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Mission and Postmodernities

Author : Rolv Olsen

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It is here, under these trees on my desert island that this volume takes on meaning because its authors honesty struggle with an debate how we should relate to postmodernities. Should our response be accomodation, relatvising or counter-culture? How do we strike a balance between listening and understanding, and at the same time exploring how postmodernities influence the interpretation and application of the Bible as the normative story of God's mission in the world?

Some may consider 'postmodernities' a Western dilemma. The contributions from some writers in the Global South (China, India and Korea) unfold a larger canvas and explore the implications for Christian mission. This focus on 'mission' is central: this is not just a book about the many facets and trends of postmodernities. It is a book about the implications for mission, for what it means to live as Christians and as churches in a terra incognita, in a world where we have not been before.

We know how postmodernities influence the understanding of the gospel, and how it/they may make Christianity merely one local story among many. We have seen how 'truth' has become a plural word and how we are left with 'personal preferences'. But we are not losing hope. Here is a volume to be studied under the trees, on how to understand, how to wrestle with and how to confront these challenges in a constructive way, on various levels and in various parts of the world.

Let me therefore congratulate editiors and conveners of study theme three for bringing together such a wide spectrum of contributors and laying the stones for a useful and stimulating discussion of what it implies to witness to Christ in a postmodern world.

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It is here, under these trees on my desert island that this volume takes on meaning because its authors honesty struggle with an debate how we should relate to postmodernities. Should our response be accomodation, relatvising or counter-culture? How do we strike a balance between listening and understanding, and at the same time exploring how postmodernities influence the interpretation and application of the Bible as the normative story of God's mission in the world? Some may consider 'postmodernities' a Western dilemma. The contributions from some writers in the Global South (China, India and Korea) unfold a larger canvas and explore the implications for Christian mission. This focus on 'mission' is central: this is not just a book about the many facets and trends of postmodernities. It is a book about the implications for mission, for what it means to live as Christians and as churches in a terra incognita, in a world where we have not been before. We know how postmodernities influence the understanding of the gospel, and how it/they may make Christianity merely one local story among many. We have seen how 'truth' has become a plural word and how we are left with 'personal preferences'. But we are not losing hope. Here is a volume to be studied under the trees, on how to understand, how to wrestle with and how to confront these challenges in a constructive way, on various levels and in various parts of the world. Let me therefore congratulate editiors and conveners of study theme three for bringing together such a wide spectrum of contributors and laying the stones for a useful and stimulating discussion of what it implies to witness to Christ in a postmodern world.

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