As a Millennial, I feel and understand somewhat of the tensions that postmodernity places on my shoulders and in my gut.
I question. I doubt. I challenge the status quo.
As a Christian, I also feel and understand somewhat of the calling that Christ places on my life and in my heart.
I love. I work for justice. I believe in truth–both little “t” and big “T” truth.
Certainly, these characteristics do not fully define either postmodernity or Christianity. However, one thing that is fully clear is that postmodernity (and postmoderns for that matter) do not want to be defined by truth at all–as all truth is relative in their view.
So how do we, as those who believe in absolute truth, help our postmodern friends arrive at the beauty and goodness of God’s truth for their lives?
By not starting with truth.
There used to be a day and age when you could point out what was true from an authoritative source and others not only would believe it, but in applying that truth to their lives would soon recognize the goodness and beauty that truth brought to them and the world around them.
Truth –> Goodness –> Beauty (Pointing out what is true lead to a recognition of what is good which helped people arrive at what is beautiful)
Things are backwards today.
If you start spouting off at the mouth about what is true and right, not only will you not be heard or respected in most arenas, you will more than likely be labeled as uneducated, a bigot, or worst of all–intolerant.
Therefore, if things are backwards today, then let’s start with where people are today and reverse the order of how to understand truth.
I’ve found that the best way to help my friends in this area is to point out what is beautiful about them and the world around them FIRST which leads them to a recognition of what is good which helps them arrive at what is true.
Beauty –> Goodness –> Truth (Pointing out what is beautiful leads to a recognition of what is good which helps people arrive at what is true)
Instead of starting with what is true today and expecting people to see the goodness and beauty of that truth, you have to start with what is beautiful and help them understand its goodness in order to help them arrive at what is true.
This is not giving truth a backseat to beauty or goodness nor is it saying that truth has to be understood in this framework to be true.
It’s just a paradigm of understanding what is true in our postmodern society.
Like it or not, in many ways truth today has to be seen as a destination not a starting point.
And like all destinations, it takes time to get there. And the most fundamental of all destinations (such as simple belief in God) now sometimes takes the longest.