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unspoken words March 13, 2007

Posted by Cobus in Emerging Church, Emerging Culture, theology.

Along with so many others, I’ve been struggling with the whole post-modern thing. Yip, so that’s the unspoken word. When starting the blog I made a vow to myself that I will not use the concepts pre-modern, modern and post-modern, but would rather try and explain what I mean by it. But, if you are reading, and not sure what the words mean, don’t feel bad, join the struggle. If you believe you do have the meaning sorted out, well, then read on and tell us how you see it.

The thing is, post-modern is the new buzz-word, everyone is using it, everyone in their own way though. Modern on the other hand, is the new place where you don’t want to be, a few years or decades ago, you would have been riding the wave, now, being called modern is not a compliment. At least not in the circles where I move, and in the faculty where I study.

I remember one morning, having a bit of a debate with one of my lecturers on something from one of the Pauline letters. Nothing mayor, something about the way he used the Old Testament, I think the question of whether a specific part it was allegory or not. Whatever it was, the debate ended with him calling me a modernist, and saying that if I can get out of my modernist world-view I would see things different. May I just add that he was over 65 years old. I decided not to respond.

What got me, especially this morning when again in some classes we were very quick to label stuff as modern, was that we call ourselves post-modern, and still believe we can put everything before us into cans. Many of us have come far enough to realise that we cannot define post-modern that easily, but we still believe we can define modern or pre-modern. Shouldn’t we have learned that it’s not that easy? Aren’t we going in against ourselves when we claim to be able to spot something modern that easily?

And who said modern was correct and post-modern wrong? I mean, we are post-modern, not anti-modern, right? We are post-rational, not irrational or a-rational, right? I’m not going to even attempt to give a definition of the terms I used here. I will keep on blogging without using them, but thought I wanted to share my frustration with you.

O, and it looks like I’m back to blogging for this week at least:-) Thanx for everyone who is reading. Even if you don’t comment, the fact that you keep on coming help me to come back and share some of my thoughts.


1. Bernardvw - March 14, 2007

Hi Cobus
Like you know we had a talk for 3-4 hours about post-modernism about 3 months ago. It started by me asking you the big question : What is post-modernism? After that I went through a few stages of what I thought about it. I started by labelling stuff, saying this is post-modernistic, this is modernistic etc. Then came the worst part, I started labelling people, not just ideas. Then came a few minor stages, until to where I am now : Is it fair to say something is modernistic or post-modernistic. It is impossible in the first place for me to say if I was post-modernistic or not, and I want to label stuf. I mean, isn’t a part of post-modernism that you think differently about stuff, think differently about old stuff.
I really would like to think that I am post-modernistic, but it can just be the modernistic side of me that says I must say what I am saying

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