Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-2012

School

School of Religion

Major

Religion: Youth Ministries; Religion: Pastoral Ministries; Religion: Biblical Studies

Keywords

Christianity, postmodern, postmodernism, emergent, church, youth, ministry

Disciplines

Biblical Studies | Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity | New Religious Movements | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

Within the past twenty years, the Church (especially in America) has experienced dwindling membership and attendance, along with a host of other problems. Many of these problems are symptomatic of a massive cultural shift toward postmodernism, leading to discontentment with the Church. In attempting to respond to these challenges, the emergent Church has arisen as a major element of American religious culture. Their methodology and doctrine is heavily influenced by postmodernism, which presents a further challenge for Christian leaders and ministers. This paper will survey the challenges facing the Church, will describe the emergent Church’s origin and response to these challenges, and will suggest a Church ministry paradigm that answers the challenges of postmodernism while preserving the integrity of the Gospel message.