Faith, Doubt, and Disbelief: Preaching Undeconstructible Truth in a Metamodern Context


  • Melanie Bockmann Vanderbilt University



metamodernism, metamodern, postmodernism, deconstruction, deconstructing Christians, evangelical, exvangelicals, truth, doubt, disbelief, faith, preaching


Postmodernism’s claim against absolute truth has been problematic for preaching. If the primary purpose for preaching is disseminating truth, and there is no absolute truth, then what is preaching’s principal purpose? Many preachers feel the pressure of navigating a context in which truth and authority are under fire, and questioners are leaving the evangelical church in the US in increasing numbers. Homiletic responses to postmodernism include ignoring or vocally opposing it, with few preachers accepting postmodernism as a worthy conversation partner. However, postmodernism has given way to a new cultural era identified as metamodernism, and the postmodern truth dismissal has shifted, allowing room for the possibility of truth. Metamodernism maintains postmodernism’s cynicism toward truth, but is fused with modern optimism for the possibility that truth exists. This provides a unique opportunity for preaching through a metamodern lens and accepting the challenges of preaching that deconstructs toward that which is “undeconstructible.”

Author Biography

Melanie Bockmann, Vanderbilt University

Melanie Bockmann is a PhD Candidate in Homiletics & Liturgics and a Fellow in the Theology and Practice Program at the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.