A Christian take on Postmodernism

Finally decided to get off the couch, grab my computer, get back on the couch, and update my blog.  I’ve spent the weekend trying to nail down a post idea, with no success.  Until I read an article about Christians who struggle with homosexuality.  It was a great article, but that’s not actually what really caught my attention.  I have a bad habit of reading blog comments.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but they always make me angry.  I found one such comment on this article.  I won’t quote it, since it was super long.  Basically, it was from a “Christian” bashing intolerant Christians.  If that sentence just made your brain explode…you might be homeschooled.

In this day and age, postmodernism is running rampant.  What is postmodernism?  Well, in the words of Christian speaker John Stonestreet, “defining postmodernism is kinda like trying to nail jello to a wall.”  As far as I can make out, it’s the “there is no absolute truth,” “there are no big stories,” “everything goes” philosophy that Americans seem to have embraced.  That’s why the article comment threw me off.  The three things I listed above are in direct conflict with the Christian worldview.  I have never been able to understand how people can claim to be Christians and postmodernists at the same time.  It’s an oxymoron.

I want to take this blog post to go through the three points of postmodernism, and why, as a Christian, they don’t make sense to me.

First, “there is no absolute truth.”  That’s actually a pretty easy one.  Just look at the statement.  “There is no absolute truth.”  What kind of statement is that?  Is it a statement of opinion?  No.  It’s a statement of truth.  If it were opinion, it would say, “there is no absolute truth, I think.”  The statement “there is no absolute truth” is a statement of absolute truth.  It’s a complete contradiction.  The only way for it not to be contradictory, is if it said, “there is no absolute truth, except that there is no absolute truth.”  *pushes “that was easy” button*

“There are no big stories.”  (Another truth claim, by the way)  The best example of this philosophy can be found in pretty much any TV show produced post-80’s.  The characters in these shows live episode-to-episode.  They don’t learn anything, they don’t progress, and they don’t end up anywhere.  This has become the philosophy of many Americans.  “Live for the moment.”  “Live while we’re young.”  “Never grow up.”  It’s everywhere.  The problem is, our hearts long for “big stories.”  When we introduce ourselves, we give a short summary of our lives.  We want to know how things work, and why things happen.  It’s who we are; it’s how we were designed.  Furthermore, to claim that there are no big stories, is to suggest that you know the big story.  You can’t say that there are no big stories, unless you are able to see everything in the past, present, and future (which would make you God).

Finally, “everything goes.”  This is what you would call “relativism.”  That may seem like something everyone would be happy with.  You get to do what you want, and no one can judge you for it.  But think of the implications of it.  What if what “goes” for me is to be a serial killer?  I’m guessing there would be a few people who wouldn’t be OK with that.  But, if you believe in this philosophy, you would be required to be “tolerant” of my choices.  The problem with relativism is that it is impossible to live out.  Eventually someone’s actions are going to hurt you, and then you won’t be as “tolerant” as you are telling everyone else to be.  The truth is, evil stinks.  There are evil things out there, and when they come against you, it can wreck your life.  Postmodernism dismisses this fact.  It can’t account for the pain we feel when someone makes a bad choice that affects us.

For these reasons, Christianity and postmodernism are not compatible.  Biblical Christianity states that there is truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4), there is a big story (basically the entire Bible), and there are clear guidelines that dictate what is right and wrong (Exodus 20).  Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  He also came to Earth to die for our sins, and in doing so, completed the big story.  The “big story” is that God created a perfect world, but humans chose to sin.  Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), we deserve to die.  However, Jesus took our sins and died for us so that we can experience eternal life with Him.  Jesus also exemplifies what it means to live a moral life.  Of course, as sinners, we can’t be perfect.  However, we should continuously strive to become more like Him.

As Christians, we need to stand up against postmodernism, and point out the contradictions in its philosophies.  This way of thinking will surely lead us down a treacherous path toward spiritual and moral anarchy, and we can’t sit back and watch it happen.  We need to stand up for morals and truth.  We need to shine a light in the darkness of relativism.

If you want to read the article I mentioned, and search for the comment that inspired this post, you can find it at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/manhattanproject/2012/11/my-gay-roommate/

Thanks for reading!

~Theophilus

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About theophilus929

I am a teenage girl with opinions, and I like to voice them. I believe in a Biblical God, and that gives me very different views than most people out there. When something catches my attention, I blog about it! Hope you enjoy, and share with your friends!
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2 Responses to A Christian take on Postmodernism

  1. Marli Renee says:

    Thank you for this! Have you read ‘The Gagging of God’ by D.A. Carson? Excellent, and it tackles many of the problems of postmodernism in the Western World, especially how it affects thought and culture.

    The hardest part is that it’s difficult to persuade a Postmodernist with logic, because they refuse logic. The best part is that very few people remain post modern after getting married and having kids. Real life tends to do that to you 🙂 But also just living real life with them, loving them, showing them care, compassion and friendship will do much more than argumentation. Our lives persuade loudest.

    Thank you for reminding me of this, and encouraging us all to preserver for Christ!

    • I have not read that book, but I read “Making Sense of Your World” and have taken several worldview courses. I find it all so fascinating and love talking about it. Thank you so much for your insight and support! Thanks for reading!

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