A biblical response to postmodernism
This final section is an attempt to respond to postmodernism through the lens of the Bible. From a biblical perspective postmodernism is considered a threat to human thinking and a stone in the road of life that causes people to stumble. Now let's continue with our final discusssion.
Postmodernism’s incorrect premise leads to incorrect thinking
As we have already stated, postmodernism begins with the idea that no absolute truth exists and no meta-narrative explains reality. When any view of reality begins with a flawed idea, its follow-on ideas will be incorrect as well. Allow me to use an analogy to illustrate my point.
Suppose you are on a rifle firing range and you have a rifle in your hand. You are some 300 yards from a shooting range target which is a round black circle contrasted on a white background. You raise the weapon to your shoulder and carefully aim the rifle at the target, you squeeze the trigger and the bullet leaves the weapon. To your surprise the bullet does not impact the target at all and you are left wondering why. There is a logical reason for the stray bullet. You see, for you to properly aim a rifle requires alignment of sights—one on the front of the rifle barrel and one at the rear of the barrel just in front of your aiming eye. If the two alignment sights are not aligned when you fire, or if the sights are not pointed at the target, the bullet will miss the target. Its just that simple. But, the problem is compounded. You see, if the alignment sights are not aligned and the aiming point is not on the target, the bullet will miss the intended target by an even greater distance the further the target is away from the shooter. At 100 years the miss may be 12 inches. At 300 yards the miss may be 36 inches, and so on. It is simply a mathematical computation.
This is the basic issue with postmodernism. Postmodernism begins with an incorrect premise and attempts to draw conclusions based upon incorrect presuppositions. In other words, postmodernism begins with misaligned sights which causes it to miss the target it aims at. And, the more difficult the target (or farther away the target is), the greater the distance the target is missed. When postmodernism draws conclusions about truth and reality, the human condition, and God, the target is missed, and missed significantly.
Jesus Christ used a metaphor to explain this matter. He said it like this: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23 ESV). Christ perfectly explains the matter through this illustration. If the eye of understanding does not see correctly, the thoughts within will be ill affected leading to grave misunderstanding about some extremely important subject matters. Relating to our illustration, the target will be completely missed.
Man’s incorrect thinking leads to raising itself against God
When postmodernism postulates its view about truth and God, the aiming point is so far off that the impact of the bullet can hardly be located.
But the issue is even more dire. Postmodernism raises itself against the knowledge of God. Sound strange? Well, the Bible makes this clear while warning us against such deceptive thoughts. Consider 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (italics added): “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.”
You see, postmodernism, and every view of mankind that denies the truth of God, raises itself up against the knowledge of God—and against God himself. As postmodernism denies that truth exists, when the Bible clearly indicates truth does exist, postmodernism raises itself in defiance against God. Paul, in his statement to the Corinthians, simply says that he worked to destroy the arguments that denies the truth about God by informing people about the truth of God. It is just that simple.
Two views about truth
So what is the Bible’s view of truth? Actually the Bible has a great deal to say on the matter. In fact, truth is one of the most persistently mentioned subjects in the biblical texts. A search of the word "truth" in the Scriptures yields some 237 references. Here are just a few with italics added for emphasis.
Jesus taught that truth, namely the truth about God, sets individuals free.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32 KJV).
Jesus clearly indicates God’s word is truth and that cleansing comes through God’s word.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:7 KJV).
The Bible teaches that God’s works are done in truth.
“For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4 KJV).
The Bible says God desires everyone come to the knowledge of the truth.
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV).
Jesus Christ claims to be truth.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV).
The Bible claims some are continually learning but never come to understand the truth.
“Ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).
The Bible says some people change the truth of God into a lie.
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25 KJV).
The Bible says some people deceive others into not obeying the truth.
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?" (Galatians 3:1 KJV).
The Bible warns that those who do not believe the truth will be punished.
“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12 KJV).
The Bible informs that people will turn away from the truth and believe lies.
“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:4 KJV).
The Bible teaches that people who reject the truth also suppress the truth about God.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18 ESV).
Postmodernism denies the truth about God. Postmodernism also attempts to persuade other people that truth does not exist—the truth about God and the truth about life.
Is postmodernism man’s ultimate foolery?
Is postmodernism as serious as all that? Yes, it is.
In fact, I submit that postmodernism may be the pinnacle in human thinking gone awry. Earlier I commented that "Naturalism may well be the epitome of mankind’s stand against God." Of course, the views are just two sides of the same coin in regards to God. My opinion is simply that humanity may have reached a new high in inaccurate thinking through postmodernist thought. By denying that truth exists and calling upon each individual to formulate truth for themselves, postmodernism fundamentally is incorrect. Of course, postmodernism could be just be another attempt of human wisdom to explain the universe without the existence of a creator. From this perspective postmodernism is as common as any other failed attempt to do so.
What might be more accurate is to propose that postmodernism stands against the truth found in the biblical Scriptures in a manner not excelled. We find in postmodernism opposition to truth that it is breath-taking. Postmodernism flaunts man’s self-willed heights as it raises itself against God as possibly no other philosophical view (2 Cor 10:5). It suppresses the truth of God (Rom 1:18). It makes merchandise of people through deceit (2 Peter 2:2). Postmodernism takes human denial of God and truth to these new heights while promising freedom. But, on second thought, maybe postmodernism is simply just another denial of truth, just another denial of God, just another denial of the Creator. Possibly postmodernism is no more and no less than all the other attempts to do so, in the past and in the present, and what will come in the future.
Just another menu item?
Could it be that postmodernism is just another menu item of philosophical arguments against God? Could it be that there is a type of buffet of sorts, offered to people for their own choosing, to equip them with justification to reject God? Consider the selection. Want to believe mankind is the pinnacle and arbitrator of all knowledge and moral standard? Then choose human secularism! Want to believe the universe alone created all things and sustains the life of all living things and the operation of the cosmos? Select naturalism! Want to be a spiritual person and search for your spiritual journey to better yourself and tune in with the forces of nature? Then put religion on your plate! Would you like to reach out and take a hold of the argument that no truth exists and therefore free yourself from accountability to the truth? Then postmodernism is the dish for you! In fact, the adversary of God and deceived people will continue to ensure there is more than sufficient plausible arguments to fill the appetite of those who wish not to retain God in their thinking. In fact, what better sign to hang above the postmodern buffet than the description of postmodernism given by Ada Louise Huxtable, who says,
“Postmodernism is a freewheeling, unfettered, and unapologetic pursuit of style.”
Who would not consider such an alluring description for postmodernism as appealing and even tempting? Of course, eating unhealthy food has negative effects on the body—postmodernism is an unhealthy diet of thinking. In the end it kills.
“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1 ESV).Homepage