Document Type

Article

Peer Reviewed

1

Publication Date

5-2011

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery; Scholarship of Faith Integration

Abstract

Postmodernism has created an epistemological and conceptual climate for different approaches to Evangelical theology. In this study, my purpose is to analyze contemporary trends in postmodern theology and investigate to what extent these trends are affecting Evangelicals. The categories of postmodern theology I have chosen for comparison are deconstructive theology, narrative theology, and radical orthodoxy. The first portion of my research summarizes their formative influences and current approaches in hopes that these observations can then be applied in specific contexts.

After a review of each of these theologies, I compared them to what I experienced in three Post-Evangelical congregations. The churches I chose to study are notable in that they are from an Evangelical heritage but are trying new approaches to theology and ministry, approaches that they themselves have characterized as postmodern. My purpose was to see to what extent these churches are impacted by prominent postmodern theological themes I had discovered from my research.

I found many connections between postmodern theological trends and the Post-Evangelical communities. The pastors I interviewed and the congregations they serve resonate with many of the ideas that came to the fore in my research. Nevertheless, most of the connections I found did not turn out to be influenced by the academic theologians that were the source of the ideas. In most cases, the influence came indirectly through authors who write for practitioners, translating the abstract ideas into practical advice for ministers. Thus, the postmodern perspective often diverges from the original emphases of the academic theologians in order to meet particular needs in specific contexts.

Comments

Honors Capstone Project completed in 2011 for Olivet Nazarene University.