MODELING AND MOLDING CONSCIOUSNESS AND CHRISTIAN MISSIONS

 

Introduction:  Modeling Factors

 

Factors in consciousness of first generation grandparents (20th century)

Factors in consciousness of second generation parents (1914-1940, World War I, II)

Factors in consciousness of third generation (50Õs thru 70Õs)

4th generation (1980Õs) is being shaped by three powerful influences:

 

                        1.  Media

                        2.  Schooling

                        3.  Home (cf. genetic/socio-biological factors)

 

A.  Molding Powers of the Seductive 70Õs thru 2004:  Four Forces

 

                        1.  Secularization                                                               3.  Privatization

                        2.  Pluralization                                                                    4.  Contextualization (Structuralism)

 

B.  Effects of Four Forces:  ÔContemporary society is less legitimized than any previously existing social system ever.  We know no moral order to give meaning to our social order.Õ  (Oxford University Sociologist)

 

1.  Delegitimization (reasons for believing and belonging)

2.  Plausibility structure, i .e., loss of rational justification thus leaving

3.  Sociological basis for belief

4.  Psychological basis for belief

 

C.  Effects of Crisis in Plausibility Structure on Christian Belief:

 

1.  World of others who confirm and reinforce our belief and behavior patterns.

2.  When weakened, two effects:  (a) Objectively (the faith becomes a minority); (b) Subjectively (the faith becomes less and less certain, thus loss of relevancy).

3.  Effect on institutions – crisis and displacement

4.  Effect on level of ideas, or the substance of the faith.

5.  Effect on level and nature of involvement on society or stance toward contemporary mind set (paradigm model and theories).

 

D.  Institutions and Structures  (KuhnÕs concept of Paradigmatic Revolution)

 

1.  Exclusion and Polarization – Public/Private realm removed from center of society, i.e., no Christian consensus in any category of society.

2.  Isolation (fellowship).

3.  Privatization, i.e., relevance of a privatized faith

4.  Commercialization – marketing mentality– for your convenience, needs.

5.  Bureaucratization

6.  Liberal conservative extremes

 

E.  Challenges to Agents of Change:

 

1.  Change is inevitable – anxiety or freedom

2.  Loyalty defection and experimentation among youth

3.  Christ and Culture:

 

                        a.  Accommodation/Contingency

                        b.  Withdrawal

                        c.  Parallel

                        d.  Confrontation

 

E.  Needed – One Counter Community:

 

1.  Counter perspective

2.  Constructive perspective on ideology

 

F.  Six Crucial Factors in Growth and Spread of Postmodern Movements:

 

1.  Reticulate organization

2.  Fervent and convincing recruitment

3.  A commitment act or experience

4.  A change oriented and action motivating ideology which offers:

                        a.  A simple master plan presented in symbolic and easily communicated terms.

                        b.  A sense of sharing in the control and rewards of destiny

                        c.  A feeling of personal worth and power.

5.   The perception of real or imagined opposition

6.  Liberation thought in process since the first Scientific Revolution (Galileo/Newton), Hume, Kant and Hegel; Four critical problems emerge:

                        a.  Labor/Work ethic and alienation

                        b.  Education from nature of man to condition of man

                        c.  Origin/Nature of the State

                        d.  Origin/Nature of Christianity

 

Problem:  How to produce a new man without God, from the Death of God to the Death of Man – the ultimate reductionism – man only a genetic/environmental product.

 

                                                                                                                                                                        Dr. James D. Strauss

                                                                                                                                                                        Professor Emeritus

                                                                                                                                                                        Lincoln Christian Seminary

                                                                                                                                                                        Lincoln, IL 62656