Many years ago, on one of my trips, I was speaking to a group of post-communist era young adults in Riga, Latvia. I remember walking into the old college building where they met for services. It was a stately building, old, weathered stone that looked unmovable even though the centuries would go by. I wondered what memories this building had? I climbed up the massive stone stairway in the center of the building. Up past the second floor and climbing to the third floor. Then into a large meeting room where there would soon be about one hundred college students (and post-college as well) meeting in a new kind of church.
I don't remember exactly what my message was that morning. I do remember it was on the theme of the heart. What I especially remember is a quote that I used from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I remember it because a number of these very thoughtful, post-communist, now followers of Christ young people told me that Solzhenitsyn was one of their heroes and that quote one of their favorites.
For some reason, this quote came back to me as I was reading through a section in, Why We're Not Emergent, where DeYoung is wondering about the difference between modernity and post-modernity and are they as cut and dry as some emergent authors lead us to believe?
I found myself wondering:
??? Isn't this just one more dualism that oversimplifies the issues?
??? Don't we run the risk, once again, of falling into an either/or and not trying to wrestle with a both/and approach (which ironically, should be a hallmark of postmodernity, yet on this issue some postmoderns sound more like the either/or of modernity)?
??? Is modernism really ALL that bad? And is postmodernism really ALL that good? This was a great question that DeYoung asked.
??? And, above all, isn't to think in these terms, to fall into the very error that Solzhenitsyn warned us against. For the line between good and evil does not run between modernity and postmodernity. No, that line runs right through the heart of each of those cultures/ages/spirits/philosophies/worldviews.
A little more epistemological humility and self-awareness about heart lines would be nice for all of us, whether we are modernists, post-modernists, or any other tag we use as a descriptor.
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