Someone recently handed me an issue of Decision magazine (May 2014). The front cover had a picture of a yellow warning sign with a graphic of a church that was teetering on the top of a crumbling foundation. The headline read “The Danger of Compromise.” I paged through this magazine and noticed that it was filled with middle-aged white men declaring that the world was going to Hell–and the church was going down with it–mostly because of the LGBT “agenda” and the denial of the “inerrancy of Scripture.” The magazine calls for the church to stop compromising with the world or else our very foundation will crumble.
The Deep in the Burbs Research project is a postmodern story about navigating the treacherous waters between the Scylla of absolutism/positivism/foundationalism and the Charybdis of relativism/nihilism/deconstructivism.1 It is my basic assumption that these dualisms are a cause of much of our difficulty in the church today.
A dualism is when you find two polar opposite options to a single question that both have evidence for being correct. This is true in theology. Is Jesus God or human? Is it predestination or free will? Is reality physical or spiritual? Is God three or one? The answer to these questions seems to be “yes” but then common sense tells us that you can’t say “yes” to both options.