God Comes to a Theater...[read the article]
Great review, way to see the movie for its
underlying spiritual questions. It seems
obvious that much of today's artistic expression
evidences a longing for truth and for God. It's a
hallmark of postmodernism, just like condemning all
entertainment that's not Disnified is a hallmark of
the modern-Christian world. I'd love to see more of
these type of reviews and this type of thinking
about the current musical and visual expressions
of our culture.
Shawn Lear, Life Center Foursquare Church
Try Hard or Train Hard...[read the article]
I found this site by accident but it spoke to me. All too
often we are a people who try hard to achieve our goals,
but we forget that with God we do not have to try hard,
he has already achieved what our final aim is...to bring
our relationship with God to a more intense and renewing,
ongoing experience. Way to go Bradley Charles.
Joy to the World...[read the article]
Great story, Charlie -- very touching parable that puts faces to
what we should try to do with the season. Amen to the sentiment
that the fact that Jesus came into the world should prompt us to
similar action--not just force us to sing carols. Indeed, the
caroling of the man in the story was but a footnote that gave a
witness context to his kindness. peace, dave drury
A new name for postmodernism? ...[read the article]
Footnotes in the Sand...[read
exactly what is echoing in that rather hazy part of the brain that you
just can't put into words. The feeling that while we talk and read
extensively about Postmodernism, I can't help but wonder if its time
Leon@rd Sweet got past put the @ sign in his name. As soon as we start
talking about a movement in terms like this, its time to redesign the
website, organize a post-advance and watch MTV for some new
terminology. It seems the term that describes something by what it
isn't (ie. not modern) has been turned completely around to actually
describe something by what it is. The modposterns out there don't need
a church to meet them where they are, (as we did in postmodernism)
they need to meet a church where they are, somewhere to go postal. (If
theres no difference, it is 1am right now Full respect to Len. When I
have a opinion or thought, I pick up one of his books to find out why
I think like that. :)
i enjoyed the
article but the comment on length of sermon causes a question. i have read
about mars hill in washington and other post modern type churches and
length of sermons are not a problem. maybe i missed the point. is this
left over from what people might expect at a luteran church? i found some
helpful ideas in your article.
Eminem and Jesus...[read the article]
To everyone who writes for this d**n (and good) newsletter: I wish you
would stop using the word "postmodern". If you didnít know (us Christians
tending to be proudly behind the times and out of style), the term has become
an academic fad that makes you sound smart without saying much. Try to put
into the articles the sense of what you are saying when you say that word
without using the word and it will mean a lot more. It makes you sound
contemporary but itís shorthand for such a huge idea that itís nearly
meaningless. It makes you seem like dorky Christians trying to be cool instead
of people speaking their minds, which is what Christians should be anyway.
In response to the article about Eminemís "Marshall MathersLP":
God did send Eminem to piss the world off, just like he sent Jesus. Jesus
wasnít nice, donít forget. If thereís one quality that Jesus and
Eminem have that many of their followers do not, itís an ability to
speak their mind. Hitler, on the other hand, was a marketer and tried to
say whatever would make him powerful. He liked people to tell him he was
right and nice and smart.
Neither Jesus nor Eminem wanted to be powerful, so they say what they
Eminem did probably want to be rich. But they both trample on what is
sacred in an attempt to get at what is real. For many people, Jesus was a
hero; to many more, he was a big d***head who was trying to mess
everything up. Iím not saying Eminem is Jesus; Jesus didnít live in an
amoral consumer wasteland where the virtue of heroism has been completely
parasitized by the virtue of jerking it until you die while hooked up to
machines including television sets. Eminem has a much more difficult time
challenging peopleís comfort. "Oh, now it happens in middle america
itís a tragedy" is ironic because the violence of Columbine happens
in poor neighborhoods all the time and no middle class white devils shed
any tears over those people because they donít live there and it doesnít
affect them (thatís me, Iím a white devil).
People trapped in schools relate to violence because thatís what they
feel when their desire to learn about life is suffocated by education.
The danger of Eminem is that, as always with radicals, including Jesus,
he will push the borders of what can be sold and used to control people
further and further. His extremism sells, just like Christ's and will in
the end create less freedom because more and more of life can be
commodified and sold and marketed and the circle of true living gets
smaller. Jesus said a lot of stuff and a lot of it has been used in stupid
and wrong ways, in fact, most people who go around quoting Jesus are in
the business of making life miserable for others for their own benefit.
If youíre happy with your life being as small as a sparrowís and as
big as a wormís, then youíll find a place where Godís gifts will
bring you closer to him and other people, and you might become a hero. If
you want to be a hero, to sell and make the big-time, then youííll
never be happy because, unless you are already saleable and therefore do
not have to sell out to get there (i.e. Madonna, to whom God gave the gift
of star-power), you will have to sell out to get there. Which means you
will have to compromise the reason you were originally doing something
(because it is what you believe is true) to fit with the worldíís
expectations (because you want people to tell you they like you).
Jesus is popular for the same reason Eminem is: because he says what he
sees, clearly and without bowing to the rules about what can be said,
about which languages are legitimate, about who and what you can talk
In this way they can speak directly to people's hearts and not just to
their masks of privilege and social propriety. Eminem is also the
opposite: he legitimatizes the appropriation of suffering as entertainment
by those who are comfortable, who then get the frisson of 'real life'
without ever living it or suffering through it or doing anything about it.
They can be 'down' without walking through the actual desert; they can
have the pleasures of heroism without any sacrifice. This is me, too.
Anyway, themís the 'thoughts out of school' of a worldly Christian.
Keep up the good work,
Sex and the Postmodern Man...[read the article]
This was a wonderful article. I admire straight up & open conversation.
The author is right. We need to let our guards down & deal with our struggles.
This is something that becomes more apparent to me everyday that I live.
Experiencing Ancient Spirituality...[read the article]
Although I have never gone to a convent I have had the opportunity
to schedule what I would refer to as "Solitude." It is somewhat of a
spiritual retreat, a time of renewal. What I find fascinating with this
article is that it proves to me that there are plenty of people out there
that would welcome a sense of form in spirituality. As an Evangelical
I must admit that we have separated ourselves from what some
would describe as mystical experiences for far to long. By this I do
not mean in the charismatic sense but rather in the formal structured
sense that the author of the article described. I would argue that
there are structures that act as boundaries within Scripture but that
there is also a freedom to approach God within those parameters.
Nehemiah...rebuilding [read the article]
Wow! I'd been searching for a new way to preach Nehemiah,
and your article lighted my way! This is my first, but not
my last visit to your website. Thanks for helping spread
the Good News!
I was really interested in the
issue that had the articles based on the movie "Matrix".
That was really interesting because I remember seeing that movie all the
way through once after having started to watch it quite a few times.
It was a really inspiring movie once I saw it all the way through and
got to really look at the message. I talked with a few of my
friends about it. Thanks for adding to my discussion.
Ministry and Marriage...[read
Thanks so much for a "kick in the head" in this article about
the need to put our marriages first our lives. Many young leaders have
been either modeled or told by the preceding generations that we need to
"put the ministry first" and "go - go - go!!" and
"Success by being a work-a-holic!!
Your article talked about living out the Great Commandment in our
marriage and playing together; it caused some good pondering for my own
I did find it amusing that you used a quote from someone who was
"on the road" and traveling with Billy Graham for many years to
make your point on having God center in our marriage. Billy himself has
said that one of the things he would do different if he had to live his
life again would be NOT to travel so much because it caused problems in
his own family ... I grinned.
College Drive youth ministries
Dear Springer, I am a born again Christian, 32 years and just got
married in September this year to a very beautiful 28 years old born again
lady. I am currently in Japan for a short time and meanwhile my young wife
is back in Kenya. We attend services in an Anglican Church in Nairobi
called "All Saints Cathedral Church". The principles you have
outlined in the issue are very important to us as a young couple and very
encouraging too. As the man of the house I would like to know what my role
is to the family and how I can keep me wife always happy. I have declared
just like Joshua that "me and my house we shall serve the Lord".
This has no compromise whatsoever. I would like you to especially
elaborate further on the issues of finances regarding marriage. I also do
research in medicine on the line of HIV/AIDS and I believe it is a good
idea for couples to undergo tests before they get married to avert
disasters. We did undergo one. I would like to be a shining example in our
marriage and hence you constant advice is vital. May the Lord bless your
ministry and the good works that you are doing. The Lord be exalted
especially as we approach Christmas.
In His Service,
Njoroge, Wilfred James
Kenya Medical Research Institute
Why in the world would you have links to such anti-postmodern churches
such as Willow Creek?!?!
just thought i'd vent - it bugs me!
:*) Dan King
i am really blessed...almost everything in it, rest assured i'll be
praying for your ministry...
Waves Church Profile [read
This church is doing a very valid ministry by reaching to this
unchurched people group in the greater Vancouver area. I am awed amazed by
God's mighty movement at waves church.
Hope to You community church
Beautiful article about a beautiful community of people. Reading this
piece touched my heart in a way few things do. Thank you.
great to have an "on fire" asian / chinese american church
more concerned about christ than they are about being chinese
asian american artistry
The Truth in Fight Club [read
Man, I think you nailed it. Fight club is definitely the best movie of
the year, because it dealt with the desperate need for truth in the rubble
of modern society. I think that you were right to address the two main
themes in your article that you chose, however, I'm sure you felt there
were more you could have included. I think this movie takes a hard look at
post-modern male identity. This ain't no chickflick. These guys need to do
something real and lose the fear that comes with possessions. As
Chriitians we affirm (very weakly) that consumerism is bad, and perfect
love drives out fear. We could take the bit of truth right out the mouth
of this movie and place it back among the people of God if we really lived
the gospel. Jesus taught us to live radically different than we do: money,
possessions, relationships, motives, all 'conform' way to much to this
sick and dying world. We have failed to be the life of Christ on planet
rock, instead we have colluded with the Canaanites right here in N.
America. As someone wrestling with these issues, I was surprised the movie
used some techniques at community and identity building that I've been
experimenting with. I've become convinced that the irrelevance of Sunday
morning services are damnable---sending more people to eternal damnation
than any other un-done mission in the history of the church. Fight Club
showed that Cells and House Churches can quickly accomplish community, get
real truth flowing, and multiply at an astonishing rate. This is the
future for the church. A church that lives the life of Christ in
brotherhoods: families of men and women, and babies all helping each other
wake up from their dream world in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sweet, Kip Mor
The God of Chaos Theory [read
Hello David. Very interesting article. God bless you!
Very helpful connection between post-modern thought, Chaos science and
the challenge of today's church. We're working with these ideas at Windsor
Crossing Community Church in St. Louis. We are determined to understand
our culture, and be ruthless in remaining relevant to it for the sake of
the Gospel. This article helped.
Itís all about Jesus [read
Thank you for your reviews. I've read the ones you have posted for the
past 3 months. And I really appreciate the work you are contributing to
Next-Wave. I hope to see more of your work in the future.