I have a friend called Sean. Sean is one of those really, really smart people who use big words like “exegesis” and “eschatology” and he likes to challenge me. So when I got an SMS from him as I was walking out of the cinema saying “Hey Sonshine [sic] I bought some books for you, you free for coffee?” My answer, of course, was hell yes. I should mention that Sean never, ever reads non-fiction. Ever.
One of the books Sean gave me is written by theology-philosopher couple Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat, called Colossians Remixed. It’s a postmodern examination of the text of Colossians, and reading it is like eating a granola bar: you have to chew every bit slowly and carefully but its very nutritious.
I’m inclined towards postmodernism. I think it’s a philosophical perspective that really describes the condition of the world: it’s a mildly nihilistic, each-to-their-own, no-central-truth sort of philosophy (yes, I am a philosophy major, it’s my secret indulgence). So this perspective taking on a book of the Bible that claims that Jesus is the One Truth, and that there are certain standards everyone should live by was quite an academic challenge, which I think the duo execute very well.
Turning both postmodernism and Colossians on their heads, the authors show how the two can work together. Parts of the book both challenged and offended me (particularly when they say that reason is an idol), but the call to question the current world-system and ultimately live an alternative lifestyle in this day and age really appeals to me. To stand out, to not conform to the Empire, is the essence of this book.
If you question things, understand postmodernism and are interested in faith-matters or are a practising Christian, I think you’ll really enjoy this book.
Don’t pair this with anything except a strong black cup of coffee.
<p>Article by Aimee McDonald</p>
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