how would you define the postmodern movement?
it comes to "postmodernity" there are two
words that need to be defined; "post" and
"modernity". For most people in ministry the
term modern is a specific term relating to the way of
thinking that began to emerge in the late 1400 and
1500's. (as apposed to the term "modern" used
in art, architecture, music and the like) Specifically
the way of thinking had to do with determining truth and
reality in the world. In most cases people are referring
to an "enlightenment" orientation that puts
the scientific method at the center point. Enlightenment
thinking also assumes that the human mind can reach a
point of full understanding and that understanding will
bring about a desirous way of life. This way of thinking
was at the heart of western expansion and the creation
of American cities of the turn of the 20th century. The
promise of the "American Dream" is a result of
this enlightened, scientific, dominance way of thinking.
So for people who are thinking of the issues of
postmodernity, it could also be defined as being
postenlightened. That raises the second word that needs
definition: post. When people refer to something being
post, it does not normally mean non. It means after. It
assumes that what came before effects that which is
post. A post-game show following a sporting event is not
a non-game show, in fact it only exists in response to
the game. In a similar way postmodernity is life in a
world deeply effected by enlightened thinking and
living. So for those who hold that postmodernity will
reject all of modern ways and simply move to another way
will be deeply frustrated.
i love the name "solomon's porch" what is the
meaning behind the name?
name comes from the Bible. Solomon's Temple was a large
area with many sections (http://www.solomonsporch.com/AboutUs/Name.htm).
There were a series of colonnades, balconies or porches.
One of these porches was in a public area of the Temple
and that is where the book of Acts records the followers
of Jesus meeting during the early days. We picked the
name because we wanted our church to have a name that
had a historical connection, was connected to the Bible
and would help us tell the story of Christian faith. We
were not interested in a name that was conceptual. Our
feeling is that Christianity has been reduced to theory
and concept for too long and we need to start defining
ourselves by the real history of our faith. The name
also allows us to show the importance of the Bible in
our community without having to say something like,
"we think the Bible is really important". It
allows us to be us and not pick fights with people who
view the Bible differently.
i know you are connected with the Evangelical Covenant
Church - what would you say are the pros and cons to
connecting with a denomination?
us being affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church
has allowed us to participate with other churches in
significant ways. It has allowed us to be part of a
"family" with all the pros and cons of that.
Our experience with the Evangelical Covenant Church has
also allowed us to be supported through structure and
funding. There are draw backs of course, any association
of churches has particular ways of functioning that make
it difficult for new churches with new ways to fit in.
Just part of being the family I guess.
on your site, the arts play a role - how do you see the
arts working in a worship service and how do they differ
from a "contemporary church" use of the arts?
do not "use" the arts. We simply have people
who are artistic and they are encouraged to be fully
involved in our community. In fact, our church is an
effort of many us who are trying to figure out how we
can remain faithful to the way of God in Jesus. So what
we do is an attempt at being Christian. As it turns out
there are others who want to do it with us. In my
analysis that is one significant way differ from the
contemporary church. We are certainly open and inviting
and welcoming of people to our community, but we are not
saying, "what do all the people who currently do
not go our church want" and then designing for
them. We are saying, "what will we have to do to be
faithful to the way of God in Jesus" and allow
others to pilgrimage with us.
how do you define "holistic ministry?
that all areas of life are connected, including faith,
time, family, work, body, money, intellect, et al. WE
believe that the way people live is what is essential
and not simply belief. We also hold that a person is not
made of three or four parts, but is a whole being and
what happens in one area of life effects all the rest.
There are people who when they hear the word Holistic
are afraid that we mean it in "new age" sense.
When that concern is raised I often say, "what is
wrong with the word holistic in the new age
sense?". I happen to think that they are on to
something that Western Christianity forfeited and it is
time to get it back.
in a world were friendship is so very important, how
does Solomon's porch connect people to people?
live as friends and cheer on Community. We do not do any
official "small group" programming. In some
ways we fear that the current state of Small Group
ministry fosters individuality and not community. We
fear that it turns people into commodities that we
should use to be served. WE offer ways for people to
meet and spend time together. WE have many meals, and
outings. We try to treat people like adults and not
suppose that we need to be their match makers. We also
view spiritual formation has happening in these
relationships and not through education. So we resist
the temptation to add curriculum into our get together.
There are times that we meet for Bible discussion
groups, book clubs, movie clubs, day long seminars, but
we are not insisting that people need to be talking
about something in particular for the time to valuable.
how would you define "a world view of Christianity?
live with God in the way of Jesus. Doug Pagitt
Spiritual Formation: A Week in the Life of an Experimental Church
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