Tradition or Change?

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 11 Comments

My friend R is more conservative than me. My good buddy P is more Catholic than me (right, since I’m Protestant). In lengthy discussions with both this past year, a critical issue has arisen—though from different angles: the place of tradition. Each friend in his own way is telling me that church tradition keeps us from wandering outside the boundaries …

The New Apologetic

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

Last week at Sonoma State University (CA) three “apologetics” converged like streams to a river: 1.    The Free Thinkers group pressed me with questions such as “Are miracles rational?” and “Why does God never heal an amputee?” They wanted evidence, even proof, of God—“classic” apologetics. 2.    The InterVarsity group provided me with a different kind of proof of God’s presence: …

Toast in the chapel

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 4 Comments

Get this: One day I show up for chapel in the gorgeous theater at North Central University* to hang with my son, Ryan, who studies music at the school. “Who’s leading worship today, buddy boy?” I ask. “One Accord.” “They any good?” He just grins at his senile father. Five minutes later OA begins playing in front of 600 peers …

A Titanic Change

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

In his excellent book, Emerging Hope, Jimmy Long reminds us that the young generations in America represent a shift from Enlightenment modernism to postmodernism. In Long’s view (and mine), this is a change of titanic proportions. It means, among other things, that “Those who think that in due time [young people] will ‘grow up’ and look like everyone else should …

Radical Divergence

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 9 Comments

If you’re 45 years of age and up (like me), I have news for you: The younger generation of evangelicals is not going to learn our ways and grow into maturity to look like us. They’re never going to get it, as we define “it.” They’re not going to take over our (white) churches like sons and daughters assuming the …

The Camel’s Nose

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 3 Comments

My friend Dr. Bob Osburn at the University of MN http://www.wilberforceacademy.org/ notes how the arrival of postmodernity actually creates space for Christians on campus in a backwards sort of way: “There is little doubt that postmodernism has been the camel’s nose under the tent, and, thus, alternative, nontraditional worldviews like Christianity have found a place to enter and engage the …

Do it with Style

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 5 Comments

I’m trying to confuse you. Last week’s post was a “never happens” dialog between Modern and Postmodern, that happens (implicitly) all the time. Hopefully, you were not happy with either side. Moderns tend to be overly impressed with their own knowledge and institutions. Let’s not get stuck there. Postmoderns sometimes fall into cynicism and relativism. That’s no good either. My …

Pomo vs. Mo

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 4 Comments

A hackneyed, stock conversation in the anthropology dept between Postmodern and Modern that never actually occurs. Except everyday. Pomo: You “Mo’s” have been running the show for 400 years, and we’re going to put an end to it. Mo: What do you mean? Pomo: It started with your European claims to know absolute truth. Then you forced yourselves on MANY …

The 500 Foot Wall

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

Derek and Amber are postmodern college students. They have entered your church for the first time, hoping to find spiritual reality, but a 500-foot wall appears to be blocking their way into the sanctuary. From the “narthex,” you spot D and A. They look out of place here at church—baggy clothes, tattoos, tongue rings, I-pods. Confused yet confident. An unmistakable …

Bob Osburn on whether to send students to a secular or Christian college:

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

[Dr. Osburn serves as executive director of the Wilberforce Academy, which trains students to be redemptive change agents in their home societies http://www.wilberforceacademy.org/. ] Rick:    Why should a Christian student consider attending a secular college? Bob:    Exposure to a wide range of views and voices.  This is essential if students are going to recognize how distinctive is the Christian voice …