Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Post-Modern Acts of God
Presidential Address— Adventist Society for Religious Study
November 18, 2004

By: Jon Paulien

PostModernism: Reality or Label

In an article at , The Post-Modern Acts of God, Jon Paulien, gets into the subject rather deeply as it relates to the outreach to this group by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, moving from a feeling of "self-evident truth" that "Only an egotist would claim to have a handle on all truth," to a warning to the Adventist Church that "The Seventh-day Adventist Chruch, with its rigid structures and traditional approach to outreach, will certainly not be able to continue with business as usual in a post-modern world."

His use of the fortress and salt parable contrasts relative to a suggested paradymn shift in evangelizing was refreshing, relaying how salt mingles in food to the point that it is imperceptably except that it makes the meal taste better.

The challenge addressed in the article is in an era where absolute truth may be an oxymoron, he recommends I Cor 9:19-23 to "Become all things to all people in order that you might save some."

The challenge for the SDA church as he presents it is to become more relational in its evangelism so "Traditional Adventist evangelism" no longer "invests in public meetings, tries to move people to baptism in 3-5 weeks, and then breathes a sigh of relief for the next year or two."
From Bob Sands


Ron Corson said...

After scanning Paulsen's article I am rather impressed. Maybe because it does sound more progressive that is why I have not heard of this article in other Adventist media. Thanks Bob for bringing us this article. Here is a paragraph that I found interesting during my scan of the article

"I think many Adventists are frustrated that the Bible was not written as a systematic theology. You cannot open its pages and see the 27 (or is it 28?) Fundamentals clearly stated there. You would think God would have been a little more logical about this truth business. But since I cannot outline exactly what God was thinking when He caused the Bible to be put together the way it was, I can only assume that the result is exactly what He wanted. Rather than forcing the Bible to say what I want it to say, I would rather take what is and seek to understand what that tells us about God. If God chose the Bible to be a collection of stories, then post-modernism might be our best chance to fully explore its implications regarding the character and purposes of God. Perhaps post-moderns will understand the Bible much more clearly than those before them. I can't help seeing the hand of God in that."

Al Corson said...

A very nice summary of where we are and the mind sets we have and face.