From Patristics to Postmoderinity: Does a Message Still Exist?
Dr. David Wheeler once advised that while not all are called to be an evangelist, all Christians are called to be evangelical. Although some may counter that postmodernity is waning, the question remains how one might be evangelical in a postmodern world. The concept that no metanarrative exists has been one of the pillars of postmodernity, and as such challenges the premise that Scripture contains an overarching story encompassing all of mankind. If Dr. Wheeler was correct, and all are called to be evangelical, then the question that would seem to require answering is how one might begin to address the challenge that metanarratives do not exist. By studying the Patristics it is suggested that it is possible to demonstrate that the challenges facing the Church today are identical to those of the past, and if this theory is correct, then it would appear reasonable to believe that some of the techniques used by the early fathers would bear fruit if employed today. In an effort to demonstrate this thesis, this paper shall focus on three main matters. First, the Patristics will be briefly examined in an effort to identify areas of commonality and difference. Second, an effort will be made to propose some principles of sound hermeneutics that could help the biblical scholar of today. The third staple will be to tie the past and present together in an effort to demonstrate the validity that the metanarrative of the Church not only exists, but continues to stand upon the shoulders of those that came before.