Home > John's Blogs > Products of our Culture

Products of our Culture

I sometimes quote the proverb, “If you want to know what water is, don’t ask a fish.”  Or something like that.  The point is that it’s hard for us to understand our culture because we swim in it every day, and it looks so normal to us that we can’t describe it or its effect on us.  As a result, we don’t realize how it is impacting our view of God and the community he has called us to.  Read more and see if you think that you have been impacted by culture more than you think…

Scot McKnight captures the problems quite well here.  In describing the effect of modernism, he says “In another context (the summer issue of Leadership Journal) I called the toxicity of the current generation a ‘self in a castle.’ Modernity’s singular contribution to the history of ideas is individualism.”  Quite right. 

But we have the same problem with postmodernism.  McKnight, again:

If modernity gave our culture a sense of individualism that has been ratcheted up beyond what either Bible or philosophers would ever recognize, postmodernity tells us that individual choice itself is relative. I don’t believe we should dismiss postmodernity with the derisive, and far too often unthinking, label of “moral relativism,” but there is within postmodernity’s deepest impulses the belief that universal truth and all-encompassing metanarratives can’t be had. We are too finite and when folks believe they’ve found the magical metanarrative for all, they abuse power and turn violent.

Well, yes, there’s some truth to that, but that’s the whole problem with postmodernity. Genuine insights become, paradoxically enough, all-encompassing metanarratives against all metanarratives. This tendency is one of postmodernity’s addictions.

So, here we are. Staring at a unique cultural product: humans turned inward investing sanctity in the Self. We have constructed a postmodern castle wall around that Self believing it is so sacred that no one may violate your choice – you determine what to believe and what is right and wrong. The Self is protected by the Wall of Individual Relative Choice.

So we now have a generation who swims in the water of self.  But we were called to a relationship with the God who is, not the God we want Him to be.  And we are called to be a part of the body of Christ which is, not the body that we wish it was.  (And I, for one, wish the body behaved a lot better!  If only I didn’t contribute so much to the problem…)

Categories: John's Blogs
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: