Sound Bites – Brief Musings from Pastor Joel’s time in MTC

Hey all,

Many of you have asked what I’m learning as I attend classes at the Missional Training Center. Throughout my third year in the program I’ll be posting blogs with a few sound bites from class with a brief thought or two. If something intrigues you, shoot me an e-mail ( and let’s go grab happy hour or a coffee so we can chat.

Stay faithful,



MTC Sound Bites from 9-6-16

The focus of this lecture was on introducing CS 321: Understanding Our Missional Context- The Spirits of our Age: Postmodernity, Globalization and Consumerism.

Here are some quotes that were meaningful to me:

Consumerism includes experiences and the pursuit of pleasure.

It’s helpful, especially when interacting with millennials, to realize that the accumulation of goods and stocking money away in a retirement account isn’t the only way consumerism works. Many in my generation want to travel the world, want flexible jobs and don’t mind ‘having less’ as long as they can cash in on experiences.

Postmodernity- pluralism, relativism, tolerance, skepticism, a spirit of protest

This was a helpful run of words to unpack and expand what exactly ‘centers’ a group that often wants to make nothing center.

Idols always have insights.

At Chrio we talk about idolatry in terms of ‘getting our loves out of order’ (see our teaching series from the Summer of 2015 called Disordered Love). One outworking of idolatry is taking a good thing and making it ultimate. What you can’t forget is that idols, often, still have value and they tell us something about how culture and individuals within it work.

How do we expose people to the nature of our society (postmodernism, consumerism etc.)?

Great question by one of my classmates, Sean Myers, from Redemption Church, Peoria that sparked a conversation in class.

One of Mike Goheen’s responses was from Walter Brueggemann:

Preaching is always a staging of two narratives.

Brueggemann means that good preaching will pit two narratives against one another: the gospel narrative (i.e. The True Story of the World) against a false narratives.

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