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“Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World: Does Anyone Have a Compass? Rich Knopp, Ph.D. Director, WorldViewEyes Prof. of Philosophy & Apologetics.

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Presentation on theme: "“Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World: Does Anyone Have a Compass? Rich Knopp, Ph.D. Director, WorldViewEyes Prof. of Philosophy & Apologetics."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World: Does Anyone Have a Compass? Rich Knopp, Ph.D. Director, WorldViewEyes Prof. of Philosophy & Apologetics Lincoln Christian College & Seminary www.worldvieweyes.org E-Mail: rknopp@lccs.edu

2 1970: Long hair 2004: Longing for hair 1970: KEG 2004: EKG 1970: Growing pot 2004: Growing pot belly 1970: Hoping for a BMW 2004: Hoping for a ?? 34 Years’ Difference 1970: Rolling Stones 2004: Kidney stones 1970: “Whatever” 2004: “Depends”

3 “Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World: Does Anyone Have a Compass? Rich Knopp, Ph.D. Director, WorldViewEyes Prof. of Philosophy & Apologetics Lincoln Christian College & Seminary www.worldvieweyes.org E-Mail: rknopp@lccs.edu

4 Why are You Here? Modernism Postmodernism Deconstructionism Foundationalism Anti-foundationalism

5 What do you Prefer? Modernist P o s t m o d e r N i s T

6 “Christian” Approaches to Postmodernism

7 Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World: Does Anyone Have a Compass?

8 Robert Greer, Mapping Postmodernism: A Survey of Christian Options (2003)

9 Leonard Sweet, Aqua Church (1999) Part One: “The Traps of Maps”

10 Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World

11 The Church’s Mission ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

12  You are here.  Christians ? Destination ? Truth ?

13 The Church’s Mission “the pillar and the support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15) “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) Jesus: “the way, the truth, & the life” (Jn. 14:6)

14 Session Overview 1.The Condition of our ‘Postmodern’ World. 2.The Constructive Contributions of PM for the Church. 3.The Destructive Capabilities of PM for the Church. 4.The Restrictive but Adequate Nature of the Church’s Map and Compass.

15 (1) The Condition of Our Postmodern World

16 “Cultural” Postmodernism Vs. “Philosophical” Postmodernism

17 Pre- Modern A Changing Culture Modern 18th Century 1960sToday17th Century Post-Modern

18 A “Pre-Modern” Culture 18th Century 1960sToday17th Century Pre- Modern Manual economy Little diversity or social change Religious/Social Authority Pre-scientific

19 Pre-Modern A “Modern” Culture Modern 18th Century 1960sToday17th Century Industrial & machine Western Consensus & Conformity Word-based & Linear

20 Pre- Modern A “Postmodern” Culture Modern Post-Modern 18th Century 1960sToday17th Century Industrial Machine Western Consensus & Conformity Word-based & Linear Service Electronic/Digital Global (Non-Western) Diversity Image-based & Random

21 “Cultural” Postmodernism Vs. “Philosophical” Postmodernism

22 Pre- Modernism Cultural vs. Philosophical Postmodernism Modernism 18th Century 1960sToday17th Century Just because we live in a “Postmodern” world does NOT mean that we are (or should be) “Postmodernists.” “Cultural” Post-Modernism “Philosophical”

23 Philosophical Umpires “There are strikes and there are balls, and I call ’em as they are.” “I call ’em the way I see ’em.”” “They ain’t nothin’ ’til I call ’em.”.” Walter Truett Anderson, Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be. Pre- Modern Modern Post- Modern

24 Pre- Modern Philosophical Contrasts Modern Post-Modern 18th Century 1960sToday17th Century Absolute Truth Can discover Truth Reason & Science Certain Foundation Total Objectivity Everybody has a truth Can’t know THE truth Whatever works No single foundation Subjective / Community

25 Modernism

26 Postmodernism

27 (2) The Constructive Contributions of P.M. for the Church

28 The Contributions of “Cultural” Postmodernism to the Church

29 Chuck Smith The End of the World … As We Know It: Clear Direction for Bold and Innovative Ministry in a Postmodern World (2001)

30 Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World (1999)

31 D.A. Carson, ed. Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns (2000)

32 39 Mil. 75 Mil. 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 “Unchurched” Adults Barna Research Group 1991Today 92% increase in Unchurched Only 15% increase in Adult population

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36 VIDEO: Simpson clip of church: “boring …”

37 VIDEO: Simpson clip: “Church Commercialized”

38 “Cultural” Postmodernism and the Church Worship ? Teaching methods ? Leadership ? Diversity ? Creativity ? Relationships ? Architecture ? Pop Culture ? Evangelism ? Music ? Prayer ? Experience ? Women Leaders ? Image Oriented ? Technology ? Apologetics ?

39 “Fishers of Men”

40 The Contributions of “Philosophical” Postmodernism to the Church

41 Over-Reliance of the Church on Modernism Modernism Individualism Rationalism Factualism Objectivism Church “We alone have it.” “We can explain it all.” “Just the facts.” “Interpret it right.”

42 Insights of Philosophical Postmodernism for Our Faith Not all ‘rational’ Not just ‘facts’ Not simplistically ‘proven’ Not exhausted in a ‘book’ Not without community bias

43 Curtis & Eldredge “We have lived so long with a ‘propositional’ approach to Christianity, we have nearly lost its true meaning…. Our rationalistic approach to life … is barely more than mere fact-telling. Modern evangelicalism reads like an IRS 1040 form: it’s true, all the data is there, but it doesn’t take your breath away” (The Sacred Romance, pp. 44-45).

44 (3) The Destructive Capabilities of P.M. for the Church

45 “Destructive” Postmodernism No absolute truth “Truth” is just what the community says it is. No universal Reason No knowledge of the “real” world No moral absolutes

46 Millard Erickson, Postmodernizing the Faith: Evangelical Responses to the Challenge of Postmodernism (1998)

47 Millard Erickson, Truth or Consequences: The Promise & Perils of Postmodernism (2001)

48 Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism (2000)

49 Stanley Fish [deconstruction] “… relieves me of the obligation to be right … and demands only that I be interesting.”

50 Potential Dangers for the Church Renouncing Truth for Trust Relinquishing Reason for Relevance Rejecting Logic for Love

51 Alister McGrath “We … need to realize that it is now bad tactics to major on the truth question. If we’re going to get a hearing in today’s culture, we need to be able to show that Christianity has something relevant and attractive to offer” (Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity, p. 103).

52 Douglas Groothuis “Our operative term ought to be engagement, not relevance” (Truth Decay, 163-164).

53 William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: (1994)

54 VIDEO: Wm. Lane Craig

55 Thom Rainer, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched (2001)

56 VIDEO: Thom Rainer

57 Changing Culture and the Biblical Church Biblical Rational Empirical Propositional Postmodernism Relational Experiential Personal

58 “If you are accentuating community and creatively cultivating relationships of trust; if you are pursuing love as your final apologetic, passionately pursue these under the banner of the Bible and the cross of Christ, not under the pretext of Postmodernism.”

59 (4) The Restrictive but Adequate Nature of the Church’s Map & Compass

60 Christian Reflections on our Postmodern World We desparately need a map and a compass. God has provided an adequate map & compass. We shouldn’t exaggerate the precision of our interpretation of the map and compass.

61 What We Need  You are here.  1.Locate where you are. 2.Identify where you need to go. 3.Have adequate guidance on how to get there.

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64 The Temptations Reflect Postmodernism Retreat to Pre-Modernism Retrench into Modernism

65 Constructive Christian Postmodernism Modernism Post- Modernism

66 Modernism Post- Modernism The church today must avoid the arrogant overconfidence of rationalistic Modernism, and it must refuse the impotence of relativistic Postmodernism. Constructive Christian Postmodernism

67 GPS (Ground Positioning System)

68 “Triangulation”

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72 “Spiritual Triangulation” Father Word Spirit

73 Christian Cartography 1.The Condition of our ‘Postmodern’ World 2.The Constructive Contributions of Postmodernism for the Church 3.The Destructive Capabilities of Postmodernism for the Church 4.The Restricted but Adequate Nature of the Church’s Map and Compass

74 “Apologetic Cartography in a Postmodern World: Does Anyone Have a Compass? Rich Knopp, Ph.D. Director, WorldViewEyes Prof. of Philosophy & Apologetics Lincoln Christian College & Seminary www.worldvieweyes.org E-Mail: rknopp@lccs.edu

75 The North Star: Jesus Our Compass: The Bible Our Anchor: Tradition Gang Plank: Risk Taking Sonar: Vibrations Semaphores: Communication The crew: Teamwork The Gyroscope: Creativity Ship’s Log & Library


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