Project Documents

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Atilio Dupertuis

Third Advisor

Ronald Costa

Abstract

Problem. Contemporary experts show that the philosophic trend of postmodernism has permeated society. For this reason one of the authorities on the matter states: “the transition from the modern era to the postmodern era presents great challenges to the church and its mission” (Grenz, 1996, p. 10). The postmodern worldview considers the truth as subjective, rejects absolute values, practices relativism, and promotes pluralism. During conversations with the pastor of the Anaheim Hispanic Adventist Church, we discovered that the members of the church were not instructed on the challenges and possible negative consequences of this philosophic trend. Therefore, we proposed that such omission should be attended.

Methodology. During the process of this investigation contemporary literature about postmodernity was studied. Books and journals where reviewed and the internet was consulted for recent information. Contemporary literature on modernism was also studied; bearing in mind that postmodernism is considered a response to the failure of the scientific humanist optimism proposed by modernism to solve the problems of the world. In an attempt to find the impact of postmodernism, a survey was conducted. The questionnaire was submitted to the Andrews University Institutional Review Board (IRB), and was used after the approval by the same.

Results. The investigation propitiated the elaboration and implementation of a seminar about the nature and challenges of postmodernism. The seminar was presented on January 20, 2013. The seminar prepared for Anaheim Spanish Church covered three areas: Modernism, Postmodernism, and Reaching the Postmodern World. In Modernism the most important postulates and beliefs of modernism were presented. Postmodernism dealt with beliefs and ideas more prominent of postmodern thought. On Reaching the Postmodern World, Christ was proposed as the only real solution for the problems of humankind. Also the most effective ways to present the gospel to the postmodern way of thinking were considered. The seminar gave participants the opportunity to learn the challenges that the beliefs and teachings of the postmodern philosophic trend present for the contemporary Christian. The seminar fulfilled a great need for the congregation, due to lack of information about the internal plot of postmodern thought. The result of the initial survey reflected that 53% of participants did not know about the most prominent premises of postmodernism. This contrasted with the result on the second survey taken after the seminar. In this second survey, 91% of participants declared to have a more complete knowledge of postmodern tendencies. The seminar provided the members with selected information that helped them better understand themselves, to be more tolerant of young church members, and also to have a broader mind and to better understand their community.

Conclusion. The importance of this type of seminar was confirmed for this congregation, since the information proved to be invaluable, new, revealing, and relevant for themselves and their contemporary sphere. It established the value of the seminar to equip the congregation with sufficient resources to present a biblical defense against the ideas of postmodernism that include rejection to the God’s unicity and rejection of absolute values.

Subject Area

Postmodernism--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

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