Must Christianity adapt its message to make it attractive to the postmodern generation? Or is it simply the medium of the message which must change? If you are struggling with these questions, Postmodern Pilgrims is the book for you.
Leonard Sweet has written numerous books discussing how the church can interact with and transform postmodern culture. In Postmodern Pilgrims he argues that a better understanding of the first century church will allow the twenty-first century church to truly reach and affect the postmodern world. Sweet deals effectively with the tension between tradition and innovation, proving that a strong historical foundation is the best way to propel the church into the future, the postmodern future.
Sweet focuses on four aspects of postmodernism, offering hints on how to translate the language of the good news into the language spoken by postmoderns. The first aspect is that postmoderns are experiential. Information, for the postmodern, is important only in how it is felt or experienced. The second aspect is participation. Postmoderns act in an interdependent, interactive way, preferring participation over simple observation. The third aspect is that postmoderns are image-driven. Images generate emotions, and for postmoderns, emotions are the key. The fourth aspect is connection/community. Postmoderns have combined the words connection and community into connexity because they are both so important to them after the futile pursuit of individuality.
Understand these four aspects of postmodernism, Sweet says, and you will be able to witness to them and to effect transformation in their lives. Sweet includes practical advice and Web sites for more information and interaction. Meet the postmoderns where they are and give them the experience of a lifetime. Give them the experience of God's love.
There is a legend of a Welsh Prince Madoc whose ship became stuck in Chesapeake Bay. After trying unsuccessfully to escape, he had his men row out with the anchor, drop it as far into the sea as they could, and then the ship winched its way forward. The image of the church as a boat and tradition as an anchor is prevalent in Christian art. If we examine the biblical view of an anchor, we find, like Prince Madoc, we are to cast our anchor into the future and pull the church forward.Postmodern pilgrims must strive to keep the past and the future in perpetual conversation so every generation will find a fresh expression of the Gospel that is anchored solidly to “the faith that was once for all delivered.”
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