The past couple of days I’ve read several posts regarding Brian McLaren’s article titled “The Three Postmoderns.” Brian (as he often does) has sparked more discussion on whether the word “postmodern” is loaded with baggage and should be discarded in favor of another word.
Charlie Wear has offered an interesting response to this question at his site:
“Let’s make a pact. From now on, when we want to refer to the cultural shift that is currently being described as “postmodern” we will use the word, “hoodabada”….This is a made up word that I use frequently with my wife when I can’t remember a word…Often she understands what I am talking about before I remember the correct word [my advanced age, 54, makes this a useful and frequent trick]…So, now, we will spend all of our time describing what hoodabada means….the hoodabada cultural shift, the hoodabada philosophy, the hoodabada worldview…We don’t want to use postmodern anymore, what do you think? :)”
Maybe it comes with age, but I find all the conversation on what it means to be “emerging,” what it means to be “postmodern,” a bit tiring. It’s like the old TV producers that I used to work with who would be all fired up about this gadget or that technique that they never really considered how to use the darn thing. It feels at times like we’re so caught up in semantics that we fail to realize that the whole reason for the discussion in the first place is to think about how we’re actually supposed to live as people of faith.
If you’ve read my posts the past couple of days, you know that I’m not particularly patient at this time. The pain of the world is too great, and folks need a sense of meaning, a sense of purpose, a sense that there is something beyond themselves. I don’t have time to get caught up in debates about who is right and who is wrong (sorry Chuck Colson and Ryan Dobson). If folks connect with God through the latest Bill Gaither Homecoming video, so be it.
But my call in all of this is to proclaim that God speaks in many different ways. Yes Virginia, there is a thing called truth, and I believe that Jesus was the incarnation of God’s intention for the earth. As John Wesley suggested, there are Christian essentials. But far too often we argue over what Wesley called opinions, and let these opinions get in the way of our call to love God and love neighbor.