Reflection on Theology in Postmodernity

McLaren chapters 1-7 tell of a burned-out pastor's life-changing initiation into "postmodernity." McLaren is claiming that postmodernity is a friend, not an enemy, of healthy Christian faith.

Imagine that "Neo," Dr. Neil Oliver, is a nonfictional adjunct faculty member in the chemistry department of this school. After making the acquaintance of one of my former students and becoming intrigued about the way theology is being taught here, he e-mails me to gain my permission to attend my lectures on creation and the doctrine of humanity (January 9 and January 14). He attends the lectures and listens quietly. He even goes to the website and the library and does the reading!

The next time I see him on campus, I thank him again for coming and ask him what he thought of my teaching. He is in a hurry, and promises to answer my question by e-mail. Sure enough, three days later a well written, cogently argued, eloquent response arrives in my inbox.

Write that e-mail, offering Neo's "postmodern" evaluation of the ways both these lectures and at least three of their assigned readings teach the Christian faith.

You will need not just to understand the other course material, but to be familiar enough with McLaren's first seven chapters to speak for Neo authoritatively. This may take more than one reading. (You will also want to appeal to specific pages in McLaren to show me that you are speaking for him accurately. One rhetorically clever way to do this is to have Neo appeal to its events or even quote himself, but you are free to do it in other ways.)

Please keep your paper three pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. Be aware of the criteria by which your exercise will be peer-reviewed and graded.

Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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