent contradictions. After all, the contradictions are merely apparent, not real, if one looks at it in a sufficiently skewed way.

There are, for example, people calling themselves Christians who have no qualms about mythologizing or spiritualizing the Gospels to the point of saying that most or all of what the Gospels record that Jesus said and did is fiction and hyperbole (except for a very few select phrases which they approve of).

Is this where he is leading? Well, it's certain one way of tying the contradictions together--discard the real biblical Jesus for a jesus of their own creation.

The audacity and arrogance here is staggering, but common to man, which is one reason the supposedly positive spin the emergents try to put on man just doesn't measure up to reality. The Bible's apparently negative statements about man, how fallen and in sin and separated from God we are, are the truth.

No comments: