A Few Example Posts:

  • "The End of Faith: A Short Response to Sam Harris"
  • See also:
  • "A Long Response to Sam Harris' The End of Faith, by Neil Shenvi"

  • "Is John Piper the Best Answer to Emergence and Postmodernism?"

  • "Captured"

  • "The Storm is Over"

  • "If Golfing Were the Pursuit of Moral Perfection"

  • 3.15.2007

    Ligonier Conference: Entry #2

    Al Mohler brought the second message of the pre-conference schedule.

    Concerning post-modernism, Mohler acknowledged what everyone knows: seismic shifts are rocking our culture, yet postmodernism can be hard to define.

    Postmodernism is:

    1. A Desconstruction of Truth: If truth is a socially constructed grasp for power, then liberty is found in "deconstructing" any truth claim. The result is that truth must be viewed as relative.

    2. The Death of the Meta-Narrative: Only "oppressors" use a meta-narrative, an over-arching story that seeks to "explain" reality. Both marxists and Christians use meta-narrative to explain where we came from, why we have the problems we do, and where history is going.

    3. The Denial of the Objective Text: The author's intended meaning is lost to any text. Meaning no longer resides in the text; it resides in the reader. So.... deconstruction is also applied to any text.

    This kind of attitude is also present in many home Bible studies. Folks gather to study the Bible, and--almost inevitably--the host asks, "Bill what does the text mean to you? Christians should be asking, "What does the text mean?" Not "What does the text mean to me.

    4. The Dominion of Therapy: If truth is gone, the only question left to ask is, "What makes me feel good?" Hence the endless therapeutic search. The thought is "Everyon is either in therapy or in denial."

    5. The Decline of Authority: All authority is to be rejected in texts, authors, and traditions. This is exemplified in the treatment of texts like the U.S. Constitution. There is not inherent authority in the text. The authority is in the reader of the text.

    6. The Displacement of Morality: If deconstruction is successful, we are left with almost total anarchy. Postmodernists will indeed use the language of morality, but it is always the language of liberation from truth claims masking a grasp for power. The demand-to-transgress is embedded right here. The only way to show the truth-claims of morality to be false to to transgress them.

    Good News: Hard-line post-modernism is mostly in the Academy.

    Bad News: Post-modernism is filtering down into society through art, theatre, cinema, photography, music, literature--and even architecture. The goal of post-modernism in "the arts" is often to be shocking and subversive.

    But this cannot be consistently applied. People may want a post-modern architect, but not a post-modern engineer. Nobody wants a post-modernist banker or cardiologist.

    Our job as Christians is to subvert subversion.


    At 6:49 PM, Blogger Steve Weaver said...

    Good summaries. Thanks for doing this.

    At 7:24 PM, Blogger Joe said...

    I used to argue with one of my professors whether it was more important to discover an author's meaning or to assign my own meaning to a writing.

    I never could figure out how assigning my own meaning held any meaning.

    At 10:00 PM, Blogger John R. said...

    So Joe,

    What do you mean?



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