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Postmodern Theology: Immanence and Forgiveness

I have always liked this song for its simplicity. The band (mewithoutYou) is one whose use of imagery and lyricism  is pregnant with meaning and the connection toward the spiritual.

There is much hand wringing in the western church over the growing margins of people who consider themselves “spiritual” but not “religious” or specifically “Christian”. This song speaks to this strata of people looking for spiritual significance in a world that is increasingly distant.

The song makes no explicit mention of Christ or salvation, yet a cursory glance at the lyrics makes several theological declarations.

God is everywhere we look. God is in everyone we meet. God is in every blade of grass.

Further lyrics expound on what it means for God to be everywhere, that love and forgiveness are bigger than the things that we have done or the things that have been done to us.

It doesn’t matter what you done
What effect is without a cause?
It doesn’t matter what you done

Now lay your faithless head down
in necessity’s Cotton Hand
There’s a love that never changes
No matter what you done

If your old man did you wrong
Well maybe his old man did him wrong

If you care to sing forgiveness songs
Come down and join our band
And we’ll cut you like sword
And sing forgiveness songs

In seeking love from this immanent God, there is the need for acknowledging there is a power beyond yourself that is able to radically alter our primary sources of experiential truth.

In the freedom to sing “forgiveness songs” for wrongs done to us, the painful process of acknowledgement will cut like a sword but the community of those who have given and received forgiveness will be transformative. (If you listen in the background, you hear the singer say, “Don’t worry, it’ll be just fine!)

In post-modern, post-Christendom spirituality, the combination of experience to define reality and the dismissal of objective religious authority presents a fertile ground for re-discovering the core of the Gospel. To question and then listen leads to telling of the Gospel that is not simply re-packaging tired old formulas, but re-imagines the depths of the transforming power of the Spirit of Christ.

(This post was not intended to be a treatise on the theoretical and theological components of postmodernity or post-Christendom, but simply to see how those perspectives may express themes of forgiveness and immanence. If you are interested in sharing further insight, consider contributing a guest post.)

(Thank you to www.adamlorenz.net for sharing this video to me.)


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