Positing on Postmodernity

I ran across a recent piece by Shaun Turner entitled, “How (Not) to Speak of God as a Postmodern Evangelical”. Having been enamored early on with the "postmodern-emergent" discussion, I find myself beginning to read more widely and considering more thoughtfully the implications.

I hope my brevity does not disuade anyone from considering reading farther in this area. But in my context and life, I've come to sense and understand not all I that I do as a pastor is intended to be put on the people I am reaching, leading and caring for. What concerns me is that churches are becoming a laboratory for the theological experiments of some. Just because I have some thoughts and convictions, does it mean they are necessarily ready for consumption?

Scott Ginsberg wrote this week in “Orthopraxy not orthodoxy”,
A few months ago, author, pastor (and my homeboy) Jim Henderson educated me on the difference between orthoDOXY and orthoPRAXY:

The word orthodoxy comes from the Greek ortho ('correct') and doxa ('thought').

The correct thoughts.

The word orthopraxy comes from the Greek ortho ('correct') and proxis ('action').

The correct actions.

That to me is where the heart of the issue is. Are we really going on to Christian Perfection (I know that will bother some but you'll have to deal with my Wesleyan heritage)? Are we finding nexus with God on the issue of the greatest commandments to "Love God and Love Neighbor?" What we do in our cerebral journeys is one thing but how we guide the people we are called to reach and shepherd is another.

I'm not done with this by a long shot but I've got some doing that needs to get done.

May faith be with you!
May I ask: How is your "orthodoxy" becoming "orthopraxy"?

1 comments:

the Deacon said...

Here's a C.S. Lewis quote that reminds me of this. I think it's from a book called Letters to Malcolm.

"Novelty, simply as such, can have only an entertainment value. And (believers) don't go to church to be entertained. They go to use the service, or, if you prefer, to enact it. Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best if you like, it works best when, through long familiarity, we don't have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don't notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been only on God .

But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshipping A still worse thing may happen. Novelty may fix our attention not even on the service but on the celebrant. It lays one's devotion waste. There is really some excuse for the man who said, "I wish they'd remember that the charge to Peter was 'Feed my sheep', not 'Try experiments on my rats', or even, 'Teach my performing dog new tricks.'"

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