Jump directly to the Content

The Riddle of Our Postmodern Culture

Books trendmeisters, speakers on the pastoral circuit-all proclaim, prophetlike, "The culture we minister in has changed. We live in a postmodern world."

Uh, what's a postmodern world? Is that where people read Wired, drink double cappuccinos, and buy alternative rocker Alanis Morissette's hot-selling CD?

Postmodernism is a throw-away word that means everything and nothing. J. I. Packer, theologian at Regent College says, "Postmodernism is a word that has never secured a dictionary definition. Different people use it in different ways."

Postmodernism is, in short, a hackneyed word ill need of definition.

Mother of all negation


I fondly recall a silver-haired woman in a church I served. She never met a new idea she liked. She criticized everything, was never for anything. Her contribution (if that's what you call it) was negation.

She shares much in common with postmodernism, which is a reaction against something. It's the mother of all negation. Postmodernism, a phenomenon of Western ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Responding to the Rise of Christianophobia
Responding to the Rise of Christianophobia
George Yancey talks about his research on anti-Christian bias
From the Magazine
They Fled Ukraine, and Ukraine Followed
They Fled Ukraine, and Ukraine Followed
Escaping Russian missiles, some exiled believers found a new sense of purpose helping refugees.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close