Last in the series: The Modern, Postmodern University, part 7: reaching the postmodern student with a modern veneer

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

I’ve talked the past few weeks about reaching

  • Postmodern students: with trust
  • Modern students: with logic
  • Modern students with a postmodern veneer: with trust and logic
Now this week, the postmodern student with a modern veneer.
This is the student who’s firm on the outside, soft inside. Like an egg.
First,  connect with that firm, logical exterior by appealing to reason. I say something like this:
“I’m a fellow truth seeker. I want to know the truth just like you do. Let’s talk together and learn from each other.”
Secondly, when you discover the squishy postmodern stuff underneath, you have two choices:
a. Back off on the logic and work to establish trust through shared experiences.  OR
b. Address the philosophical quicksand on which the postmodern view rests.
It depends on the person. I’d suggest going with “a” above — shared experiences.
If you get philosophical too quickly,  s/he will just say, “Whatever. That’s your deal, not mine.”
Thirdly, Start moving in two directions. The first direction is into that person’s community, where you incarnate yourself in the manner of Jesus.
The other direction is that you invite the person into your community.
But here’s the thing: What you invite them to needs to be a hospitable environment for a postmodern person.
To my thinking, when the kingdom of God is functioning fully, it is HH:
Highly Hospitable.
Unfortunately, often it is CC:
Closed Community.
Friends, let’s open our communities to the stranger and alien among us — in this case the postmodern person who appears modern on the outside.

Comments 2

  1. Rick it's pretty cool to read your thoughts on reaching different types of students. Not only are you well read in this area, but the combo of having multiple conversations with students as well makes your comments all the more valuable. It helps me to understand better the thought patterns of many of my former classmates at Augsburg!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *