September 28, 2005

More from eMo meeting ...

I realize that many have not yet been initiated "carefully" into the subject of modernity and postmodernity in our Malaysian context (as well as what all this means to us) ... this is so true after observing and listening to some reaction at a session in the latest youth consultation organized by NECF (more on this important consultation in another post) . It's still very fuzzy for many and even totally unknown. Hmm ....

after that in hindsight I think Alwyn did a pretty good job trying his best to communicate what he understood as he grappled with the word "postmodern" and all that surrounds it. Here's some of his powerpoint slides and extra thoughts on Mo vs Pomo?

"... Anyway, I'm pasting two of the slides presented at last weekend's EMO/Pomo meeting. I find such comparisons helpful, if a little far from exactly 'reality-depicting' i.e. it's only generally true and all thinkers of whatever stripes would have surely some bones to pick with at least some of the pairs.



As I mentioned during the session, the asterisk-ed items are those pomo elements I find particularly helpful/beneficial for church, spirituality, theology, etc. This is not to deny the value and extent of "modernity's" contribution, only to suggest that maybe in this 'new world' we're in, it may be wise to go beyond them."

I'm glad that Kevin (a first time new comer for a meeting) gives us a feel of his impressions and feedback from this post My First EMO Meeting!

"So finally I become a participant… Well, still not really a participant! I was more trying to listen and see what I could learn from it rather than sharing my thoughts and views (not that I had much to say anyway, knowing nothing much about philosophy or postmodernism). I’m a little too shy for that! Plus, having all those pastors and seminary students around were quite intimidating for a first timer layman like me! But it was good to finally meet up with some of those bloggers in person! I also learned a few things about modernity and post-modernity, especially on their respective histories and contexts in which they came about.

One thing that really struck me was how the discussion would always be dragged back into our own context and practice as Christians here in Malaysia. Someone would always remind the group, “How do we apply that here?” or “How will that affect us?” I think this is a good way to go about these discussions, because they are always in danger of becoming detached from Christian praxis, or from our own Malaysian context (both of which I have been guilty of countless times in some of the discussions that I’ve been in!). It’s good to see Pastor Sivin and Emergent Malaysia moving towards that direction. I'm looking forward to the discussion on post-colonialism.

Posted by sivinkit at September 28, 2005 08:09 PM

Perhaps having a chart comparing mo and pomo side by side may not be the most 'careful' way of initiating folks into the discussion...

Often it results in a 'mo' is out, 'pomo' is in kinda discussion (as seen in some of the exchanges last Sat)

Some folks in NECF wud probably wanna see how Scripture (faithfully interpreted) wud critique AND see opportunities in both mo and pomo...

as u said aptly, it's being a Christian in a pomo world, NOT being a pomo christian...

Posted by: hedonese at September 28, 2005 10:58 PM

hedonese - as a form of communication and teaching I suppose "charts" are useful for contrasts with its limitations (as you have aptly pointed out). But, there was an honest admission of bias towards being "friendly and open" to the postmodern critiuque of modernity.

One conscious attempt however which was presented by Kia Meng (and you missed a very "friendly" presentation of modernity and Descarte in particular) was to anchor our understanding of modernity and postmodernity in historical context as much as possible and to show how these types of thinking or philosophies don't come out of a vacuum.

as for the NECF context ... I think Dr. Leong's emphasis was given the climate of more "postmodern" influences how do we "immerse ourselves in the narrative of God" (his exact words) and not fall into the trap of distilling "timeless truths" and then move towards "applications" in our Bible reading and reflection. He also highlighted the need to "feel" the texts and see beyond mere propositions.

So, it's not so much of "using the Scripture" to critique or see opportunities in modernity or postmodernity (I think there's a place for that), but the exciting question is how such a climate influences how we read the scriptures and how imeersing ourselves in the Scriptures may comfort or challenges our values and worldviews ...

Posted by: Sivin Kit at September 29, 2005 12:22 AM

AMen, there's a place to use charts... perhaps it wud do good to our msian context to add in a third column, which is 'open' to a critique of postmodernity itself?

I've been having similar conversation w Dr Leong, and he's probably his own interpreter here (I'm be very comforted by this approach! heheh)

Posted by: hedonese at September 29, 2005 08:54 PM
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