We are examining postmodern philosophies to understand how this generation has been taught to think. Another aspect of the postmodern thought is what words mean. Derrida's famous saying was "the meaning is outside the text." By this he meant that we need to take into account any group's interpretation of the text, rather than the author's intent. Again, this presents problems to the Bible text where Christians pretty well think the text means what it says.
Another aspect of postmodern thought is the bias against what is called the meta-narrative. Meta-narratives are large stories that explain knowledge and experience. Lyotard worte, "Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards metanarratives."
Metanarratives are a product of pre-postmodernism - in other words, the world you and I grew up in (if you are an older person like me). These philosphers, especially Lyotard, wants the metanarratives to replaced by smaller, localized ones. What do people believe is truth and stories in your community? Your church? Your group?
Here are some examples of metanarratives, courtesy of Wikkepedia.
*Many Christians believe that human existence is innately sinful but offered redemption and eternal peace in heaven - thus representing a belief in a universal rule for humankind.
*The Enlightenment theorists believed that rational thought, allied to scientific reasoning, would lead inevitably toward moral, social and ethical progress.
*Marxists believe that human existence is alienated from its species being, although capable of realising its full potential through collective, democratic organisation.
*Freudian theory holds that human history is a narrative of the repression of libidinal desires.
*An uncritical belief in the free market is a belief that through humanity's aquisition of wealth all who work hard and are afforded the right opportunities will succeed materially.
*Categorical and definitive periodizations of history, such as the Fall of the Roman Empire, are rejected by postmodernism. Other periodization schemes include the Dark Ages and Renaissance.
As you see, postmoderns have an array of "stories" to choose from. What will help them choose ours - the life-giving, saving gospel of Jesus Christ?
Think how you would "witness" to a postmodern. Would you use something like the "Four Laws?" Or, would you tell a story? If so , what story would you tell and how would you tell it?
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