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 Postmodern Culture and Christianity's Grand Story

Postmodern culture is deeply suspicious of all grand stories. Again, The Smashing Pumpkins prove to be insightful in this regard. In their infinitely sad song, "Tales of a Scorched Earth," they sing, "We're all dead yeah we're all dead/inside the future of a shattered past." We live inside the future of a shattered past because that "past" told grand stories of Marxist utopia, technological freedom, or capitalist paradise. Yet we have come to see not only that these stories are unfinished, but that they are fundamentally unfinishable, for the simple fact that they are fundamentally lies. The postmodern ethos insists that such stories as these that have so shaped our lives are not stories of emancipation and progress after all, but stories of enslavement, oppression and violence. And on such a view, any story, any world view, that makes grand claims about the real course and destiny of history will be perceived as making common cause with violence and oppression. This characteristic of the postmodern shift is, I think, the most challenging to Christian faith. If there is one thing that Christianity is all about it is a grand story. How else can we interpret the cosmic tale of creation, fall, redemption and consummation that the Scriptures tell? Yet it is precisely this story that we must tell in a postmodern culture. In the face of the dissolution of all grand stories, Christians have the audacity to proclaim, week after week, the liberating story of God's redemption of all creation. It is, we insist, the one story that actually delivers on what it promises."

(Brian Walsh, "The Church in a Postmodern Age: Ten Things You Need to Know")


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David Winter

 2020/12/30 12:27Profile





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