It is not only a system of thought that critiques the philosophy that comes from the time of the Western Enlightenment, but post-modernism also refers to a cultural ecology distinctive from modern culture. It implies the approach of a new society, namely the post-modern culture or society. Consumer culture is a main part of post-modern culture and society.
For Christians, the challenge brought by post-modernism doesn’t only concern the mind. It is a test for our lives. Post-modern culture and thought affect people’s judgment and choices and even forces them to deal with all aspects of their life.
As members of today’s society, Christians face a post-modern culture, which is a wrestling between Christianity and post-modernism. On one side we desire God, but on the other side, we have to deal with pride, criticism, decadence, and the nihilism that comes from post-modernism.
In post-modern culture, people are likely to be trapped by a lack of discipline, which makes the circle of their social life decadent and bluffing. Christians will run into many challenges and difficulties in the workplace.
Post-modern culture may seem more pleasing and acceptable to people than Christianity, which has exclusive principles and more restrictions and boundaries.
The Christian faith is less popular among young professionals because it may be so binding that they can’t fully vent their thoughts and behavior.
So the current task of Christians includes not being influenced by post-modernism and exerting a subtle influence on those who are lost in it.
To confront the disadvantages of post-modern culture, we need to learn its forms. One of the greatest features is consumer culture. It corresponds with a popular saying of “I buy, therefore I am,” but the Christian faith advocates that “I am loved, therefore I am.”
This love is deep and unchangeable because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
In a world full of material things, people may not worry about the basic necessities of life. With new technology, people have more time for leisure, recreation, and consumption. This gradually becomes a lifestyle.
A scholar claims that a consumer culture is more than just material exchange. Simple economic behavior becomes a lifestyle. The latter makes more people greedy. They want things for free, to do as they wish, and waste their life.
For Christians who are living under the pressure of this kind of culture, they can only confine their hearts and action in order to refrain from a depraved and decadent life.
In this materialistic society, we need to reflect on our faith and renew ourselves.
Facing the challenge of post-modernism, we need to recognize again and again that the answers to all questions lie in Christ who gives abundant grace and whose truth illuminates the darkness. As we walk through life we have Christ to light our path.
Qiwen Guan, Post-modern Culture and Christianity.
- Translated by Karen Luo