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21 February 2017 | Sundvolden, Norway [Widar Ursett]  Adventist teachers from across Norway met at Sundvolden, 6 – 8 February to learn the skills of sharing their faith within a world of globalisation, postmodernism and consumerism.

Daniel Duda Norweigan education council presenting“We need to redefine the meaning of Christian fellowship”, said Dr Daniel Duda as a response to the challenge posed by globalisation, postmodernism, and consumerism, to reformulate the Christian metanarrative. All photos: Widar Ursett / Adams“The Christian narrative no longer appeals, because people today are influenced by the new western imperialism: globalisation, postmodernism and consumerism,” said Dr Daniel Duda, Education director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Northern Europe, in his keynote address at this year's Teachers’ Conference organised by the Adventist Church in Norway.

Instead of salvation from sin, the modern narrative promises that faith in science and technology will provide a better future. This metanarrative is reinforced by three trends: globalisation, postmodernism and the rise of consumerism.

Globalisation
According to Duda, this is the global spread of the modern, liberal, humanistic story. In the 20th century, humanism, begun by the Enlightenment, had developed into liberalism (USA) and communism (USSR). With the fall of communism in 1989, and boosted by rising prosperity, liberalism went global.

Postmodernism
Postmodernism emerged as a reaction to the negative aspects of the modern liberal, humanistic story; for example, environmental degradation, increasing poverty, nuclear weapons, economic challenges, and psychological and social disintegration. It challenged the optimism of modernity: Maybe we are not moving toward a better world. Postmodernism insisted that is was natural to question the notion of objective knowledge - also Christian knowledge.

Consumerism
Daniel Duda Norweigan education councilConsumerism is the consequence of the economic growth that followed in the wake of globalisation. Economic structures have enriched the West at the expense of all other countries. Postmodernism denied us the Christian metanarrative, and consumerism filled the void.

The modern narratives of globalisation and postmodernism do not work. The material question forged from his presentation must necessarily be: What can we do about it? The answer lies in returning to the central Biblical narrative, fostering discipleship, and a renewed focus on community.

“The only way to restore an abandoned narrative is to incorporate it into a larger one”, said Duda, adding: “God never intended for us to live as isolated individualists. We need each other, and the Christian community fills that role.”

God in the classroom
Daniel Duda Norweigan education peoplejpgAnother major theme of the conference was how to include God in the classroom, creating awareness of God in all subjects. We often fail to realise or even see our opportunities, because we are conditioned to fulfil the curricular requirements defined by Government. However, the demand for emphasis on Christian values is a growing trend outside of the Adventist school system, underscored and emboldened by the work of people such as David Smith and his web site: www.whatiflearning.com.

Nina Myrdal, Norwegian Union Education director states, “We run Christian schools because God exists. Life cannot be compartmentalised, and His existence must be recognised in every aspect of our lives, including school.”

The Adventist school system must accommodate the holistic view of man included in God’s own metanarrative of life in His universe. [tedNEWS]


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Esti Pujic, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division.



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