This was a question I’ve had for some time now since the heyday of the Emerging Church came and went, but I haven’t put a whole lot of thought or research (read, Google search) into it until recently. I knew that postmodernism wasn’t quite as pronounced as it had been in culture in general, and particularly in the church, and personally I don’t hear much about it anymore, like during the Emerging Church days, which attempted a synthesized version of postmodernism with Christianity. There are certainly still elements of relativism as it pertains to how you know something for sure (epistemic humility, as it’s called) such as “you have your truth, I have mine,” but this is almost kind of assumed in culture now, not debated like it was.
To start, this is purely my experience based on trial and error. “Results May Vary,” or however the legal jargon is supposed to go to deflect responsibility for it not working, haha. 🙂
There’s something about understanding your ancestral roots that gives foundation to understanding who you are and where you came from. Diving into your genealogical records and background can give you some form of a framework to knowing more about your identity, why you are the way you are in various ways.
The same can be said of understanding the nature of our salvation, or rather the nature of how we were saved.
I’ve had many people ask why I left the church that I did for a PCA church. Usually the question comes out of confusion as to why someone would leave such a great place. I grew up there and grew in my faith in incredible ways, served as a student leader, on the worship team, and men’s ministry, and what made it the most difficult to leave were the people. And I mean it has everything we needed: a church program for every stage, great, well-produced music (of which I was a part 😉 ), dynamic speakers, small groups, large groups, it’s like a picture of the larger church in the world! And most of all, the Bible is upheld as the sole, infallible, highest source for truth and life practice, and they preach the gospel from it. So why leave?
Calvinism is natively experiential. Before it is a theological system, Calvinism is deeply affectional, God-centered, cross-magnifying religion. A man may loudly trumpet his adherence to the distinctive tenets of Calvinism, but if his life is not marked by delight in God and His gospel, his professed Calvinism is a sham. In other words, there is no such thing as “dead Calvinism.” Such is a theological oxymoron for one simple reason: Calvinism claims to be biblical religion, and biblical religion is not only profoundly theological, it is deeply experiential and engagingly affectional! Wherever men and women claim to be Calvinists, their lives and their ministries will pulse with life—the life of living, Spirit-inspired, Christ-glorifying, God-centered truth. – Ian Hamilton
In studying Hosea this past spring at Trinity, it was hard for many of us. The constant language of judgment seems to take on a life of its own, and as gospel people, on this side of the cross and resurrection, we think, “What’s the point?”
I came across this passage in the scripture readings for Lent (found here): “My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.” Psalm 119:120.
The difficulty of the language around judgment in Hosea and other prophets lies for many not in the fact that it’s there, but in the continual, repetitive nature of it. “Okay, I get it,” we say. But that seems to be the point. The repetition is meant to drive into us a remembrance (because we so easily forget!), as it was Israel at the time, the nature of God’s holiness and the healthy level of fear this should invoke.