CARPE MANANA: Is Your Church Ready To Seize Tomorrow?
Leonard Sweet c2001 Zondervan pp204 price 29.95 (hard cover)
Introduction 1 What It Is.
In our world children have become influential and powerful because of the Internet. We are experiencing an immigration into a new postmodern world. Changes in our life are quantitative and qualitative. People prior to 1962 (Sweet labels them immigrants) are learning from those born after 1962 (natives).
Intro. 2. What It Means.
"Postmodern" is a word that attempts to identify the future just like a "horseless carriage" was an attempt to describe the first automobile. As we contemplate the future we do well to guard against the sin of "no-mission". p.27. "Every organization exists to serve people outside the organization. When it exists to serve people inside the organization, it dies." Peter Drucker. Note; Each section (chapter) closes with a section entitled Interactives where topics are suggested for interaction.
Intro.3. It’s A W W W World
The computer is an historic invention, perhaps more significant than the printing press. It has triggered a technilogical revolution. Internet has introduced an even greater revolution. It is fashioning the future,World Wide Web. "Internet use is doubling every 100 days." p.33 It provides world wide connectedness. Cyberspace is a new universe. Those who have invested the most in present day institutions,e.g. mainline churches and legacy businesses, are the most resistant to change. Being immigrant or native has more to do with mindset than chronology. There is mobility between these two designations. The WWW world is a reality that must be reckoned with. Interactives.
Naturlization Class 1 From Manual To Digital. (N.C. will be used for chapter designations.)
"Immigrants are products of a Manual Age. Natives are products of a Digital Age." p.49. Immigrants have a book culture.Natives have a screen culture. Changes always have an up side and a down side. "Truth, however disenchanting, is better than falsehood, however comforting." Albert Schweitzer. Genetic Modification happens naturally but when it happens artificially there needs to be caution and concern. The work of the Holy Spirit could be described as spiritual G.M. i.e.becoming Christlike. "Human possibilities are endless, but the privileges have bounds."p.56. C.S.(Class Interactives)
N.C.2 From Linear (immigrant) to Loop (native).
Cultures impact thinking. Moving from linear to loop is part of survival. "Systematic theology needs to become systemic or parabolic theology." p.65. Immigrants are concerned about being "in step". Natives are concerned about being "in rhythm". Play-based education is replacing work-based education. When linear and loop come together you get an upward spiral or helix. (Do you get the picture? There is one in the book.)
N.C,3 From Word To Image.
"The power of graphicacy (image based literacy) is enormously greater than the power of literacy."p,77. Mental images of Einstein’s brain accounted for his brilliant mathematical formulas. Jesus communicated through images,metaphors. There is a trend among natives toward body modifications for cultural and theological reasons. The most valued things in the world , faith, hope, and love, need images to convey their powers. C.I.
N.C. 4. From Vast To Fast
Immigrants think size. Natives think speed. In native cuture survival requires speed. The incremental change of the past will become exponential change of the future. We live in an anything-can-happen-and-probably-will world and that is what natives expect of churches that they will become a part of. Learning is more important than experience. :Trial and error has been replaced by trial and success.".p.94 C.I.
N.C.5 From "Make Sense" to "Make Sense".
There is a big difference between making sense intellectually and making sense emotionally. Our world has become mutimedial and multisensory. The strongest sense associated with nostalgia is the sense of smell. Our relationship with God needs to involve the whole sensory spectrum. C.I.
N.C. 6 From "Who Am I? to "What Is To Be Done?"
Life has to have both meaning and purpose. Natives are not as materialistic as immigrants. To them wealth is represented by "relationships, values, service, justice, character, etc."p.111. The work ethic is being replaced by the play ethic. Authenticity and idiosyncracies are valued by natives. There is a great need for an equalization of wealth and services for the have-nots of our world. C.I.
N.C. 7. From Sharp to Fuzzy.
The "reverse currents"p.126, of postmodernism require careful negotiating. They are unavoidable. Opposites are not unique to postmodernism. Jesus lived and taught truth that reflected reverse currents. (and also) e.g. He was human and devine, we are both saint and sinner, etc. Free will is the Either/Or of Christianity. Choose and live with the consequences. True love has two dimensions, vertical and horizontal. C.I.
N.C. 8 From Outer Space to Inner Space.
There is an increasing interest in spirituality but not religion. Chistianity and church don’t seem to be a part of this interest. To natives, pop culture gives identity. Pop music is very spiritual. "A spiritual revival is sweeping across Corporate America". Business Week. Natives are comfortable with mystery. "Believing is seeing."p.152. The church needs to become spiritual. C.I.
N.C. 9. From Clock Work Orange to Web Green.
This chapter gets into the debate regarding challenges of the environment and the prevailing mindset among natives of being more concerned about and in touch with their environment. C.I.
Whether W W W is viewed as a war or an opportunity will depend on some choices that will be made. Enthusiasm and passion are choices. "Will the church greet the future with open arms? Or will the church keep refusing to take the hand of the future?" p.169. C.I.
Sweet has again presented a very thought-provoking aspect of postmodernism. As a novice computer person it has motivated me on my learning curve. The generic labels of immigrant and native seem a little threatening. Sweet does explain that there is mobility in these classifications. There may even be a continuum i.e. immigrant--- native. The personal challenge to me is to think native even though I am an obvious immigrant. This is a helpful book for church leaders that want to remain relevant and cutting edge.