Reflection on Postmodernity

This essay will help you learn the first week of course material as you reflect on the Christian way of learning the faith.

Read McLaren chapters 1-5. These tell of a burned-out pastor's life-changing initiation into "postmodernity." Postmodernity invites relatively new ways of seeing the world that abandon many of the convictions of the modern era. Even though modernity is an effort to leap over the particularities of Christian faith and arrive at truth independently (by appealing to "universal human reason"), evangelical Christianity has survived, in part by adapting and conforming to modern ways of thinking (for instance, by proving the universally reasonable nature of Christian faith). McLaren's story claims that postmodernity is a friend, not an enemy, of healthy Christian faith.

Now read Luther's Small Catechism. Luther considered this a practical summary of Christian life and thought for common people. (By the way, McLaren sees Protestantism as inherently modern. That is a mistake. Modernity arose from out of late medieval Europe's exhaustion after the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants.)

How would Neo respond to three of these ways of conceiving of God -- Luther's Shorter Catechism, Work's lectures so far, your personal faith, and Harvey Cox's description of the capitalist market as a "God" -- from his postmodern perspective? (Note: As Harvey Cox's essay is in the Best Christian Writing book that is unavailable, you will just be drawing on the first three ways.)

Please keep your paper three pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers.

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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