Friday, April 22, 2011

Modernity Infiltrates the Church: It's all about Me!

Reding Roxburgh & Boren's Introducing the Missional Church, I was stopped short by this on page 59:
Modernity replaces mission with self-actualization of the expressive, autonomous individual. When we attend to the way people talk about the gospel, it does not take long to discover just how much the focus lies on meeting personal needs. During testimony sessions about mission trips, people explain how it changed them or how it gave them an experience they will never forget. In modernity the purpose of life is to fulfill one's personal destiny, goals, or needs. … For moderns, it's almost impossible to read the biblical narrative without assimilating it to the modern categories of the self and the fulfillment of its needs.
OUCH! Their trenchant critique isn't just about missions, and just about modernity; there are, they say, two beaver-dams gumming up the works in the Church today: a modern one and a postmodern one (57). Self-centeredness, alas, is a key feature of both modernity and postmodernism; the very individualistic worldview prevalent in North America—yes, even in the North American church.

How can we fix this? We need to fix ourselves -- rather, we need the Lord to change us.

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