For some time I have heard people refer to our time as “post-Christian.” In this sense the prefix “post” carriees the idea of “anti”. This use of the prefix “post” is accepted when decrying the demise of a “Judeo-Christian” ethic in the USA. Apply this prefix to the word “denomination” and one is accused of disloyalty and “anti-denominationalism.” One really gets into trouble when the prefix “post” is added to words like – evangelical, liberal, conservative, modern – people or churches.
In his new book, “A Gennerous Orthodoxy”, Brian McLaren offers a better way forward when using or understanding the prefix “post.” For McLaren, “post” refers to both continuity and discontinuity. There are certain things to hold and others to let go. The interaction of the two process produces a result that honors the past and helps the present respond to the future.
For me, the prefix “post” is more positive when considered with this nuance. The dynamic leading of the Spirit of God would call us to hold on to those things in both our past and present that would express a continuity of his work revealed in the Scriptures (please do not read this statement as a “foundation” to prop up your box). At the same time, it would help to unearth the discontinuity that may appear from time to time as the Good News of Jesus, the Christ is reduced to a catchy acronym so it may be easily packaged to help someone feel better about their eternity with little consequence to their lives.
I am involved in an interesting conversation with a friend from high school who, were we both given to incendiary labels, would only be drawn to discuss old times out of fear any conversation about our differing theological premises would result in name-calling anathemas. We are discussing how the prefix “post” might help us more carefully and creatively forge a “Good News Telling” that may be considered, “post-evangelical” or “post-evangelism.”
While we may come to some differing conclusions, to this point we agree the good bit of Christian sub-culture present on both ends of the spectrum tend to skew the Good News rather than illuminate it. You might be helped by a post by Divine Conspirator titled, “Book Recommendation.”