Church and Pomo Conversation

There is a new series on postmodernity and the church, edited by Jamie Smith of Calvin College. The first installment of several is Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernity? And just a few weeks ago, John Caputo provided the second offering, What Would Jesus Deconstruct? As a supplement, there is also a blog – or slog as these guys call it – that provides supplemental conversation.

I bring this up here because what Smith et al are doing is very insightful, thought-provoking, and it seems to be fairly orthodox!! I am now about a third of the way through Caputo’s offering, and really chewing on a point he made early in the text. It is this: the church was Plan B. If you read through the early church’s expectations in the New Testament, there was a very real hope and belief that Christ would return imminently. They structured themselves based on this precept. Then, when that did not happen, they formed the church. He makes this point to express his belief that the church would one of the first things, if not the first thing, Jesus would deconstruct if he were to appear today. What does this mean for us?

The first is, I believe, further investigation into how we view the present church. Is it the authority? What do we make of Ephesians 5 and other passages that clearly describe the church as the bride of Christ? This is a very welcome conversation, and one that until now (at least in evangelical circles) has been unapproachable. I, for one, am thankful to enter into it, even though the outcome may be something a little uncomfortable…

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