A few days ago, I mentioned that I was reading A Primer on Postmodernism by Stanley J. Grenz. I finally finished it!
Now, I know it’s getting a little age on it (1996), and I imagine most people who happen by this space consider it to be a little “old hat.” But, I’ve got to admit, for a person who has long felt “unprepared and inadequate” in the realm of philosophy, Grenz is a pretty concise and helpful introduction.
(OK, OK…let me explain! When I started a doctoral program a few years back, I was basically ashamed and embarrassed because I apparently didn’t have the philosophical background of some of my peers and colleagues. My master’s degree basically prepared me to be a “company man” and a preparer of sermons – not really a leader or a thinker. Let the reader understand….)
All righty, then – that’s out of the way! So the Grenz Primer is a pretty good starting point for the philosophically challenged among us. But here’s the real kicker, as far as I’m concerned. Grenz’s Chapter 7 “The Gospel and the Postmodern Context” should be required reading for anyone who is interested in this business of “doing church” in the culture in which we find ourselves today. It would be especially helpful for those “immigrants” ($1 to Len Sweet and others!) to the postmodern culture. Like me.
That chapter, and indeed, the book proper, ends with this…
The gospel of Jesus Christ has gone forth in every era with power to convert human hearts. Today that gospel is the answer to the longings of the postmodern generation. Our task as Christ’s disciples is to embody and articulate the never-changing good news of available salvation in a manner that the emerging generation can understand. Only then can we become the vehicles of the Holy Spirit in bringing them to experience the same life-changing encounter with the triune God from whom our entire lives derive their meaning. (p. 174)