In this audio talk, John Bettler examines how 1 John speaks to our postmodern culture. The words “know,” “true,” and the concept of authenticity occur repeatedly throughout John’s epistle. These themes parallel those we face in a postmodern culture. John seems to be addressing those who believed the physical body was unimportant and insignificant; a completely subjective form of truth. John gives 3 truth test for authentic Christian faith: 1.) The doctrinal test, 2.) The moral test, and 3.) The social test. The postmodern culture says there is no truth (opposed to doctrinal test), there are no rules that apply to everyone (opposed to moral test), and there is no real relational community – everyone is his own god (opposed to social test).
Postmodern people are anxious, alone, and going nowhere – this presents a tremendous opportunity for the church. Bettler spends time examining the doctrinal test of 1 John 4. The doctrinal test includes a realization that Christ came in space and time – the incarnation actually happened. The incarnation helps us see that salvation is not possible without a God-man. Without Christ, there can be no relationship between God and man.
Key Scriptures: 1 John 2:27, 4, 5; Philippians 2