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A Talk at Bethel Seminary’s Community Life Gathering: Embodying the Gospel in a Post_____ Era

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : January 26, 2007

On Monday, January 29th, I’ll be speaking at Bethel Seminary’s Community Life Gathering. If you’re free, you’re more than welcome to stop on by. I’ll begin shortly after noon in the dining area.

I’ve been asked to talk about “the Post-Modern Church in the 21st Century.” Post-modernism has been talked to death, in my estimation. I’m not sure I have anything new to add on the “analysis of post-modern culture” front. I do, however, love talking about the church.

As I understand it, part of what it means to be the Church in a post_____ era is a move from abstracted universalized truths to specific embodied truth. The modern notion that one can abstract and universalize truth out of its particular context is a flawed notion. We must disentangle ourselves from our modernist past with it’s disembodied ideas of truth and reengage the world as the embodied presence of Christ. The church is what it does, and does what it is. We don’t DO mission. We are missional. We don’t DO apologetics. We are an apologetic. We don’t merely articulate the Gospel, we EMBODY the Gospel.

Most of my talk will be in laying out this idea of embodiment as a way of being faithful in the 21st Century, as well as to deconstruct the idea that doing church in post-modernity simply means repackaging the church or becoming liberals.

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Comments

3 Responses to “A Talk at Bethel Seminary’s Community Life Gathering: Embodying the Gospel in a Post_____ Era”

  1. John Smulo on January 27th, 2007 1:09 pm

    Mark,

    This sounds very interesting. Is it going to be recorded?

  2. markvans on January 27th, 2007 1:12 pm

    Probably not. :(
    I wish I had an easy handy-dandy recording device.

  3. John Smulo on January 27th, 2007 1:22 pm

    Bummer, if you have any notes or anything that you use after the talk I’d be really interested. I really appreciate your thoughts on engaging the world as the embodied presence of Christ.

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