Archive for the ‘Postmodernism’ Category

Destiny waits in the hands of God, not in the Hands of Statesmen

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Destiny waits in the hands of God, not in the hands of statesmen . . .

The Murder In The Cathedral by T. S. Eliot, American and then British modernist poet, is my personal favorite 20th century play and full of encouraging truth for the growing Christian believer. It is a diatribe against the excesses of Modernism and a lamentation of the state of Western culture.

Eliot’s play concerns the assassination of Archbishop Samuel Becket by Henry II.  The play begins with a Chorus singing, foreshadowing the coming violence. The rest of the play concerns four temptations (roughly paralleling the temptation of Christ).

Every tempter offers Becket something that he desires–but he will have to disobey the Lord and his own conscience.

The first tempter offers long life. He makes an existential appeal that is quite persuasive.

Take a friend’s advice. Leave well alone,

Or your goose may be cooked and eaten to the bone.

The second offers power, riches and fame.

To set down the great, protect the poor,

Beneath the throne of God can man do more?

The third tempter suggests a coalition with the barons and a chance to resist the King. This –compromise– temptation is very appealing.  He even uses biblical language!

For us, Church favour would be an advantage,

Blessing of Pope powerful protection

In the fight for liberty. You, my Lord,

In being with us, would fight a good stroke

 Finally, he is urged to seek martyrdom!  The very thing he may do is thrown in his face as a selfish act!

 You hold the keys of heaven and hell.

Power to bind and loose : bind, Thomas, bind,

King and bishop under your heel.

King, emperor, bishop, baron, king:

 Becket responds to all of the tempters and specifically addresses the immoral suggestions of the fourth tempter at the end of the first act:

Now is my way clear, now is the meaning plain:

Temptation shall not come in this kind again.

The last temptation is the greatest treason:

To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

A martyrdom is never the design of man;

for the true martyr is he who has become the instrument of God,

who has lost his will in the will of God,

not lost it but found it,

for he has found freedom in submission to God.

Becket continues.

The church lies bereft,


Desecrated, desolated.

And the heathen shall build

On the ruins

Becket will die, but not for any nostalgic reason.  Not for any sentimental purpose.  He will die in obedience to our Lord God.  He defies hyperbole.

In these Post-Modern times, as we struggle to make sense of all the hard times we face, of all the good things we can do.  Let us choose the obedient thing to do, not the thing that may seem right in our own eyes.

There is a crisis of ethics in our time. Only the fool, fixed in his folly, may think he can turn the wheel on which he turns.

To do the right deed for the wrong reason . . . in this age of compromises, of good intentions, it is critical that we follow Becket’s example.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

The church shall be open, even to our enemies.

We are not here to triumph by fighting , by stratagem, or by resistance,

Not to fight with beasts as men. We have fought the beast

And have conquered. We have only to conquer

Now, by suffering. This is the easier victory.

For every life and every act

Consequence of good and evil can be shown.

And as in time results of many deeds are blended

So good and evil in the end become confounded.

In life there is not time to grieve long.

O father, father

Gone from us, lost to us,

The church lies bereft,


Desecrated, desolated.

And the heathen shall build


On the ruins

Their world without God.

I see it.

I see it.

Crossing the Creepy Line

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Google CEO Eric Schmidt made the now infamous remark about Google’s practice of getting very close to the “creepy line” but not going over. With the decision to release an update to Google Goggles that will allow the app to identify human faces Google has arguably crossed “the creepy line.”

            What this would effectively permit is the identification of people on the street or in a public place by simply pointing your phone camera at them.

            Now that is creepy. 

            The need to be anonymous is as basic as human nature. We like to remain unknown in a crowd, or, at least we deserve the privilege to reveal ourselves to whomever we please.  If we commit a crime, perhaps, that right is abrogated.  We may be, even should be, identified and apprehended.  But to be identified by perfect strangers, gratuitously, randomly, is creepy. Joseph Conrad, in Lord Jim warns us, “There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery.” Zip!  With the focus of an I-Phone the mystery disappears.

            Many people “are rightfully scared of it,” one journalist said. “In particular, women say, ‘Oh my God. Imagine this guy takes a picture of me in a bar, and then he knows my address just because somewhere on the Web there is an association of my address with my photo.’ That’s a scary thought. So I think there is merit in finding a good route that makes the power of this technology available in a good way.”

            Interesting thought.  We dare not STOP using the creepy thing—we have to find a laudable reason to do so.  I am Eichmann appreciated that irony when he realized that the technology was there to murder 6 million Jews so we might as well do it.  Do you think so.

            I like Google’s response—a typical Post-Modern response–“I think we are taking a sort of cautious route with this,” Google said. “It’s a sensitive area, and it’s kind of a subjective call on how you would do it.”

            Another signature mark of the times: “Each person decides for himself if he uses a certain thing.”  No, not this time. I don’t want perverts to identify and to visit my grandchildren whenever they like!  I don’t care if the technology is there or not.  Get rid of it.

            Now that is a novel idea—get rid of it.  That is exactly what I am saying.  Get rid of the technology.  Not only do we want never to use it, we need to erase our footsteps and get rid of our ability to do the thing.  There is no good, no possible good, in a perfect stranger being able to identify another private human being.

            Can we deal with that? I doubt it.

            And it is coming folks. Apparently Google got over its concerns and has decided to roll facial recognition out in a mobile context. Science and technology have their own logic and momentum. Because something is possible there’s an impulse to see it realized or implemented in the world. Perhaps there’s such identification at Google with “innovation” that it was “culturally” impossible for Google not to roll this out.

            Creepy I tell you, creepy.

            There is one power, one power who does know me. Always has, always will.  Knows my next thought, predestined my next action.  Someone who is in absolute control of everything—Almighty God.  But He alone deserves this sort of power.  He loves me, He cares for me, He died on the cross at Calvary for me. 

            I do not fear His perusal, but my friend, if you swing your Motorola to my grandchildren and I think you are identifying them, not merely taking a picture, I am going to smack you.

            Not really.  But I am going to think you and Google are creepy.  Take that.

Webinar Vignettes – Part 2

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

The U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) between the industrial North and the agricultural, slave-owning South was a turning point in American history. The innocent optimism of the young nation gave way, after the war, to a period of exhaustion. Reconstruction grew out of this fatigue–it was as if the American political system was not going to try to solve its problems. Before the war, Idealists and Romantics championed human rights, especially the abolition of slavery; after the war, Americans increasingly idealized progress and the self-made man. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau remained as icons of inevitable American progress. However, many philosophical changes were in the air. This was the era of the millionaire manufacturer and the speculator, robber barons and trust busters, when Darwinian evolution and the “survival of the fittest” seemed to sanction the sometimes unethical methods of the successful business tycoon. Naturalism grew naturally out of the fertile ground of social Darwinism. This so-called “Gilded Age,” a term coined by Mark Twain, was an age of thoughtless excess.

Business boomed after the war. The new intercontinental rail system, inaugurated in 1869, and the transcontinental telegraph, which began operating in 1861, gave industry access to materials, markets, and communications. The constant influx of immigrants provided a seemingly endless supply of inexpensive labor as well. More than 23 million foreigners — German, Scandinavian, and Irish in the early years, and increasingly Central and Southern Europeans thereafter — flowed into the United States between 1860 and 1910. American business interests imported Asian contract laborers on the West Coast. This created tensions that remain in America even today. In 1860, most Americans lived on farms or in small villages, but by 1919 half the population was concentrated in about twelve cities. Problems of urbanization and industrialization appeared. From 1860 to 1914, the United States changed from a small, young, agricultural country to a huge, modern, industrial nation.

America, however, was full of problems. The differences among people groups were immense and growing larger. It was to this world that men like Stephen Crane wrote. He attacked social problems. American literature openly discussed significant social problems. Previously American fiction was entertaining and didactic, but not evaluative. Characteristic American novels of the period Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, Jack London’s Martin Eden, and later Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy depict the damage of economic forces and alienation of the vulnerable individual. Survivors, like Twain’s Huck Finn, Humphrey Vanderveyden in London’s The Sea-Wolf, Hemingway’s Frederick Henry in A Farewell to Arms, and Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, endure through inner strength and, above all, individuality. No longer is there a hint in American literature that there is a loving, caring God. The world that Anne Bradstreet knew is dead . . . Research the Gilded Age and write a three page explanatory essay on this important era.

A particularly popular writer of the Gilded Age social history was Sinclair Lewis. Lewis brought late 19th Century Americans into the small towns and bedrooms of American homes all over the land. Why not read one of his books?

Webinar Vignettes

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Peter will return soon with the end of his marriage saga–It promises to be interesting.

Meanwhile, I want to offer a few vignettes from my webinars. The first is re: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

This impressive novel is one of the few unchallenged classics of modern American literature. Stephen Crane’s immense talent is everywhere evident in his great work. This is not to say, though, that Crane’s vision is correct. No, Crane’s novel is full of Naturalism–a germinating and menacing world view still spreading across America. The Naturalistic stories and novels of Stephen Crane truly mark the maturation of modernity. Major revealing features of modernity are an unrestrained, individual freedom–the goal of which is to liberate one from all restrictions, constraints, traditions, and all social patterning–all of which are ipso facto presumed to be dehumanizing. Modernity has a contempt for other viewpoints. Ironically in its nihilistic pursuit of tolerance it becomes intolerant! Modernity is reductionist Naturalism. What does the word “reductionist” mean? Yes, Crane’s works are wholly modern in both philosophy and technique. While remnants of Romanticism may be found in the poems of Dickinson and Whitman, and some in Melville, none remains in Crane. At one point Henry faces death and “he had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death. He was a man.” The man Crane and his contemporaries create is not the man created in the image of God, the man who is precious and vital, but a man in a mob, a man who has no future. Crane offers his reader no salvation, no hope. Crane only validates the now, the sensory touch, the empirical.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, by the way, Many historians argue that we are in a post-modern era. Now, many Americans are suspicious of science and any authority. This viewpoint has as a central credo: “Anything goes if I believe it sincerely.” Stephen Crane brought us well along on this slippery trail.

In the scheme of things The Red Badge of Courage and Naturalism ushered in a new philosophical era. It was one of the genuinely new cultural events in American history. It was not to be the last.


Friday, December 18th, 2009

America needs the church to reclaim its systemic importance. Early in its history, the church was the major conduit of social welfare. Several historians have emphasized how critical the church was to the social welfare of the city. In circa 1830 Utica, New York, after a Charles Finney Revival, the women’s welfare society at the local downtown church was the strongest social welfare system extent in the city. And it was extremely effective! Its budget surpassed the city’s social welfare budget–an impressive $3000. With no cost to the city and in the name of Jesus Christ, before the New Deal the downtown church was taking care of the poor and the needy in churches all over the country.

With the collapse of the positive liberal state, and the abandonment by state and federal governments, the city needs its churches again. We who seek to serve God in the city must do social work without being social workers. We must remain the Body of Jesus Christ but we must not flinch in the face of social problems.

William Julius Wilson in The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy argues that Roosevelt’s New Deal, and Johnson’s The Great Society failed because they ignored the most fundamental need of all disadvantaged people: employment. The downtown church is in a strategic place to affect this problem. With our often under-utilized church bureaucracy–secretaries, office managers, and their equipment–we are able to stimulate and to create many small businesses. For example, in my former church, we started a small business that employed forty seasonal employees. Furthermore, we were able to do this business/ministry with no cost to the local Church. It is through these creative ventures/ministries that the Church will reclaim its proper place in the community.

I am not naive. I know that the women association, as laudatory and important their work may be, will not end homelessness in the South Bronx. But working with government, the church can help. Or tongue in cheek–dare I suggest–working in spite of the government, perhaps the church can do the job. Illegitimacy is only one of the many social ills undermining American society. It the government is really serious in its drive against illegitimacy, it perhaps should abolish the welfare system rather than reform it! This is suggested by authors like Charles Murray and Charles Krauthammer. Essentially, personal accountabliity and social responsibility simply cannot be passed on to the state.

Two public policies, according to Charles Murray and William McGowan (a journalist)–welfare for unwed mothers and racial and ethnic quotas–are moving us toward dystopia, a condition in which the quality of life are dreadful.”

As a point in fact, a church in the poorest part of the country, New Horizon, Mississippi, has started a vigorous and successful social welfare intervention in its congregation. Ronnie Crudup, pastor of New Horizon Baptist Church, has shown that churches had make a greater impact than government with less cost to the taxpayer. Clearly, though, to Crudup, spiritual nurturing is a vital part of welfare reform. His church has “adopted” 10 welfare families. New Horizon helped with monthly grocery money, finding employment, caring for the children’s Christmas needs via the church’s Angel Tree project, and meting any back-to-school expenses. In return, the church asks permission to counsel families with drug habits and requires them to attend church. It is working.

Most people agree, that, in the foreseeable future, single family numbers will increase. And most are female led. But, instead of enabling problems–as the government seems to do–the church should encourage families to grow stronger. A mom may be the key.

Most family therapists agree that a mother is critical to the success of a family system. In fact, family counselors are taught that if they can shore up the mother they can probably help the whole family.

Israel needed a mother in the time of Deborah. The city needs mothers. In fact, as we urban pastors know all too well, it is the mothers in our innnercity neighborhoods who hold together the very fabric of our society. The Cotton Patch Gospel interprets Judges 5:7 as “Things were bad until a woman arose . . . we needed a mother!” In 1995 we need a lot of good mothers!

A woman in Deborah’s day had no property or value herself without her husband. If she was infertile she could be divorced. And, in any event, most women died before age thirty. They were married about age 13 and delivered an average of sixteen children (but only five survived). In fact, most women died in childbirth. This was a terrible time to be a woman.

But God again chose the most unlikely candidate to do His work and I am convinced that He could do the same again. A person with no status, with no honor. He knew that she would be flexible in His hand. He knew that Deborah would be easier to use than some self-reliant person who was self-important. No, Deborah was willing to follow the Lord no matter what the cost. Afterall, what did she have to lose? She was unimpressed with the Canaanites because she was impressed by who God is. The Church needs to create moms who are not afraid to take on the whole world. Or, as Dobson is fond of saying, moms who “do not lose their nerve in the face of evil.”

In general Deborah’s community was prehistoric–writing was not yet developed. Traditions, history, and morality was maintained through legends, myths, stories, and songs. In early England these traditions and history were maintained by traveling minstrels, story tellers called Scops. Early English poems were memorized rather than written and were recited by scops, wandering poets who chanted their poems. These minstrels maintained English culture for several generations.

Communities–like churches–need minstrels, men and women of God who tell our story over and over again. When I came to my downtown church, I immediately looked for these minstrels, these preservers of history. I found them. A mother arose among them . . .

Deborah was a singer, a culture creator. But she also was a woman who understood power. Understanding that true power arises from God, not humankind, she led her anemic nation to victory. She was not to be deterred. We need to create these kind of moms in our society.

Today, we need Moms who will not be thwarted from raising their children in Godly ways. Who will not be impressed by the power in the world. Not overwhelmed by the obstacles that exist in our society, real though they may be. But will take control in the name of Christ of their children’s future. And teach them to be impressed and to respect power–but not power and rulers of this world–but God’s authority and His word.

Deborah encouraged her community to defy Baal. To stand against the forces of darkness and to win . . .”Souls are like athletes,” Thomas Merton writes. “And they need opponents worthy of them.” Deborah challenged her community to reach beyond themselves and to find the strength to be and to do all that God wanted them to do and to be.

In summary, as Robert Linthicum writes in his seminal work on the city, God deeply loves the city. Many scriptures evidence this fact (e.g., Ezekiel 16:1-14, Psalm 48). Linthicum, and other Christian writers, remind us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. In that sense, the church is an important system, or organization, in the city and it needs to act like it. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer urges the church in his last book, “I wish to see the city church return to the center of the city.”


Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Walter Brueggemann, in his book The Land, suggests that there is a pervasive “lostness” in American life. In fact this alienation from one another, threatens all aspects of American culture. The reestablishment of the two-parent home would go a long way to bring back stability into our culture.

In that sense, then, church programs must take into account the broken relationships, the loss of relationships, that an Ellen or Elizabeth are experiencing. For instance, in our church we have a Youth Club, intergenerational experience every Wednesday night. A sort of “family” night, everyone is invited. Everyone is part of a “family” at least once a week. The Church should never lower its standards. On the contrary the Church should unabashedly promote a Christian perspective of family–fidelity to Christian morality.

Likewise, the church must recognize that the actual number of Murphy Browns in America (single mothers by choice with incomes over $50,000 a year) is not even .1% of unwed mothers. The fact is, they need our financial support. They need free childcare provided or all events. And so forth.

But it is true, though, that nontraditional family numbers are growing. Single parents should not be discouraged. We all know inspiring stories of how single parent families have prospered.

Another group that needs our attention is blended families. Now that 46% of all American marriages involve at least one partner who has at least one partner who has been married before, we need to recognize that blended families need special programming and attention.

Next, the church must be unequivocable in its ethical stand that the Word of God must not be compromised. While we celebrate pluralism, without being moralistic or harsh, we need to recognize that not all family forms are right nor equal for the task of raising children.

Churches must accept openly and without prejudice the full range of single families, stepfamilies, and cohabiting families (while making clear such a life style is sinful!).

The church should challenge its families and young people to have higher standards than the world.

Our youth programs should emphasize preparation for life in the egalitarian postmodern family. Since one of the major trends of family life in America is the absence of fathers, boys and young men should be spoken to seriously about commitment and parenting.


Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Next, there is a pervasive and abiding concern about the future. To those of us who lived through the Cold War this seem ludicrous. But the tentativeness and fear that pervades American society are real. Witness the catastrophe at Columbine. Those two young men were angry, confused, but most of all hopeless. We have lost our way; lost our dreams. Harvard professor Dr. Harvey Cox writes: “We once had dreams and no technology to bring them to pass. Now we have technology but no dreams!”

In fact, most social critics argue persuasively that this generation is one of the most hopeless in history. Interestingly enough this hopelessness has made us rather sentimental. We have become very sentimental about the past. Even in our most creative creations it is more of the same. Even though Hans Solo is a liar, a criminal and a fornicator, he still is a do-gooder spreading George Lucas’ version of truth and justice across the land. But God is totally absent. The Star Wars phenomenon is so appealing because it is about the past; not about the future. Luke Skywalker is more like John Wayne than he is like Tom Cruse.

To this hopeless generation history is not sacred; it is merely utilitarian. It is not didactic; it helps make them feel better. The modern psychologist B.F. Skinner, for instance, disdains history and gives M & M’s® to monkeys. We have no actions—only fate driving us. We are rudderless. The fact is we Christians know, however, that God is in absolute control of history. We need to teach our children to be tirelessly hopeful. We need to make sure that we are not mawkish! We can easily do so by speaking the Truth found in the Word of God in places of deception.

One of the greatest problems in this generation is confusion about individual responsibility. It was Freud who told us that feelings of guilt were a sign not of vice, but of virtue. That our problems stemmed from our mothers, not from our sin. Perhaps our problem began with Goethe whose Faust escapes the consequences of his sin by sincerity and good humor. What does this say for poor theistic Gretchen? Look at the evolution of the American understanding of hero:

  • 1930-1970 Traditional John Wayne . . . While he was not overtly Christian, Wayne exhibited Judeo-Christian behavior in all his actions.
  • 1970-2000 Modern Clint Eastwood . . . Eastwood is moral but the end justifies the mean. He is motivated by a golden-rule sort of moral code.
  • 2000-Present Post-Christian Tom Cruise . . . Morality to Cruise is defined by what is right in his own eyes.

Perhaps our movie icons best typify what America values and promotes in her culture.


Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

One Harvard professor, the great evangelical author Fred Buechner resigned from Harvard Divinity School because he felt embarrassed to mention God in his classes. “The mere mention of God-an omniscient God, God as a transcendent being– when I was there . . . would be guaranteed to produce snickers,” Ari Goldman wrote (Atlantic Monthly, Dec., 1990).

By 1920, with its reductionism mentality, the American secular university had become an inhospitable place for evangelicals. The mother turned and ate her young. The place that was founded by evangelicals, to prepare Evangelicals to be the elite of American culture is now a place of danger, risk, and struggle for its progeny.

Worse than that: Evangelicals seemed to accept willingly their own demise. Evangelical Christians in positions of formal power passively yielded to each stage in the advance of secularism. And, when they did resist, they failed.

Why? Douglas Sloan, in Faith and Knowledge: Mainline Protestantism and American Higher Education (Philadelphia: Westminster/John Knox) argues that the university looked to liberal Protestant Christianity to replace Evangelical Christianity. What no one understood, including Evangelical Christians, was that science, as understood in the late 19th century, was fundamentally at odds with Evangelical thought. The university was firmly in the camp of positivistic philosophy that basically had discarded the notion of supernatural from American intellectualism. Evangelicals tried accommodation, but, after the Scopes Trial, they abandoned ship, so to speak. So, if the secular university rejected evangelicalism, by 1920, evangelicalism abandoned the secular university.

In the end the university pulled back from affirming the real possibility of knowing God and of the existence of a spiritual world. What evangelicals learned, or thought that they learned, was that the secular American university was too dangerous a place to be. So they formed their own universities. It is unfortunate that there was no fight to the finish in the 1920s. If the issue had been forced who knows if we would live in a society dominated by secular-minded people. In the initial stages, though, Evangelicals did not muster the intellectual resources necessary to challenge the cultural assumption that knowledge comes only from natural sources (see Phillip E. Johnson , “How the Universities Were Lost,” in First Things 51 (March 1995) 51-56). They never have–even until today.


Thursday, November 5th, 2009

This author’s understanding of an efficacious university is a place that humbly admits that the Truth is already known. It is the job of humankind to be a good citizen by reflecting the glory of God. Many American secular universities see the university as a place for the advancement of knowledge; Newman sees the university as a place for the communication of knowledge and advancement of the Kingdom of God.

As previous explained, there are gods galore at the American secular university. The American secular university deified “toleration,” “scientific inquiry,” and “intellectual honesty.” Today, though, there is considerable confusion about how we ought to live with our differences. The modern appeal to toleration begs the question.

In the modern secular university there is only one viewpoint that is deemed legitimate: that is the conviction of uniform toleration! The net result is that people are forced to choose between their epistemology and their cosmology. People are forced to give up convictions based on what they believe to be true and right if their views appear remotely intolerant. Thus, if an Evangelical believes that homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle he is accused of intolerance. But he believes it because his world view framework demands that he believe it. He believes that the Word of God is truth and cannot be militated or compromised by circumstances or exigencies.

The problem is, according to S.D. Gaede, When Tolerance is no Virtue (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 1993) is that the university asks a question it has no right to ask and then offers no satisfactory answer. What is truth? The American secular university does not have a clue. Many secular scholars know it and they conclude that there is no truth. They have lost confidence in truth searching and have come to the conclusion that truth is unattainable. Universities conclude that holding to a plurality of truths and tolerating them is virtuous. This author agrees, however, with G. K. Chesterton who argued, “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.”

The evangelical commitment to toleration and intellectual honesty grows out of a commitment to truth and justice. This toleration is expressed through love, which is inevitably misunderstood by the secular university as intellectual dishonesty and parochialism.

While attending a secular university, I remember discussing religion over lunch. Each person shared his faith position. There was much interest engendered among this enlightened university crowd! Compliments and affirmations flowed freely, until I, the token Evangelical, was asked about his faith. I stated, “Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

“You mean, a way, don’t you?” a conciliatory classmate helpfully asked.

“No, I mean Jesus Christ it the ONLY way to wholeness and life,” I gently responded.

Well, the Evangelical ruined everyone’s lunch–again!

False notions of toleration breed false notions of relativism. Relativism is defined loosely as “anything goes as long as it is embraced sincerely and injures no one else.” Evangelicals are ringing a fire bell and warning American culture that there are significant dangers in living in a relativistic world. The fact is, a relativistic world has no universally held view of truth and goodness. Inevitably the modern university is intolerant of intolerance which makes everyone confused and inconsistent.


Friday, August 28th, 2009

I read in the paper yesterday that Pete Rose, convicted of gambling in 1989, may now be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because “in light of the steroid scandal his crime does not seem so bad now.” Interesting argument–isn’t it? Sin that was bad in 1989 is not so bad today. Fasten your seat belts, saints. we are in for a post-modernism ride!

Post-modernism is a term used to describe Western culture that emerged since 1990. Post-modernism, according to social analyst Walter Truett Anderson, is an anti-science movement that emerged at the end of the Cold War. To Post-modernism, reality is always subjective. It invites people to define their own reality. As a song I heard yesterday explains, “You only have to please me, you only have to please me.”

Anderson, in his book Reality Isn’t What It Used To Be (San Francisco HarperCollins, 1990. 288p) describes six stories competing in Postmodern era: 1) Western myth of progress; 2) Marxism and Revolution; 3) Christian Fundamentalism; 4) Islamic Fundamentalism; 5) Green; 6) New Age. I would add one more: Christian home school evangelicalism. Post-modernism diverges, like romanticism does, from a notion that reality occurs from empiricism (Aristotle) or from knowledge (Plato).

We evangelicals stand squarely in the way of Post-modernism. We reject the notion that reality is subjectively defined by each individual. No, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Period.