Monday, August 8, 2011

"He who marries the spirit of the age will soon become a widower"

Matthew J. Milliner, a professor at Wheaton, offers "9.5 Theses" about postmodernism in the Church. For example:
1. I'll say it again: He who marries the spirit of the age will soon become a widower. Do those who married postmodernity realize their spouse is in a nursing home?

1.5 Christians who cater their theology to accommodate deconstruction are comparable to sub-rate CCM bands who copy Green Day five years after they've ceased being cool. They'll sell, but to a subset of evangelicalism who want to be "relevant" - which is the only group they'll ever be relevant to.

2. Yes Paul said he sees through a glass darkly - but he still saw. Don't forget to keep reading.

2.5 Paul did not end his speech at the Areopagus by saying "the Unknown God" is a great idea, sorry I bothered you. Nice statue. Can I have a copy? ....

4. Yes, God is at work in the world already. That doesn't mean the church needs to be like the world. The best thing the church can do for the world is to be the church, not regurgitate graduate school seminar room talk from 1985.

4.5 Wrestling with the difficult questions of the Christian life (the eternal destiny of non-Christians, the reliability of the Bible, church hypocrisy, etc.) does not constitute a movement. It's called normative Christian maturation. It is risky business, but followed through, opens into holy mystery and stronger, more nuanced faith. Abandoned, this process can lead to faith's termination. Perpetuating those questions indefinitely, however, is another thing entirely: Frozen adolescence.

4.75 POP QUIZ! What is wrong with the following Biblical quotation? "Seek and you shall seek." ....

5.5 Tom Oden is right: "A center without a circumference is just a dot, nothing more. It is the circumference that marks the boundary of the circle. To eliminate the boundary is to eliminate the circle itself. The circle of faith cannot identify its center without recognizing its perimeter." ....

8. Heresy is boring, not exciting because it eviscerates mystery. If you're attracted to heresy because it makes you feel naughty then that's kinda creepy. If you're attracted to it because you don't want to "limit God," then the religion that serves a God who became a particular first-century Palestinian Jew might not be for you. .... [more] 9.5 Theses