Post-modern philosophy may be the latest fad in “Christian” circles (emerging-this, post-that, beyond-whatever, neo-something, social justice, etc.), but when an author complains about what he calls “neo-fundamentalism”, he actually reveals why post-modern philosophy fails so spectacularly (although he probably didn’t mean to).
The driving force behind neo-fundamentalism, as with historic fundamentalism, is a “remnant mentality.” Neo-fundamentalists believe they alone are remaining true to the fullness of the gospel and orthodox faith while the rest of the evangelical church is in grave, near-apocalyptic danger of theological drift, moral laxity, and compromise with a postmodern culture – a culture which they see as being characterized by a skepticism towards Enlightenment conceptions of “absolute truth,” a pluralistic blending of diverse beliefs, values, and cultures, and a suspicion of hierarchies and traditional sources of authority.
Let’s define post-modernism:
… it holds realities to be plural and relative, and to be dependent on whom the interested parties are and of what their interests consist. It supports the belief that there is no absolute truth and that the way in which different people perceive the world is subjective. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism)
In general, emerging church, post-modern, social justice, red-letter Christianity, liberal, and progressive groups all share some characteristics of post-modern philosophy — mainly the denial of absolute truth, and the desire to redefine terms and ideas from what the Bible said, or change theology to fit culture.
That is, of course, a dangerous idea. Once you start changing the Bible, who gets to decide what anything means, how do they do it, and what gives them the authority to do so? Changing the Bible to fit culture is never a good idea.
Post-modern philosophy at its core denies absolute truth. Thus the Bible becomes … well … whatever you want it to be. Want to cheat on your wife? Sure, post-modernize those passages — they were just for another time you know (like qualifications for elders, church leadership roles, definitions of sin and the Gospel, and so on).
Alcoholism? Post-modernize away! Don’t like God’s definition of sin? Hey, let’s change it to fit with modern culture. Post-modernism to the rescue! Using their own post-modern philosophy it’s quick and easy to prove Jesus was a Republican, not a Democrat.
Moreover, it’s impossible to prove otherwise, as long as you’re using relativistic post-modern philosophy. Jesus was a Bush-loving, tax-cutting, small-government Republican who dislikes Clinton, Obama, welfare, taxes, and Democrats. Don’t bother trying to show otherwise, as you can’t (as long as we use post-modern philosophy and its shifting definitions and “cultural norms”).
Ultimately, post-modern “Christianity” ends up in the same place as atheism — morality, God, and religion becomes whatever man wants it to be, and never defined by God (Richard Dawkins says “Moral philosophic reasoning and a shifting zeitgeist”) as the poison of liberal theology moves towards atheism.
Atheists and post-modernists end up in the same boat together — no absolute truth exists, and truth becomes whatever society wants it to be. Richard Dawkins says he doesn’t want absolutes, lining up perfectly with “Christians” who change the Bible to suit them.
Wait a minute, you say, you can’t just change the Bible because you want to be a drunk. Exactly. So why do some believe they can change what God said about other things — like qualifications for elders, church leadership, and more?
Post-modern “Christians” (yes we use the term very loosely) find themselves in the same paradox as Dawkins — whether they realize it or not (or admit it), because in spite of their denials, absolute truth (Biblical or otherwise) exists and is knowable …