Living in a Postmodern World

What is Postmodernism?

Our culture wears the postmodern badge proudly. But what is postmodernism? In this two-part post, Bill Kynes, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annadale, Virginia, and Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, describe postmodernism and how Christians should respond in a postmodern culture. In this first section, Bill Kynes defines postmodernism and its effects on today's culture. 

Postmodernism is a reaction to the optimistic certainty of modernism. Bill said postmodernism encompasses many aspects of life and culture in today’s world. 

How would you define postmodernism? How does it play out in someone’s beliefs about truth and faith?
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What has your experience been with postmodernism? How has it affected you, your friends, your ministry, and your relationships?
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What might it look like to engage in our postmodern culture this week? How could understanding postmodernism shape the way you minister to, communicate with, and love others?
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Jesus called you where you are right now. Instead of shying away from the culture around you, study and engage it. Be steadfast in your faith and proclaim the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection to you coworkers, friends, spouse, and family. 

Two Reactions

Talking about God with your friends who don't believe God exists can be tense or even combative. What is the best way to approach atheists in today’s postmodern culture? In the previous section, Bill Kynes detailed the ins and outs of postmodernism. in this final section, Timothy Keller, Founding Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, encourages Christians to move away from anger and scorn when talking with atheists. 

Have you seen anger impact a relationship or conversation with an unbeliever? If so, how did it play out?
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Tim said when we respond to atheists with anger and dissent, we trade in empathy and the opportunity for a civil conversation for scorn and broken relationships. This next video highlights a better Christian response to atheists in today’s culture. 

We can either react to atheists with heated arguments or we can follow Jesus’ teaching. He commands us to be salt and light in this dark and evil world.  

Why is reacting with anger and scorn not a good way to talk with atheists? How does that approach do more harm than good?
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A better way to engage atheists is to obey Jesus’ teaching about salt and light. What does it mean for Christians to be salt and light in the world?
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How could you be salt and light to the people in your life this week? What specific good deeds could you do for your unbelieving friends and family? How could you carry on a loving conversation about faith with an atheist friend in the next few days?
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Jesus asks us to share the gospel with all people. As you talk with the people you encounter in your day-to-day life, remember Jesus’ teaching about salt and light. Be slow to anger and quick to love those whose beliefs differ from yours.  

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