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A MANY SPLENDORED THING

The way we were taught to "think" is proving wrong. A new awareness is transcending the "logic" of the past and will forever change the church—for the better! The leaders of the future are already violating the boundaries of conventional learning and language and replacing outmoded proofs of Truth.

And, as modern theologians discover the disconnect between traditional thinking and the postmodern world, they are finally admitting they are no match for God’s mystery.

It’s a moment when modern minds go mad. Yet, new ways of thinking—with the mosaics, multiples, and metaphors of tomorrow—have more in common with the origin of our faith than with the traditions of our culture.

For more, read on:

CLOSED BOOKS

"Get to the point."

That’s what we’ve been doing! And there’s the rub. In our obsessive analysis of every final point, we have severed, separated, and sorted all things. We have torn apart, taken apart, and pulled apart even those things that don’t come apart.

We’ve divided to conquer . . . dissected to discover.

In fact, our assumed certainty has propelled our linear, logical world. But even the logical world has warned us: "Crisis" comes from the ancient Greek krino, which means "to evaluate, judge, or decide." So, prophetically, our way of thinking has also become our crisis.

Here’s why.

In fearful uncertainty, we replaced all the quandaries of life with preordained answers. We shoved all prophetic metaphors into dictionaries of dead clichés. And, we hammered all the mysteries of faith into politically correct and "user-friendly" ideas.

In short, we turned life into a closed book.

REASONS OF THE HEART

Yet, life is not a closed book!

Uncertainty, unpredictability, and ambiguity endlessly invade both natural and spiritual worlds. This quandary is not all bad, for "Gracious uncertainty is the mark of a spiritual life."1 Even so, we continue searching for the one pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, while God warns, "I am the rainbow." We divide to conquer, while Scripture insists "In Him all things . . . are held together."2 We seek progress in the parts, while God transcends the parts . . . and the sum of the parts!

Let’s be honest. No theology has tamed the wildness of the spiritual frontier. The control we crave is an illusion. No matter how many angels we claim dance on the head of a pin, scholarship is no match for God’s mystery.

So we keep bumping into mystery and wondering why. Often, our reflections discover a deeper knowing in humor than in reported facts. Frequently, our dreams find more creative links in unreality than in reality. And usually, our visions awaken more from encounters outside our "box" than in obedience within the "box."

Let’s face it. Some things elude precise description or definition. Some events—especially bizarre realities—embarrass our rational minds. And some events are so mind-boggling that we can only intuit the sense, the gist, the tenor of their significance.

In the words of Blaise Pascal, these are "reasons of the heart, for which reason knows nothing." Someday, we will realize that ordinary experience stands mostly on metaphor. In other words, "Life is neither the candle nor the wick, but the burning."3

"Too often the doctrinal theologian is the man who does not know what he is talking about."4

AMBIGUITY IN ART

We’re more willing, though, to know something "different" in the arts . . . something disarming . . . something mysterious. In the strange zone between medium and message, the arts invade our orderly world with cryptic poignancy. Rich in ambiguity, they do not provide precise ideologies or definitive points of view.

Artists, for example, do not quickly label their works with exact meanings. In fact, we easily offend artistic spirits when demanding premature interpretations. In an interview, the artist Wayne Thiebaud was asked, "What does your picture mean?" He replied, "I don’t know and I don’t want to know."5

That’s because artists transcend "correct" ways of thinking. Instead, they see a world teeming with links, minglings, continuities . . . just the way the brain works! Further, their art requires a nonrational, nonlinear, nonscientific sense for its power—a sense that lies deeper than "proper" thought.

Finally, of course, we are all artists. We’ve all known "eureka" moments. We’ve all known luminous revelation that glares so brightly that it hides as much as it reveals. True creativity, after all, brings both blindness and insight. You can’t have one without the other.6

After all, artists—like prophets—see only "in part."7

"It’s my fervent belief that when a sermon is truly effective, no one will be able to put into words what it ‘means’."8

A CULTURE OF PARADOX

Today, history perilously widens this disconnect between traditional thinking and a new awareness. The leaders of the future are violating the boundaries of conventional learning and language, and their violations are proving their credibility.

The likely leaders of the coming age are abandoning an "either/or" world and embracing an "and/also" world. Their tastes are turning from specific ideas to profound patterns. For a new proof of Truth ignores the logical, linear rules of yesterday and embraces the mosaics, multiples, and metaphors of tomorrow.

More often, we travel an "information-scape" of endless links rather than one-way cul-de-sacs. In short, we are learning to generate information the way the mind generates information.

At the same time, most of us still partly hold to the past, so we share the sense of moving to the very edge of knowing. This place is like standing on the shoreline between a small island and the endless sea. Yet, we like the sea. We find pleasure in a new play of the senses . . . in the sudden knowing of a timorous intuition . . . in the long dormant unity of mind and spirit.

Amazingly, the young—whether in age or spirit—feel at ease with not knowing the things beyond knowing. They welcome, for example, an ominous open-endedness. They willingly act as clean slates where events write on them rather than their writing on events. And they possess an amazing tolerance for contradictions . . . inconsistencies . . . ambiguities. . . .

It’s a culture of paradox.

Yet, in this "not knowing," they show an innate affinity with altered futures and changing relations. Their fluid and eclectic lives reveal belief in a dynamic and spontaneous universe . . . a "big picture" of endless connections.

They are in love with something "out there."

Their language, their symbol system, faithfully mirror these realities. That’s why they plunge into dialogues of disguise (art, metaphor, virtual reality. . . .). Of course, that’s also why they prefer cut-and-paste values, hybrid theologies, and a banquet of differing spiritual perspectives.

Still, their indefinite thinking remains incarnational thinking. They become their stories. And their envisioned world will doubtless become "reality."

A CONSPIRACY OF CHANGE

Technology takes part in this conspiracy of change. Of course, the technologies of the past have always transcended their parts. "When the elements of an invention are assembled in just the right way, they produce an enchanting effect that goes beyond the mere parts."9 But today’s technology goes further. It is more a chrysalis of culture than an invention of parts. And, as expected, it appeals to new thinkers . . . creative types . . . iconoclasts. . . .

Yet, this technology is more than a stylish trend for the disaffected few. It will change the way all of us think. It will change the whole world.

In our time, for example, knowledge-creating tools have advanced faster than knowledge-processing tools. In other words, we have more data than we know how to handle. We have more information than we know how to manipulate. So, urgently, we seek to filter this unwieldy mass . . . to make sense of this overload data . . . to interpret, translate, context, and guide this awesome journey.

The computer answers our urgency. It brings order to disorder, unity to disunity. It stitches the frayed fabric of byzantine data and sews a semblance of purposeful coherence. Yet, we have failed to see an even greater event—though historian McLuhan had already made it known: "Information overload leads to pattern-recognition."10

The computer opens us to the world of pattern.

A BIGGER PICTURE REALITY

With the computer, we see a multiplied world where "windows" open onto other windows, choices open onto other choices, and viewpoints open onto other viewpoints. This rhetorical robot expands our thinking, rather than narrowing it. It makes our notions fluid and dynamic, rather than fixed and static. And—on the epic, endless World Wide Web—it playfully messes with our expectations, keeps us guessing, pushes the envelope.

It does not ignore a future world to pacify a past sanity.

Instead, it "links" to true associations, not mere random encounters. When it jettisons us across the Earth, we find near addresses, not separate subjects. It doesn’t ask us to "follow the dots," it asks us to "connect the dots." And, rather than "surfing," it is more like walking a contemplative trail—a transient trail marked by connecting branches, rushing streams, and cryptic signs.

Notice, this new idiom begins and ends with space metaphors—"cyberspace," "information space," "windows," "the World Wide Web". . . . This is key, for spatial metaphors enlarge our thought, augment our thought. They reveal a "bigger picture" reality. We see this in the shift from linear "thinking and typing" to the visual interface of "menus and metaphors."

A MUTATING LINGO

As a result, something deep begins to happen at the level of language. Something unlike anything before. We don’t even have a word for it.

Still, we see the rules of language changing . . . the grammar and syntax of our lingo mutating. The first new form of punctuation in centuries, for example, emerges as "hypertext"—those links that hover over highlighted words with an enticing innuendo, a conjunctive role, and a synthetic slang.

What can we say? Language will simply differ. Virtual realities, multiple metaphors, endless endnotes, deliberate disguises, and slippery translations will morph our messages with gleeful irreverence for the "proper" rules of the past.

Consider, for example, a language without verbs!11 Why? Because this language of likeness explores continuities and connections rather than fixed identities and definitions. In other words, the subject and predicate are the same. Here, we can’t ask, "Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?" for they mutually and simultaneously require each other!

Old, grey-headed men will claim we’ve gone mad. For virtual reality will replace old reality. Daring proofs of Truth will replace outmoded proofs of Truth. Fresh streams of musings will replace dead pools of ponderings, half-memories will replace hackneyed memories, and epiphanies will replace propositions.

Truly, our most credible communications will resemble what we have called "contemplation." This passage will not seem so impossible. In this new interface of language, we will learn by doing. And my, how we will learn! We can’t imagine how far this new language will have traveled by the end of the century.

MOSAICS

We can imagine, however, already improved aptitudes for seeing more than one thing at a time . . . for seeing Truth and reality through "mosaics," "multiples," and "metaphors."

It’s no accident we call today’s youth "mosaics."12 They easily move within patterns of meaning, kaleidoscopes of consciousness, and webs of relationships. And their arts reflect the same. We can’t reduce their films, for example, to one literal meaning. We can’t shrink them to a single summary. We can’t scale them down to rigid rules.

Because their arts exist in a realm of patterns not reliant on interpreters. Their films reveal an "is-ness" . . . an existence prior to interpreting. Even the artists who "created" these films are not the creators. They are only the discoverers.

And, amazingly, many theologians have caught the spirit of these youthful mosaics. Rather than forging collections of isolated facts to enhance school libraries, theologians are seeking "a mosaic of interrelated beliefs" to enhance searching hearts.13 In other words, they are thinking in new ways. They are replacing predetermined propositions with open-ended connections, patterns, links, and associations.

In the new theology, for example, "Each belief is supported by its ties to its neighboring beliefs and, ultimately, to the whole." Credibility comes when "problematic beliefs are closely tied to beliefs that we have no good reason to call into question."14 So confidence grows as a growing number of separate beliefs confirm each other.15

In other words, the theology of the future emerges from "a web of significance" . . . "a mosaic of beliefs" . . . "a system, not of truths, but of truth."16

The import is huge! When whole systems and their parts—including us!—mutually determine one another, the role of divine action takes on an entirely new dimension.

MULTIPLES

Of course, thinking in "mosaics" or "patterns" implies thinking in "multiples"—seeing several things at once. And, this perceiving sees a role in our future as well.

What shall we call this awareness? Multiple musings? Concurrent thoughts? Manifold reflections? Eclectic . . . plural . . . or diverse awareness? Whatever we call it, it’s "simultaneous"—several sources of information, levels of perception, and layers of meaning occurring at the same time . . .

. . . even among things that don’t go together.

Welcoming this awareness, our thoughts expand in all directions . . . we take in everything at once . . . we "read" endless phenomena simultaneously. These are meditative, broadly-focused, open-ended sensitivities to things beyond our usual world. They leave behind the older, "proper" thought of focused and fixed identities that "get right to the point."

Today’s youth show amazing talents in this trend toward multiple thinking. They can take in more information in less time and with less confusion than their elders. They can do their studies, listen to television, talk with someone, and eat a burger all at the same time. In other words, they can absorb diverse data without focusing on one thing to the exclusion of others.

That’s why they’ve learned to experience truth rather than just talk about it.

Of course, the arts mirror the same multiple world. Music, for example, births from multiple levels of import . . . meanings on top of meanings . . . moods on top of moods. And these sounds demand our attention on several sensory levels at once. That’s why the best music seldom wears out. That’s why increasing the number of voices—adding more ambiguity to the polyphony—increases the depth of the message. And that’s why performers usually find room for multiple renderings.

Of course, literal minds struggle with the "problem" of multiple interpretations, especially conflicting interpretations. But this is no problem. Art does no speak a single summation. It generates meaning from never-ending connections . . . swarming associations . . . kindred signs

After all, no one interprets verbatim vision. Even when divinely inspired, "We know (only) in part, and we prophesy (only) in part."17 Still, that part is a truthful part of a universal whole.

Three hundred years ago, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz described seeing the same village from several, nearby hills. Though the views gave infinite, multiple perspectives, he reminds us the city remained the same.

So it is with art. So it is with multiple awareness.

METAPHORS

Finally, thinking in "multiples" often brings side-by-side absurdities—comparing things that simply can’t be compared. In place of peaceful patterns, multiple awareness often contrasts troubling differences.

This is the moment when modern minds go mad. Yet, our culture will soon speak this disturbing language of paradox, and the resulting "absurdities" will become the dominant currency of thought, the lingua franca of both meaning and reality.18

When truly inspired, we may call it "prophetic metaphor."

Whether words, sounds, images, movements, or events, the interface between things that normally don’t coexist evokes the power of metaphor. This is not the metaphor, however, of mere colorful language or clever ideas. Instead, it is a "prophetic" metaphor that infuses all we do . . . that creates the extraordinary within the ordinary. It is "cross-modal," for example, comparing sounds to smells, images to ideas, emotions to movements. . . .

Yet, the secret of these nonliteral similarities is neither one thing nor another . . . neither difference nor resemblance. Instead, it is the tension between them . . . the suspense in their reciprocal relation . . . the risk in their rapport. And through this chance venture, metaphor declares fascinating mystery and terrifying power—often at the same time!

It’s a strange communion of parallel—yet contradictory—worlds.

We continue to forget, though, that the deepest metaphor is neither an ornament of speech, an intrusive rabbit chase, nor the invention of clever linguists. It is neither an intellectual skill, a philosopher’s trick, nor a tool of ideology. And it is neither deformed reality, distorted reality, nor surreal nonreality.

It is, instead, incarnational language of the purest form. It exists in us before described. Yet, it exists outside us once described.19 For its universal Truth transcends us, the metaphor itself, and the culture that gives rise to it.

Postmodernists are wrong. Metaphor is not a failed language, and it never will be.

RELATIONAL TRUTH

"Mosaics," "multiples," and "metaphors" have more in common with the origin of our faith than with the modern traditions of our culture. That’s because the early church fathers lived in a different culture—an oral culture. Instead of creating precision through reason . . . marketing truth as processed ideas . . . and building confidence with objective "distance," they pursued reality with a meditative, circular dialogue.20

They based their language on "power," not logical "talk."21

That’s why their "Word" always linked to a larger pattern . . . a greater mosaic. That’s why their Scripture always described a relational truth. That’s why the "fruit of the Spirit" always proved itself in relationships. And that’s why Paul wrote, "In Him all things consist (cohere, are held together)."22

The Christian message is not something we objectively accept or reject. It is not something done to us or imposed on us. It is not a linear, narrow, content-laden proposition that appeals to select groups. Instead, the Christian message is contextual . . . it relates to the "bigger picture" . . . it reflects Truth in patterns.

It offers a context in which we interact with God.

Those early Christians who shared this message were not simply reflecting their culture. They were speaking transcendent revelation. And transcendent revelation always pulls things together. It always reveals portions of a Universal Truth . . . a Universal mosaic.

MEDITATIVE REFLECTIONS

The fathers of our faith also thought in multiples:

In many separate revelations [each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets.23

Of course, multiple revelations also mean multiple meanings. After all, patterns provide multiple entry points and exit points. There’s not just one door.

We see this most clearly in Hebrew meditation. It is a whirling, revolving reflection, yielding multilayered meanings. It graciously refuses the modern idea of "getting right to the point." Indeed, it claims no final point. It always remains open-ended. It always seeks newer levels of significance.

Hebrew meditation, then, reflects a nonlinear approach to wisdom. It is dynamic, self-propelling and moves with apparent (or "virtual") random. It will seem miraculously suited to the minds of the future.

Yet, today’s church leaders assume the same word says the same thing to every person. This, of course, is a modern fallacy. Hebrew "Words" were not precise signs pointing to precise definitions. They were not literal recipes of strict and exact meanings. Instead, their words were "Spirit," like the wind that nobody traces or follows where it goes.

MYSTICAL METAPHORS

Still, faith always relates reality back to its source. It always relates our experience back to a justifying principle. True faith, in other words, is always a "present quality" that recalls something unseen.

So the unseen must be symbolized.24 It must be "represented" through the mystery of metaphor.

Though not reality itself, metaphor becomes the most profound medium of reality.25 In other words, to the ancient faithful, metaphor was not something unreal.26 It was, instead, a tangible link between the temporal order and an ultimate transcendent order.27

It pointed convincingly to pristine origins.

Metaphor, however, poses a problem for modern minds. Metaphor confronts those who want to know "the facts" with not knowing. It remains—now and then—cryptic and enigmatic. Even biblical prophets often puzzled over what they proclaimed. The disciples found trouble with Jesus’ parables. And Peter complained when Paul wrote things too hard to explain.28

We tend to agree. Why not "get right to the point"? Why all this subterfuge?

Because "A sacred text must be ambiguous if it is to be meaningful to different persons at different times and in different places."29 With so many listeners—and different types of listeners—true revelation must bypass the natural mind and speak directly to the heart.

Nevertheless, the Gospel of Mark brings good news to those who need to know:

[Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known.30

So metaphor is a temporary "means to revelation." It is basic to the Bible. Hosea said that God speaks to us through damah, meaning "a comparison of likeness."31 (Today, we would call it "prophetic metaphor.") That’s why the prophets were artists of analogy and affinity . . . virtuosi of similarity and similitude . . . creators of comparison and contrast. And that’s why Jesus often left the meaning of a story hanging in the air, as if to say,

"Go figure!"

And prophetic metaphor didn’t stop there. Consider the wild absurdities of Paul: "Joy is in your sufferings!" "Power is in your frailty!" Throughout his writings, he places together endless pairs of paradox: weakness and strength, foolishness and wisdom, poverty and riches, shame and honor, slave and free, suffering and comfort, frustration and glory. . . .

Today, however, we overlook this radical and revolutionary language. It is not the familiar Scripture of cautious seminaries. It is not the logical language of the modern world. It is, instead, the prophetic metaphor of a lost past and the virtual reality of a coming future.

INERRANT SCRIPTURE

Do multiple interpretations mean we’ve lost universal Truth? Do conflicting meanings mean we’ve lost the authority of Scripture? Does hidden revelation mean we can never hope for perfected faith?

Many church leaders demand the "inerrancy" of Scripture. They insist on its "infallibility." For them, the Bible is a storehouse of facts that accurately describes reality, and all we have to do is figure out the facts. Regrettably, this thinking reflects the needs of the modern mind more than the intentions of the biblical prophets.

Sacred records like the Westminster Confession of Faith remind us that our ultimate authority always remains the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture. Yes, Scripture is "infallible." Yes, it is "inerrant." But, it is the inerrancy of the Spirit speaking through the text. It is the infallibility of revelation to a specific person at a specific time and a specific place.

More important, "The Spirit who speaks through scripture speaks with one voice." And any "multilingual texts become the one voice of the Spirit."32 That’s why "mosaics," "multiples," and "metaphors" pose no threat to the faith of the future.

Coherence and unity will be preserved—as always—by the Spirit.

FROM SYSTEMATIC TO SYSTEMIC

A new awareness transcends the logic of the past. A new thinking goes beyond even the postmodernism of today. It rides the waves of mosaics, multiples, and metaphors and makes known a new emergence of the All-in-all.

To begin this journey, let us discover the imperatives for today.

We must learn to see patterns. We must move from systematic thinking to systemic thinking. We must view knowledge as an integrated whole. Or, like the arts, we must embrace the beauty and wisdom of "mosaics."

Then, we need to learn how to "play." We need to gladly risk the free rein of disorder. In other words, we need to find joy in apparent randomness. And in this pleasurable abandon, we need to welcome the multilayered meanings of "multiples."

Finally, we faithfully risk irrational contradictions. We bow in gratitude for overpowering paradox. We even plumb the depths of destroyed reason. Like the prophets of old, we sing the gutsy songs of prophetic "metaphor."

We take these chances recalling a coherence . . . a harmony . . . a unity among both disconnected and interconnected things. For the whole is in the part and the part is in the whole. And in these chances, we discover a knowing

born suddenly in the soul, "like a light . . . fired by a leaping spark" . . . [resulting] not from intense verbal activity, but from continued . . . communion with the subject itself.33

This awareness is a recognition rather than a cognition. It is an inward gestation of revelation rather than an outward invention of logic. And, amazingly, this inward revelation stands on its own. It has an existence—an "is-ness"—prior to being interpreted. In short, we discover it more than we create it.

It is a dynamic, nonlinear phenomenon.

PARTIAL EPIPHANIES AND ECSTATIC COMMUNION

The enemy to spiritual revelation is the fear-of-not-knowing, the dread of hard answers. No wonder. Though we often enjoy refreshments of knowing, we never achieve absolute knowledge. For we live in a realm where Truth reveals only portions of the whole. And, without the constant eye of faith, we see with the blurred vision of temporal uncertainty.

Even so, there is an order behind our disorder. There is a reason behind our random revelation. We may know, in part, but we do know! We may see through a glass darkly, but we do see! We may prophesy "in part," but we do prophesy!34

Such revelation is far from the linear logic of the modern world.

Again, the early Hebrews called it "meditation." Like us, they enjoyed only partial epiphanies. But from those known parts, they "tasted" a bit of the unknown whole. And, in turn, the sense of the whole revealed more significance to the parts. In time, this circular, sacred dialogue corrected or corroborated a growing awareness of the whole and a confidence of the parts.35

We would call their meditation a seemingly random series of serendipitous revelations. But the Hebrews called it an ecstatic communion with God.

This ancient—yet futuric—communion with Truth also suggests a different approach to Scripture. Scripture has a spiritual integrity that transcends both the interpreter and the interpreted. So our task—even the task of the scholar—is to let Scripture speak on its own terms.36 If it doesn’t surprise us, we’re probably "manipulating" our revelation—as if that were possible!

After all, revelation is something spoken to us, not by us to ourselves.37 So in a sense, Scripture is never "religious," if by "religious" we mean socially acceptable ideas about God.

God is bigger than our ideas.

We must be patient in this new pursuit of Truth. We can no longer construct a logical "truth," regardless of our intellectual skills. We must wait. We must be satisfied with only mystical portions of Truth, ever careful not to rob Scripture of its open-ended power.38

In the meantime, true lovers of Scripture will seek patterns of convergence, manifold meanings, and even injured logic. Or, we will seek mosaics, multiples, and metaphors. And, like the movie title, we will know a "Many Splendored Thing."

A SEA OF UNCONNECTED DOTS

We’ve been wrong in our time. Critical opinion, scholarship, and scientific inquiry do not pull things together. They pull things apart. Academic readings of Scripture do not reveal fresh insights. They regroup former insights. Cold objectivity does not guarantee unbiased understanding. It simply dresses old subjectivity with new bias.

Consider the words of Albert Einstein:

As far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.39

Or, consider the age-old inadequacy of religious language. Truth cannot be literally constructed or even paraphrased. So "we are obliged to rely upon images and models which elude precise definition."40 Even the modern metaphor proves far from prophetic. Our grammar books, for example, assume that metaphor’s allusion is "not a real thing."

And postmodernists have gone wrong as well. Their love for the parts to the exclusion of the whole . . . their celebration of local varieties at the expense of unity within those varieties . . . their delight in man as the source of all things while ignoring the things that are the source of all men . . . these opinions do not destroy the Universal Truth beyond postmodern subjectivity.

Again, postmodernists have given us a sea of dots, but no way to connect them.41

<<<>>>

A new knowing bridges the temporal and the transcendent. It makes infinity imaginable as we move from the virtual to the revelational. It becomes the prevailing medium of a new learning as we move toward the prevailing medium of a new language.

Holding the dramatic tension between what we know and what we don’t know, we offer the Church a vision more in common with the ancient prophets than the "enlightened" scholars of the Modern Era.

© 2010 Thomas Hohstadt

ENDNOTES

1. Oswald Chambers, quote in John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001) p. 209.

2. Colossians 1:17, AMP.

3. Mike Riddell, Mark Pierson, Cathy Kirkpatrick, The Prodigal Project: Journey Into the Emerging Church (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2000) p. 76.

4. William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality, and the Origins of Culture (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981) p. 222.

5. The Jim Lehrer News Hour, Sept. 3, 2001.

6. Steven Johnson, Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate (New York: Basic Books, 1997) p 209.

7. I Corinthians 13:9, KJ.

8. Gretchen Graf, in an online discussion group, May, 2002.

9. Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (New York: Viking, 1999) p. 16.

10. Derrick de Kerckhove, The Skin of Culture (Toronto: Somerville House Publishing, 1995) p. 151.

11. Johnson, pp. 54-56.

12. George Barna at http://bit.ly/1WOOml

13. Stanley Grenz, in a comment at http://www.next-wave.org/may99/SG.htm

14. Nancey Murphy, Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism: How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy Set the Theological Agenda (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press, 1996) pp. 94, 95.

15. A. K. Rogers, quoted in Stanley Grenze and John Franke, Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001) p. 40.

16. Stanley Grenze and John Franke, Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001) p. 39, 165.

17. I Corinthians 13:9, KJ (my parentheses).

18. I agree with my friend, futurist Brad Sargent, who wrote in a recent e-mail: "My current hunch is that the dominant logic system of the post-postmodern era will be paradoxical (apparently contradictory elements that actually coexist without being in conflict with each other)."

19. Lewis Edwin Hahn, Editor, The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur (Chicago: Open Court, 1995) p. 216.

20. Kerckhove, pp. 79, 108, 109.

21. I Corinthians 4:20, AMP.

22. Colossians 1:17, AMP.

23. Hebrews 1:1, AMP.

24. Gilbert Durand, "The Imaginal," The Encyclopedia of Religion, 1987 ed., VII, p 109.

25. William Irwin Thompson, Coming Into Being (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996) p. 91.

26. Robert Webber "The Byzantine Liturgy," Twenty Centuries of Christian Worship, Volume II of the Complete Library of Christian Worship (Nashville: Star Song Publishing Group, 1994) p. 154.

27. Grenze and Franke, p. 146.

28. II Peter l:2l, I Peter 1:10-12, II Peter 3:16; AMP.

29. Lewis Edwin Hahn, Editor, The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur (Chicago: Open Court, 1995) p. 428.

30. Mark 4:22, AMP.

31. Hosea 12:10.

32. Grenze and Franke, p. 86 (my italics).

33. Mark Strom, Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace and Community (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000) p. 106.

34. I Corinthians 13:9, KJ.

35. Grenze and Franke, p. 86.

36. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999) p.299.

37. Grenze and Franke, p. 153.

38. Hahn, p. 270.

39. A. D. Irvine, "Everything You Need to Know About Contemporary Philosophy" http://www.arts.ubc.ca/philos/irvine/eyntk2.htm

40. Murphy, p. 44.

41. Sally Morgenthaler in an email to the author.



Future Church Administrator