the more and the bigger

March 5, 2009

OK, so if you’ve worked with postmodern philosphy for some time you’ll know that postmodernism is partly about the deconstructing of meta-narratives so that the smaller more cultural specific and contextual specific and whatever specific you want can come out. If you’ve worked with it a little bit more, you’ll know that there is a big problem with this, what I’d call the Mcdonalization of narratives – the metanarratives that existed was broken down, and largely displaced not by smaller narratives but by one large metanarrative, primarily dominated by materialism and a consumer culture.

This is my biggest concern with the fact that the church has lost it’s way. At this point in history we need something that can provide an alternative on consumerism and materialism, and if the faith based organizations isn’t doing it, who will? Who will point to an alternative narrative?!!

Talking to a friend the other day this is the biggest problem we have with our friends leaving church, that they reject the church narrative, and then get pulled into this bigger narrative of consumerism. The typical Dawkins thing of: “There is no God, so stop worrying and enjoy life”, or even if there is a God, the second part of “stop worrying and enjoy life”. But there is reason to worry! The economy, ecology, political climate, AIDS etc give us reason to worry!

However, it’s not all of our friends that we have this tension with. Some reject church but remain Christian, or within some other spiritual tradition, that call them into something more, that provide an alternative upon this Mcdonalds metanarrative. Of the few who opt for all-out atheism, some link to something bigger, a bigger concern for living a life in harmony with creation and other humans.

This seem to remain neccesary within our friendships, else we tend to find tension appearing. Or at least, so it would seem at this stage of the journey.


3 Responses to “the more and the bigger”

  1. tiaan Says:

    Laat my nogals dink aan die “G(g)od-shaped hole”…weet net nie altyd of ons (lees: die Kerk) weet hoe om daardie gat te vul nie. Maar dalk was dit nooit ons werk om daai gat te vul nie. Dalk moet ons mense uitnooi dat elkeen moet kyk hoe lyk sy eie gat (no pun intended! Sies!). Gaan dit Sondag met tieners in die erediens try…

  2. Daniel Says:

    What about the “metanarrative” of scripture? You know, the one that talks about sin, and the need for a savior?

    According to the bible, the problem with people is not because they embraced some “matanarrative” of consumerism, but that they are sinners… As followers of Jesus, we actually shouldn’t be worried about things like the economy, or politics, or disease, because they are only surface problems, but not the core issue.

    Following Jesus is not merely about rejecting the McDonald’s mentality, it is about getting a whole new heart and mind. This only can happen through the Holy Spirit, not by accepting this narrative, or that one…. It happens through the person of Jesus, not through a philosophy or world-view…

  3. cobus Says:

    I just came out of a looong conversation on this exact thing, so I’m not really up to a blog-conversation on this now, maybe after the weekend. But let’s just day that the church was not able to decide upon one “metanarrative of scripture” for 2000 years now, so I doubt there is one. Rather we find a number of narratives, one of which talk about sin and the need for a savior, but others using different language.

    Many of the narratives of scripture (and definitely the narrative of Jesus as I read it) talk about economy (think how much money is involved in the Jesus stories), politics (Jesus Christ is Lord has definite political implications in a world where people said that Ceaser is Lord), and disease (think about the importance of the healing power of Jesus). So I’d say as a follower of the way of Jesus I need to worry about these, they seem to be pretty core to me…

    but OK, we’re probably gonna differ on this, so I’ll just eave it at that for now.

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