Thursday, May 3, 2007

What books do you want to read together?

Jeremy's Book Club is now officially on "Summer Break". We will pick up again in late summer or early fall. In the meantime please leave a comment below with suggestions of books you'd like us to read together. I've already had a request for Mark Regnerus' Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers. What other ideas do you have?

Freedom of a Christian?

To end our discussion of this book I will simply defer to White’s question on page 164. “. . . what does Christian freedom mean for those areas under pressure from postmodernism: morality, truth, knowledge, culture, and several others mentioned through this book?”

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Proclamation within the Limits of Language

Language and Thought, Inquiry & Interpretation, Culture & Irony, History & Hope

If postmoderns are skeptical of language, interpretation and tradition then how are we to proclaim the gospel? Read scripture? How are we to be church with postmoderns?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Postmodern Turn

The Postmodern Turn against Reason
On page 49 White lays out 4 options within Postmodernism. How do you communicate the truth of the gospel to those young people who would fall under nihilism? Relativism? Constructivism? Pragmatism?

Truth, Power and Morality

There is so much in this chapter and I could not come up with one question. Therefore, I’ll simply ask you to tell us what you think about the content of this chapter.

The Self

How do premodernism, modernism, and postmodernism describe “the self”? How might each of these understandings of the self influence the ways in which we approach ministry? Do you think our practices of ministry are influenced by a particular understanding of “the self”?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Why bother with postmodernism?

Here is how it will work. I will post questions according to the following schedule. You comment to any or all of the questions as you are able. Be sure to check back every now and then so you can reply to one another's postings.

April 6th

Why read about Postmodernism? AND Premodern and Modern Minds
April 13th
The Postmodern Turn against Reason; Truth, Power and Morality; AND The Self
April 20th
Language and Thought; Inquiry and Interpretation; Culture and Irony; History and Hope
April 27th

Why Read about Postmodernism?
White discusses “. . . three main concerns that thoughtful Christians have when they confront postmodernism. . .” (pg. 17). What are these and which one do you think is most critical for those who are in ministry with youth?
Premodern and Modern Minds
Would you say your church has pre-modern or modern tendencies? Give some examples. What are the benefits or pit-falls of these tendencies?

Friday, March 16, 2007

New discussion coming soon!

Postmodernism 101
A First Course for the Curious Christian
by Heath White

"Don't let the 'first course' language fool you. This is a five-course feast, presented on philosophical platters of gold and literary pitchers of silver. Premodern, modern, and postmodern people need to read this and discover what each offers each other."--Leonard Sweet, author of Postmodern Pilgrims and SoulTsunami

This is a great little book. It is easily accessible and presents postmodernism without the daunting jargon. White does a great job of describing postmodernism, comparing it to premodernism and modernism, and discussing what it might mean for the church. It will be a fun one to discuss.

Follow the link Brazos Press to read reviews, endorsements, and to purchase the book. I will post the first series of discussion questions on Good Friday April 6th. Until then. . . blessed reading!

God's peace,

Friday, March 9, 2007

Follow the Thread

Chapter 11: Noticing
Please share an example from your ministry experience of each of the four ways we help youth notice God.

Chapter 12: Naming
What are the ways you’ve seen the church “name” God? How are these ways helpful to youth? How might they be detrimental or short-sighted?

Chapter 13: Nurturing
Yaconelli is adamant about clearly communicating the fact that contemplative youth ministry does not find its end in contemplation but in authentic action. He says this happens by “following the thread” and that contemplation makes following the thread somewhat easier. How do you follow the thread? How do your ministry and your congregation follow the thread?

Chapter 14: Beyond Fear
Are youth and adults really afraid of one another? How might contemplative youth ministry – or practicing the presence of Jesus - overcome this fear?

God's peace,
Jeremy Myers