The culture we live in is like the air we breathe: most of the time we don’t think about what we’re letting inside us. But just like the air we breathe, the culture around us is vital for sustaining our lives and making us who we are, with the potential either to keep us healthy or bring us disease and even death.
Each culture has its own set of answers to questions like ‘who are we?’, ‘what is the good life?’ and ‘what is truth?’ Since the 1970s, the answers in our culture have been increasingly shaped by what many call ‘postmodernism’, causing one of the biggest cultural changes in the past 2000 years: people don’t think in the same way they used to 100, or even 30 years ago. The postmodern shift has implications that Christians can’t ignore, not only for our evangelism but for the way that we understand our own faith.
Christian reaction to postmodernism is often extreme, condemning it too quickly as dangerous, or embracing it unthinkingly as the only future of the church. Seeking to avoid both of these mistakes, we will explore together in what unique ways biblical Christianity can speak into and shape a postmodern culture, and how we can respond in a Christ-like way to the anxieties and concerns of the postmodern mind. The postmodern shift is a great time of opportunity for God’s people.
Chris Watkin did his PhD in contemporary French and post-modern philosophy. In October he took up a research fellowship at Magdalene College, Cambridge, studying the ‘turn to religion’ in Continental thought.