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Summary Postmodern Theological Worldview . James Van Slyke. Postmodern Worldview. 1. What is There? Dependent upon Metaphysics From Theology Eternal, knowable, loving God His/Her creation Humans Animals Natural laws Cosmos/Big Bang . Postmodern Worldview.

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Postmodern worldview
Postmodern Worldview

  • 1. What is There?

    • Dependent upon Metaphysics

    • From Theology

      • Eternal, knowable, loving God

      • His/Her creation

        • Humans

        • Animals

        • Natural laws

        • Cosmos/Big Bang

Postmodern worldview1
Postmodern Worldview

  • 2. How is it Organized?

    • Hierarchy of sciences

    • Theology or Metaphysics at top

    • Each level in the hierarchy asks Boundary questions

      • Some questions need answers from another science

      • Each science is impacted by the theories in other sciences, up and down

Postmodern worldview2
Postmodern Worldview

  • 3. What makes things happen?

    • Causation is both bottom-up and top down

    • Larger systems in nature, society, God; act on the other parts of the system

    • Parts impact the system and create changes

    • Must understand reality from both a component and systems perspective

Postmodern worldview3
Postmodern Worldview

  • 4. What is the place of human beings in the cosmos? Ethics

    • Dependent on different sciences in the system

    • Science provides different aspects of humanity; instinctual drives, physiological makeup

    • Psychology gives us understanding of development

    • Theology provides understanding of the value of humanity to each other and God

Postmodern worldview4
Postmodern Worldview

  • 5. How should we live? Ethics

    • Different aspects of theology

      • Biblical Studies

      • Theories of Interpretation

      • Systematic Theology

      • Practical Theology

    • Historical and Contextual Questions

      • Respond to questions from culture

      • Important to contextualize Ethical dilemmas and problems

Postmodern worldview5
Postmodern Worldview

  • 6. What is ultimately important?

    • Theology or Metaphysics

    • Provides direction and purpose for life

    • Lens or View through which reality is understood

    • Helps to shed light to the pattern found in reality

Postmodern worldview6
Postmodern Worldview

  • 7. How do we know?

    • Holistic view of justification of truth

    • Important to distinguish between things that are true and how those truths are justified

    • Whole paradigms are either accepted or rejected

    • Truth is justified by connection to other theories and in connection to ‘data’

Justifying religious claims
Justifying Religious Claims

  • Modern Tendencies

    • Seek to find out that which is indubitable and build your theology from there

    • ‘Shore up’ the bible or provide arguments for existence of God – foundationalism

    • Reductive – Gospel can be reduced to one thing or a few key principles

    • Emphasis on adoption of certain propositional statements

    • Individual decision-making

Justifying religious claims1
Justifying Religious Claims

  • Postmodern tendencies

    • Engagement of Culture – understand different perspectives; importance of context

    • Gospel is not reduced – holistic view

      • Both the embodiment of the story (action)

      • Revealing the truth to culture

    • Apologetics is about the process of engagement, rather than a single method

      • My favorite apologist

    • Coherence rather than Evidential Perspective

Religious epistemology
Religious Epistemology

  • Using MacIntyre

    • Understand other religions from the inside

      • Spoken as a first language

      • Understand perspective, history

    • Use our tradition to explain missing aspects in another

      • During a crisis in another faith

      • Or simply in comparison; may be used for a later time

    • Socially embodied – both our beliefs and what we do with them shows our viewpoint to be true

Evangelism as communal practice
Evangelism as Communal Practice

  • Embodying the Christian Narrative

    • What the church does as a whole should be an important part of evangelism

    • Not just individuals ministering to other individuals

  • Engaging others using our language

    • Being Salt; Light

    • Using our language to describe other person’s situation and problems from a Christian perspective

Conversion as communal
Conversion as Communal

  • Joining our telling of the story

    • May join because of failures in their own worldview

    • May be curious

    • Relationships may give person’s a view of a different worldview

  • Not just individual acceptance of cognitive content

    • Personal stories from ‘outsiders’ help us to understand our own better

    • Provide new aspects and viewpoints and ways to embody the story

    • Not just a change in attitude, but also a change in action


  • Complex Concept

    • Past, present, and future

    • Have been saved, are being saved, shall be saved

  • Forgiveness, Faith, Right Relationship (Protestant)

  • Presence of Christ, Union with Christ (Catholic)

  • Way of life, discipleship (anabaptist)

  • Needs to involves several aspects, not just one