reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We are over committed to modernism.

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
I know - sounds riveting.

Recently I had to do some stuff for church about spirituality and words, which made me do some thinking on modernism, post-modernism and all that stuff.

It's almost a cliche in some circles that evangelicals are over committed to modernism: we can think it all out.
Well, I'm not sure about that: I think we are committed to words, and that they are a useful way of communicating meaning because we believe that God communicated, and continues to communicate through his words.

However, we could be too committed to the idea that we can think ourselves clear on things to do with God - perhaps we don't respect our fallen-ness enough there.

Let me explain: I was having a conversation recently about emotions in worship. Yes, that old chestnut. The person said something like "We just need to make sure we don't get carried away by our feelings." Maybe true. But I must say I have never heard anyone saying "I just think there is a danger we were going to think too hard about that talk." Far from it - being thoughtful, engaging our minds, struggling to understand are all seen as very positive things in my corner of the Christian world.

Why is that? I guess we could say that we should be suspicious of our feelings because they are fallen. But - er...isn't my intellect fallen too? And if I think the Holy Spirit has regenerated me and is enabling me to think from God's point of view, why not my feelings too?

It boils down to, I think, that we think that words are more reliable, somehow, than anything else. Thoughts are better than feelings. And I wonder, I just wonder, if that means we are, as people sometimes say we are, over-committed to modernism.

3 Comments:

Blogger OddBabble said...

I wonder this too MoBob. It's something I've been chewing over during the last couple of years being immersed in a course which encourages me to think very pluralistically, while trying to maintain concepts of truth in my own head...I think you've hit the nail on the head here.
Binface

3:02 PM  
Blogger Huwie said...

Please blog more often. I read a lot of blogs (many of which make me wonder why I read them), and this post is the best I've read in months.

Thank you!

3:58 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hames said...

I like this, Mo. I've been captured recently by the way scripture speaks so much about our conversion and Christian experience of the Spirit with 'heart' language.

Love the idea that Jesus wins our hearts by conquering our self-love, which transforms our will. Makes our faith much less grounded in intellectual assent, and more about simple relationship. Which is the old religion vs. relationship chestnut!

Dan

2:46 PM  

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