New Discourse for Our Day

Realize that old communication patterns are less and less effective in the new (postmodern) world, and discover new, appropriate models of discourse.
Brian McLaren
The tectonic plates shifting beneath our feet are not only signs of subterranean movement but of a new emerging landscape that will require new maps. Every quadrant on both sides of the sacred/secular line, a line that shouldn’t even exist,  tells us “story” is THE postmodern way to communicate. Points and principles aren’t as effective as they used to be. Experience wins the day and story is experience.

Of course, Jesus is the master storyteller captivating the masses with parables, allegories, and illustrations. Here are five pointers toward a new rhetoric for post modernity:

1.    Words will have to be authenticated with a life-story. Authenticity is necessary in the crucible of the experiential 21st century. Practical transformation is “story” proof.
2.    Truth will be just as important but it will be clean, simple and with an earthiness often illusive in today’s cumber-some techno-babble and christianese.
3.    Our new narrative will allow others to enter in and tell their own story and see how they are part of God’s overarching story. This will allow a left brain/right brain balance and be more inclusive, compelling and creative.
4.    We will seek to move away from the propositionalizing tendency that reduces the biblical story to a bunch of biblical stories with the same weight as Bill Bennett’s Book of Virtues or Aesop’s Fables.
5.    We will recognize the power of the biblical narrative is to invite us to constantly reinterpret our life story, with all it’s brokenness, pain and incompleteness against the wholeness and hope bringing narrative of the biblical story.  It is this that makes Christianity unique.

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One Response to “New Discourse for Our Day”

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