Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Todd Hunter over a cup of coffee. Todd is the former leader of the Vineyard Movement and is now part of an Anglican church planting order from Rwanda – he has quite an interesting path. =)
The main reason for our meeting was to talk about the new emerging movement among Christianity. In addition to starting new churches, Todd teaches a few classes about postmodernism and evangelism at George Fox and Fuller Theological Seminary. Seeing that he lives close by, I dropped him an email….
I don’t have time to recount everything that happened at our meeting, but I will toss out a few “jewels”.
- Concerning Postmodernism
A lot of folks within the Faith are scared about the postmodern shift. They see people talking about “relative truth” vs “absolute truth” and get all mad – or they just close their eyes and whistle. [@more@]
However I think there is a better way to look at the shift. Instead of being “scarred” or “mad”, we should be looking at it like we would look at the culture in Latin America or Asia. The Postmodern worldview is just that – a new culture that is blooming right before our noses.
Are they “issues” with this new culture? Yes – but there are also “issues” with our old modern culture. Instead of focusing on the negative, we should be figuring out how to reach people living in this culture with the Gospel.
- Who are affected by this culture shift?
At first, I thought the postmodern shift only affected folks in Generation X and above… yet, Todd pointed out that the main avenue of postmodernism is the media and arts. These avenues have help to spread the culture shift far and wide.
We now have Baby Boomers how are living their lives and making decisions based upon the worldview of this culture. As such, we need to learn how to identify this culture and act accordingly.
- The Right Tool for the Job
I reading various books about the emerging church, I heard a lot about candles, crosses and paintings. It seemed that church was going from being a theater to an amusement park.
Todd brought out an interesting and very good point. When you have a job, you go into your workshop and grab the tool for that job. You don’t start with the tool and then create a job for it (unless it’s a new tool and you want to try it out…).
In the same way, we need not be tied down do one way of “doing church”. I.E. A church in rural Idaho would look different then a church in intercity Seattle due to the different cultures therein.
As we hear about the emerging church, we need to remember that there are many different variations within that movement just as the “emerging movement” is one of several movements.