Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World

Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World

Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World

Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World

Synopsis

With its relentless insistence that there is no reality beyond that which we construct, postmodern thought questions the presuppositions of many disciplines, including preaching. Offering a lively description of the postmodern worldview and its implications for Christian faith, this bold book teaches preachers how to rise to the challenge that postmodernism poses. Few if any books on preaching offer such a comprehensive investigation of postmodern thought or yield such a wealth of insights for relevant Christian proclamation. Interestingly, David Lose sees postmodernism not primarily as an obstacle to the church but as an opportunity for it to stand once again on faith alone rather than on attempts to prove the faith. Lose here constructs a homiletic around the Christian practice of "confessing faith, " showing its strength as a dialogue partner with postmodern thought. He also explores the practical implications of a confessional homiletic for preaching and provides concrete methods for preparing sermons that meaningfully bridge biblical texts and contemporary congregations.

Excerpt

In many quarters of our common world there exists an increasingly shared conviction that the modern world is dying, if not already dead. Born some three centuries ago in the aftermath of bloody religious conflict, the modern era was founded upon an optimism that by the enlightened application of reason humanity might eradicate disease and suffering, establish a basis for just and moral behavior, foster personal and social liberation, and subdue nature for the good of all people. At the dawn of the twenty-first century — awash in the blood of ideological and nationalistic conflict, beset by pandemic viruses, and standing at the brink of ecological disaster — such confidence has been all but sentenced to the gallows, and the name of its executioner is “postmodernity.”

The effects of the “postmodern turn” appear perhaps most dramatically in the scholarly world. Raging like a whirlwind of relative values and subjective truths through the ivory towers of the academy, postmodernity has in one fell swoop severed the connection between language and its referent, divested history of its purely academic character, banished the pretense of objectivity from the sciences, betrayed the lie of social progress, and killed the authors of literary texts. It has, in short, irrevocably altered our intellectual landscape.

But traces of the de(con)structive force of the postmodern gale are felt in our churches and communities as well. Churchgoers report a greater sense of “homelessness” in this “post-denominational” age, and church leaders admit less confidence in their roles and responsibilities . . .

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