Tag Archives: modernity

Notes from The Pepperdine Lectures – Rick Atchley & Jonathan Storment


Notes from Rick Atchley & Jonathan Storment’s Class at The 2009 Pepperdine Lectures – “When Past Meets Post: What’s a Church to Do? pt. 1” – Wednesday May 6, 2009 – 8:30AM. This was the first class in a series of three discussing the church and postmodernism.

  • Postmoderism is “the collapse of inherited metanarratives.”
  • Modernity says, “We’re going to make the world a better place by reason, science, technology, etc.” Postmodernity says back to modernity, “The report cards are in, and you’ve failed!”
  • When Rick was in elementary school, the teacher taught him how Columbus sailed the ocean blue and found America. When Jonathan was in elementary school, the teacher taught him how Columbus sailed the ocean blue, found American, and butchered the Indians.
  • Our culture has a problem with the exclusive claim that Jesus is Lord – ONLY. That’s because our culture values consumerism above all else. The world revolves around self.
  • Churches have become more akin to the Home Shopping Network than a revolution!
  • Depending on mass-media too much reverses the incarnation – truth needs a body (the role of the church)!
  • Tony Campolo quote (not exact): “Mixing the gospel and politics is like mixing horse manure and ice cream. It won’t affect the horse manure that much, but you might not like the ice cream.”
  • Moderns come to a church and ask, “Is this true?” Postmoderns come to a church and ask, “Do I want to be like these people?”
  • Moderns: Believe –> Behave –> Belong
  • Postmoderns: Belong –> Believe –> Behave

Things that are going to happen to the church as a direct result of postmodern thought:

  1. Postmodernity is going to diminish the rule of legalism.
  2. Postmodernity will diminish self-righteousness.
  3. Postmodernity will encourage the church to embrace mystery.
  4. Postmodernity will call the church to be more authentic.
  5. Postmodernity will cause us to hold up Jesus instead of the church. The church is embodied in a person. Where the church hasn’t looked like Jesus, we must confess and repent.
  6. Postmodernity will cause us to rethink and rearticulate our story. Its hero is one who died on a cross.

For more teaching from Jonathan and Rick, subscribe to their podcast here.

Also, check out Jonathan’s blog. There’s a good post on keeping the Sabbath (taking a day off) there today.

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