“Paradigm”. It’s one of those pretentious words you hear in coffeehouses. And since the Front Porch is like a coffeehouse, let’s have at it, shall we?
Paradigms are to human thought what water is to a fish. We rarely take notice of them, and yet they influence everything we think, say and do.
Western society has operated under a single mega-paradigm for the past several centuries: Modernism. Modernism says “prove it.” “I want evidence.” “Quantify everything.” and “The end justifies the means.” Science is the god of Modernism.
And yet, for one reason or another, the church eventually found a comfortable corner within Modernism. And although she never literally set up an altar to a god named “Reason”, she might as well have. Christianity became supremely reasonable, at the expense of emotion, mystery, beauty, unity and spirit.
And if Modernism had a second god, it would be newness; novelty; progress. Anything new is given the benefit of the doubt. Anything old is quickly dismissed as outmoded or obsolete. And although the church did not worship this god as fully as the rest of the world, it certainly held its place in the pantheon. Many of the riches of our faith were abandoned and forgotten, in exchange for the “up-and-coming”
But, like it or not, Modernism is now in its final throes, and something new (and old) has come to take its place. Western culture is rebooting, and so is Cultural Christianity. When the paradigms of the past cease to satisfy searching minds, fresh modes emerge. And similarly, when you computer freezes up, you hit Ctrl… Alt… Del.
March 8 – Boomers Are Clueless (Post-Modern Epistemology)
March 15 – Vintage Faith (The Future by Way of the Past)
March 22 – Pretty/Confusing (Beauty & Mystery)
March 29 – Text Me You Love Me (Community & Communication)
Thanks to Gary Seevers for the Title Image.