What is Postmodern Biblical Spirituality?
Biblical spirituality studies the Bible to inform our spiritual practices to make them relevant in today’s world, which has moved beyond a modern mindset. That’s where the postmodern part comes in.
Postmodern biblical spirituality considers the Bible as an authoritative narrative to reclaim a spiritual understanding that resonates with contemporary spiritual seekers. It pushes aside unexamined practices to reimagine a relationship with the God of the Bible. In this way, biblical spirituality looks at faith in fresh ways.
Much of my writing is centered around postmodern biblical spirituality.
We are spiritual creatures, we have a soul (our mind, will, and emotions), and we live in a body. The apostle Paul acknowledges these three parts of our being, as well as their order of importance in his letter to the Thessalonian church, when he writes: “May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV).
However, not everything that is spiritual is good. There can be good spirituality, bad spirituality, and inconsequential spirituality. To guide us in pursuing good spirituality and avoiding the rest, I advocate a biblical approach. The Bible can—and should—be our guide in ascertaining a spiritual perspective that is positive and productive. A spirituality that’s not supported by the Bible is one that’s suspect and potentially dangerous.
For the last 500 years, modern thinking people have focused on the tangible and quantifiable, ignoring the spiritual roots of the pre-modern and ancient peoples. Those folks viewed everything as spiritual. It was modern-thinking people who tried to separate the spiritual from the secular. Following that, modernity effectively shoved spirituality under the bus.
Fortunately, postmodernity has come to the rescue, reclaiming our true spiritual nature. Most postmodern people are open to spiritual things, which I covered in my dissertation. The problem is that not all that’s spiritual is good. The goal of my writing is to point spiritually receptive people to a wholesome spiritual perspective.
When I launched my blog in January 2011, I had been struggling to find a phrase to describe the focus of my writing. I’d been contemplating the concept for quite a while and the three words—postmodern biblical spirituality—came together as I wrote the blog’s introduction.
When I strung those three words together, it was a perfect fit. I’ve been using them and writing about it ever since.
With this in mind, let our adventure begin. Start with my Bible reading tip sheet.