Is it worth it?

I am a man of little faith.

I have been working with a few other friends, trying to discover new-but-old ways of understanding faith in Jesus and creative ways of doing church.  But I step back and I look at the fruit of our labor.  It is not that it was a total failure, but I wonder, are we really better off?

If you haven’t seen many interesting posts about engaging our post-modern, post-Christian world, it is become I am a bit disillusioned by the whole thing.  Sometimes, I want to revert to my high school fundamentalism. 

Interesting though.  It’s as if I treat this post- world that I live in as just some fad that will pass.  And I know that it’s not true.  Contrary to the Colson’s of this world, postmodernism is not just some aberrant worldview that we can fight on the outskirts of society.  Postmodernism, however we define its various expressions, is what is happening to our world right now.  By the time my children are old enough to think on their own, they will probably find “modernism” quite odd.

I know that fundamentalism doesn’t hold the answers.  I’ve learned that neither does postmodernism.  Brian McLaren said something to the effect that from each age emerges a new age that is not just a rejection of the old age, but a moving beyond.  Absolutism is giving way to relativism…and he says that is a good thing.  He points out, however, that relativism is not the destination either and we have a next step to look forward to.  He makes the bold claim that the next step is the kingdom of God–that the next step is always the kingdom of God.  I don’t believe that the kingdom lies somewhere between fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and postmodernism.  It is not some chi force or some ultimate yin yang.  Rather, it is whatever is beyond those categories.  And in that case, the kingdom is always at hand–it is both near and far at the same time.

Is it really worth it?  Sometimes I feel like it isn’t.  But I know that it is. 

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Ok, God.

1 thought on “”

  1. Jesus wants us to repent. We’re to turn away from the systems of this world—but we’re so used to systems that we turn Christianity into another one. Then we complain it isn’t fulfilling! Man, are we dense.It’s such a cliché, but it’s true. Christianity isn’t an -ism. It’s a relationship with God. Relationships grow, change, become deeper and more complex; an -ism doesn’t. That’s why so many of us go from -ism to -ism in our relationships with God; from fundamentalism to liberalism to modernism to postmodernism. When our relationship doesn’t fit the philosophical model, we replace it with a better one.I think God’s trying to get us beyond philosophical models—to the point where we trust him, not our system. You know, faith. In that sense, we’re all people of little faith. Maybe that’s why Jesus uses that description of his disciples so often.

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