2.1 [Exploration] "What is Incarnational"

An added thought to today's reading....
Have you ever heard the word "postmodern?" That word brings forth a variety of emotions - some positive, some negative, and if unfamiliar with the definition, perhaps apathy. Although many Christians often react negatively to the broad term "postmodernism" (usually its tendency to downplay absolute truth in favor of subjective experience), we need to recognize that this is our social context. Postmoderns focus on emotion over reason, are comfortable holding onto paradoxes and opposing truths, and are often critical of authority. Whether we know it or not, this mindset has effected all of us in one way or another. Now stick with me for a minute (I know this is getting kind of philisophical...). The movement postmodernism replaced was called "modernism." This way of thinking viewed the world in terms of what can be proved by scientific study and research, reason, etc. How does this relate to the church and culture? Well, how many times have you heard people try to prove the Bible, argue people into accepting Jesus, etc? This has its place, for Christianity is a thinking faith and is rooted in historical events. But can you see how this approach would not work very well with people our age? This is why standing on the corner with a sign or passing out pamphlets on how to get your "ticket to heaven" are innefective, and in my opinion, hurtful. These methods lack relationship, and at their worst are confrontational (My belief system can own your belief system in an argument!") Just as John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us," our Christian witness takes on flesh and dwells among people of all types, inviting them to actually see the life we have in Jesus. It is from here that the truth is offered. My question for you is this: "What might be some challenges that we face as the young adult community at Bethlehem? What attitudes or habits might have to be examined and reconsidered in light of our context?"
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you said that I am the light of the world and the salt of the earth. May our community give light in dark places and flavor to the dullness of existence without you. Amen.


  1. The challenge postmodernism has created is that no one needs salvation anymore. There is no wrong or sin that is universal and it's all relative to the individual's perspective. So why would anyone want to hear about Jesus?

    Is society any more sinful that it has ever been in the past? That's debatable. The more serious issue is that now, more than ever before, sin isn't allowed to be defined. If no one has the authority to describe sin and its effects on the soul, this generation is lost.

  2. I think that as we grow closer to people that believe there is no wrong or right, we can point out some of the logical inconsistencies. For example, if you don't believe in any wrong or right, what happens when another person's definition of "right" ends up hurting you? Or, what about the problem of evil? As Christians, we can clearly say that something IS evil and that evil has entered the world through sin. We also have a very real solution - Jesus Christ. The really sad reality that many of our peers live in is that they have no explanation for why things are the way they are, and even worse, no solution. There's a song by The Shins with a line that goes, "There's no design, the flaws are fine," which I'm assuming refers to reality. This is the complete opposite of our Christian worldview. There is design and purpose in this world, the flaws are not fine, and God has a plan, in Jesus Christ, to put all this back in order.
    If anyone is interested, check out Acts 17:16-34, where Paul, who as a Jew had a very structured view of reality informed by the Scriptures, enters into conversation with some Greek philosophers, who were in many ways the complete opposite. You can almost sense a postmodern feel in verse 21 -"All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas." To this context Paul enters into their conversation with respect, and he also uses some of their language. He doesn't talk to these people the same way he would speak to his fellow Jews. You could say that Paul, even though he doesn't accept his context (see v.16!), he is nevertheless willing to speak the language of that context.