Communication

COMMUNICATING THE #GOSPEL MESSAGE WITHIN A POST-POSTMODERN, DIGITALLY CONNECTED CULTURE

by Dastin Conner

Postmodernism is dead and buried. In its place comes a new paradigm of authority and knowledge formed under the pressure of new technologies and contemporary social forces reads the subtitle of an article by Alan Kirby, writer and researcher in 20th century literature and culture.[1] Postmodernism has been replaced as the dominant philosophy by a post-postmodernism that some cultural analysts would say is being defined by new technologies and the impact of a digital, global world. Web 2.0, interactive digital media, and ever evolving smart technology devices have redefined how people create, interact, communicate, and influence others thereby shaping our current cultural paradigm. With this shift in dominant cultural forces, how should the church contextualize communicating the gospel for this post-postmodern, digital culture? To answer the questions of why and how the Church must communicate a contextually appropriate gospel to a post-postmodern society, one must examine and interact with the post-postmodern cultural shift particularly in regards to its effects on how people learn and communicate. By communicating the gospel message in ways that are better understood and easily shareable in a digitized post-postmodern culture, the Church will be more effective in communicating the gospel message and making disciples of all cultures.

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Meaning Makers for Postmoderns

by Miroslav Pujic

In his book Cat’s Cradle, author Kurt Vonnegut relates a different Creation story than the one we are used to. Man is made out of the mud and asks God the question, “What is the purpose of all this?”

“Everything must have a purpose?” God supposedly replies.

“Certainly,” says man.

So God says, “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this.” Then God goes away.1

This portrays a vivid image of our postmodern time. However, while post-moderns may not so readily agree with previously accepted ideas regarding life and existence, they still are looking for meaning and purpose. Their question­ing of previous explanations is part of the notion that truth is far more open and subjective. This means that some declaration that begins, “As we all know,” or “Nobody questions” will be rejected or ignored.

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God's mighty acts in a changing world (part 1 of 2)

by Jon Paulien

The Seventh-day Adventist Church faces serious problems in evangelism and church growth. One such problem became clear during a recent pastors’ meeting in South England, where we reviewed the status of the church in Britain. In spite of a major increase in immigration over the last twenty years, 95 percent of the British population remains English-speaking whites. Of the 20,000 Adventists in that country, about 10 percent reflect this majority; 85 percent come from West Indian immigrants, who constitute only 2 percent of the general population; and the rest from other ethnic groups. Of the 8,000 Adventist members in London, only about 100 are whites. Most members felt that these statistics indicate a racial problem: blacks are naturally open to the gospel and whites are naturally closed.

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Belonging before believing: reaching out to the emerging culture

by Sarah K. Asaftei
In college I spent two summers working as a Bible worker for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in central California. I was working in the area south of San Francisco known as the Silicon Valley. Each evening I’d get a stack of names and addresses from the student literature evangelists, and each morning I would plot my day on a map of the Silicon Valley.

Yet I was frustrated. I’d been giving Bible studies for years, but always to those who already believed in the Bible. I’d never been faced with the kind of raw skeptics, people who honestly rejected the whole notion of truth, as I found here in Silicon Valley. My standard study guides were useless with these people because the studies simply fueled the raging cynicism about Christianity that these individuals already had.

I can’t criticize the Bible study guides. They were great for those who already believed in the authenticity of Scripture and the divinity of Jesus. But not for this Silicon Valley crowd.

At a loss I started writing my own studies by putting my personal experience into each encounter. Instead of just transferring information, I made our teachings part of my story. I didn’t know it then, but I had instinctively begun to adapt my evangelism efforts to the requirements of a postmodern society.

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Meaning Makers for Postmoderns

by Miroslav Pujic
 
In his book Cat’s Cradle, author Kurt Vonnegut relates a different Creation story than the one we are used to. Man is made out of the mud and asks God the question, “What is the purpose of all this?”
“Everything must have a purpose?” God supposedly replies.
“Certainly,” says man.
So God says, “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this.” Then God goes away.

This portrays a vivid image of our postmodern time. However, while post-moderns may not so readily agree with previously accepted ideas regarding life and existence, they still are looking for meaning and purpose. Their question¬ing of previous explanations is part of the notion that truth is far more open and subjective. This means that some declaration that begins, “As we all know,” or “Nobody questions” will be rejected or ignored.

Read more ...
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