I posted yesterday on the death of postmodernism. Here’s what Edward Docx went onto observe in his article about a new movement he tentatively calls authenticism.
Certainly, the internet is the most postmodern thing on the planet. The immediate consequence in the west seems to have been to breed a generation more interested in social networking than social revolution. But, if we look behind that, we find a secondary reverse effect—a universal yearning for some kind of offline authenticity. We desire to be redeemed from the grossness of our consumption, the sham of our attitudinising, the teeming insecurities on which social networking sites were founded and now feed. We want to become reacquainted with the spellbinding narrative of expertise. If the problem for the postmodernists was that the modernists had been telling them what to do, then the problem for the present generation is the opposite: nobody has been telling us what to do.
If we tune in carefully, we can detect this growing desire for authenticity all around us.
If people today are looking for quality, precision, excellence, autheniticy, then the church is bound, as it did with postmodernism, to follow suite only several years later than everyone else. And, if this is a valid observation, what sort of questions should church leaders be asking now? We could start with: what would an authentic church look like? How would someone on the outside recognise authenticity and be attracted to it? How would the social networking phenomena shape attitudes to relationships at church? Do we need to do anything differently or will an authentic biblical Christianity already have all the right ingredients?