I think many people do not realize what has been happening, especially in the last year or so. What is happening is the solidifying of all these “emerging” thoughts. Many started out as postmodern, yet much of postmodernism is as much against the Christian faith as modernism is. I wrote a long time ago about being post-post-modern, which is in effect that we are about across the bridge between the post modern age, and into whatever is next… and of that what will we be called… and what will the Church be like in this new age…
(I was hesitant to use that term with it’s connotation of the new age movement, truthful the New Age started when Christ rose from the Grave and announced with that the New Creation had now come to earth and the Kingdom was now here. So in effect I see that if we had grasped there would not have been any issue as the pagans would not have been able to claim the “New Age” as it would have been already claimed by the rightful people, the Children of God.)
The term I have found is “Performatism” it is of course based on performance, but even more it is about bring all the postmodern deconstructionism and such in to a collective whole that in essence works… or delivers as it promises.
(Mind you I am just starting my research into this so my first post may be full of holes and wrong assumptions much over simplification. But, yet I will forge forth to try to convey what might be beyond)
Brian McLaren, maybe knowingly or not, has sort of tapped into this with Generous Orthodoxy, yet I see that really we are at the beginning of bringing together all of our thoughts and the things we have worked out and still have to work out. This again, just as deconstructing and revisionism and such will not happen overnight, I suggest it may take at least the next ten years to truly start to gel.
What I see in the future is this… and is already happening.
Many “emerging” will return to the modern view, it is simple to grasp and in a sense I wish I could. But these will either be looking for something to help gel their theologies to make sense. To me any system is as good as the next… the focus of the Christian Life is not a system, it is Jesus. Yet like layers on an onion, God will meet us where we are at. Keep this in mind as I will return to this thought I a moment
If we desire to stay within a system and follow Jesus, I think He will honor that (of course depending on the “system”). I see though that one is called to something deeper. Jesus called us to grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Him… so a static system to me will not allow one to grow… but a fluid theology will allow for growth. To me at least now, I see this works to bring me closer to grasping the incredible complexity that is God. .
I see some will stay in the post-modernistic world view… or keep hammering away… To me this is a good thing as if one is seeking, Jesus promises to be found. So if one is tearing down old paradigms, in order to find the real Jesus (I am not saying reconstructing Jesus in our own image, which is often what modernism has done). But if one is seeking the authentic Jesus again as I said, Jesus will be found.
Some will go beyond, as in Spencer Burke’s vision of living a heretic’s faith. (I will not go into Spencer’s book here, I will soon in another post finish the review.) For me it is not about denying the truth that is in the scripture for our own ideas but looking at these from a perspective beyond religion… religion as defined in going to church, paying tithes, living a nice clean life and supporting a missionary, (again there is nothing wrong with any of that, but if that is all you Christian life is, then you are missing out on the “abundant life” that Jesus spoke of. I may not agree with Spencer on many points, but as far as Grace, and living beyond what we now call Christianity is something that I think God will open up wide for us in the next few years. What I think of this group will fall into two categories even polarized into two groups.
- An ideology based on humanistic reasoning in which truth is based on “what works for me”. This is not just implied in Humanism, but also in closed religious systems that though may not actually work, have become the “workings” of that individual and in which sole identity and structure depends on their person view and definition of truth… even if it is shared by many others… i.e. Religious systems such as fundamentalist Jihadism (Islam)… or fundamentalist Christianity. These in which rigidity is that focus and in many way the followers will interact in their closed system of belief which is based on human reason and the thought of working ones way through reason, rationalist thinking. I see in that the humanistic reasoning of atheism is no different that the modernistic Christian belief in the power of human reason and faith in propositional truth over revelation truth (Truth in the form of proposition must be kept in proper perspective in relation to the Person of Jesus) that is from the Source of all Truth, Jesus Who is TRUTH Incarnate.
- This second group I find the most interesting as to the ramifications that can com of it. In essence I see that in all the postmodern deconstruct and reductionism, we will find the origin… and foundation… and in that build upon it and…. Find…. It …. Works. We will in a way if not find realized, the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. It will be “Kingdom Come”. We will find that our faith works. This will be in an integrated and organic way. We will find substance to our faith and actualization not of self, as in the modernist-humanist view, rather the actualization of self with in the whole of all this “workings”.
Of course this is a very simple over view and honestly I have not had time to study this out as I would like. As one who builds his faith on the foundation of Jesus… I can see that the potential of #2 is very exciting. The down side will be the polarization.
If one takes time, one an see that there is a correlation to all this and the prophecies of the end times. There will be a great polarization of human based faith against Faith that comes from God. We will most probably see wars rise as these two groups begin to understand who they are. I see that the first group will persecute the second… some of which I have already personally have received.
Yet, in all that I see the upside. What if this is the time of the Return of Messiah. Beware though I see that the false messiah will come in the cloak of those in #1. Yet, keep your eyes open and I believe the Kingdom will come with the return of Jesus, the One crucified and that Rose again.
The programistic view will be soley an "If... then continue." That is why it is imperative we understand the importance of Jesus Being TRUTH incarnate, as if the "IF" is not pure and from a verified source... such as TRUTH itself, and it is based on a false assumption, one's world view will shift into the Kingdom of Darkness. For Satan was liar from the begining.
I hope as I grasp more of this idea to write more on it. Fro more info I suggest this article by Raoul Eshelamn.
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