Increasingly the term “postmodernism” or “postmodern” is cropping up in our conversations here in Malaysia or a recent seminar in Singapore actually had a workshop on it. When words are used to “exclude” or as yardstick of whether you are ok or even as a “trendy cool” word then it’s harder to engage in genuine interaction… but if it’s used to invite participation, generate thought, stimulate further discussion, then bring it on … why not?
This made me check out some links and especially relook at Brian’s article on “The Three Postmodernisms: A short explanation” and see how he tries to bring it to a level where some engagement is possible.
Of course, I’m hearing a pastor-evangelist or even a missionary posture speaking here more than a scholar (though Brian’s stuff is always smart and thoughful) using the final part to keep things in perspective and on the ground:
“As a follower of Christ, I am less interested in articulating the ideal definition of this movement in words than I am in helping contribute to what the postmodern world becomes in reality. I am hoping that many people of faith and vision can play a formative role in what will happen beyond modernity and adolescent postmodernity: seeking to be salt and light, seeking to do good works, seeking to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with God.
In other words, the best answer to the question, “What will happen with the emerging postmodern movement?” is this: “It depends on people like us.”
When I look at the postmodern landscape, I see “fields ready for harvest,” as Jesus said. But so far, in spite of so much being at stake at this critical moment in history, those willing to get out into the fields and do the hard work of seizing the moment are too few. There are plenty of critics who stand at a safe distance on the modern road that runs beside the postmodern fields, shouting their criticisms and warnings. Instead of joining them, you will, I hope, pray to “the Lord of the harvest” – so that more workers will become willing to jump into the action and get their hands dirty in the postmodern fields, making visible the good news of Jesus.”