are interesting; no, fascinating.
It is hard for me to see humans fear some
of the things they fear.
Sure, I can see spiders, snakes and even
lions, but how can anyone fear a cuddly little
otter (lutraphobia is the fear of otters).
I once listed a grip of phobias on my blog:
theologicphobia is the fear of theology,
theophobia is the fear of gods or religions,
homilophobia is the fear of sermons,
ecclesiophobia is the fear or church.
Today, I would like to introduce you to
another phobia called “pomophobia, the fear of
have seen this fear first hand and I can tell you
it is alive, well, and living in the hearts of
many people. It is ramped, it is insidious, it is hurtful and most of all
– it lives in the hearts of many church people
today. As our new bumper sticker campaign will say, “pomophobia,
the scourge of the USAmerican church.”
I will tell you that I have read the
pomophobic propaganda, their articles and books,
by people who are plainly pomophobic.
This scourge, this menace, this – I
can’t think of another word to put here, so you
can add one – this “bad thing” (now, that
really harsh) called pomophobia manifests itself
in many ways and here are a few:
articles written by a “postmodern” blasting
postmodern thought and theology:
One of the worst signs of this pomophobia
is the use of postmoderns to decry the realities
of a postmodern world.
While I have no problem with an honest
critique (heck, I do it all the time) of
postmodern thought and theology, it drives me
crazy when those who claim a postmodern tilt
(by italicizing the word “tilt” you can
actually make it tilt – cool) insult and attack
others who are postmodern.
My first reaction to such an attack is to
question if the person truly is postmodern or at
they simply a “modern gorilla fighter” (MGF).
An MGF will attack, and strive to divide
the postmodern camp.
who claim it’s time to rebuild:
sure, there will come a time when the
postmodern church will need to “rebuild” what
we have been spending time deconstructing, but the
time is not now.
I have found that those who are crying the
loudest for “rebuilding” are the moderns who
wish we would simply “go away.” When they (the moderns – or the MGF – or the
hyper-moderns – or the “postmoderns who are
really not postmodern” – or the, well you get
the picture) say they want to “rebuild” what I
am actually hearing is, “We want you to
compromise your beliefs and your ideas and settle
on this middle ground.”
I am not sure we are at a “rebuilding”
stage in postmodern thought and theology – heck,
I am still playing with the blocks.
Mainly because I am not certain that those
who desire to “rebuild” want to rebuild with a
postmodern heart, or simply “pick up the scraps
of a modern thought and theology” and rebuild a
“cool modern church.”
Another fear I have when it comes to
“rebuilding” too soon is that when we do, we
will create a model that “is postmodern” –
and who defines such a model?
One of the greatest things about postmodern
worship, thought and theology is that there is no
“central” guru who will or will not determine
what “is postmodern.” Moderns do not like this, because they need to have someone
in control, some one central, someone “in
fear that in postmodern thought, because they do
not understand it:
Sure, fear is a key to a phobia, after all
that is what phobia means – but this is not fear
as much as it is understanding.
Moderns just do not get it.
I sit with moderns and talk all the time
about postmodern, emerging, thought and they just
look at me as if I am crazy.
For a long time I felt that it was me and
that I did not have the skills to communicate what
I was trying to say – in fact, many moderns did
blame me for their not understanding.
Then it dawned on me that no matter what I
said, they simply would not get it.
It is strange, when I am with postmodern
people I do not even have to speak and we all know
what is happening – but with moderns it is a
whole other ball game.
who say, “You are saying the same things we are,
your just using different words.” I will have to admit that I fell for that one a few years
back, until I realized that that is not true –
at all. We are not saying the same things, so we are not thinking the
We are not saying the same things.
We are using different words because we see
this point, I will admit to having a pomophobia
phobia or a “pomophibiaphobia.”
While it may not be a full-blown fear, it
is defiantly there. It centers on several areas; First, because I am not a
“rebuild at this point kind-a-guy,” I tend to
be seen as a radical, and that’s cool.
Second, because I am unwilling to
compromise what I see as cores in postmodern
thought and “accept a more modern look” I am
seen as a radical, I can live with that. Third, because I am not willing to say that one persons model
or book is “postmodernism” I am seen as a
radical, and that is cool.
Fourth, there really is no fourth; I just
hated to stop at three – too modern for my
some in the postmodern community are calling for a
“rebuilding” I am not sure we are there.
I think we need more radicals, more people
willing to go to the edge. More people willing to
push the envelope and not worry about
When we stop pushing, when we stop looking,
when we stop deconstructing, we start to settle
and at that point we are no better off then the
modern contemporary church.
The question I have asked of all those who
desire to rebuild, is this – rebuild what?