Modernism vs.

Postmodernism One lesson we have all learned from the war on terrorism is the importance of knowing our enemy and adapting our combat strategy accordingly. You can t fight a 21st Century terrorist using the tactics and weaponry that helped win World War I & II. This is a different kind of enemy, and the situation calls for a different kind of vigilance. This is a lesson elders, deacons, preachers, and Bible teachers church leaders would do well to bear in mind. For the past 100 years or more, evangelical Christian leaders have been on guard against modernism. Unfortunately, most church leaders are inadequately prepared to face the equally dangerous enemy of postmodernism. What is modernism? Modernism first arose more than a century ago. It was based on the assumption that only science can explain reality. The modernist scorned the idea of divine revelation, miracles, or anything supernatural. In other words, the starting point for modernism was a rejection of the truth of Scripture. Nonetheless, when modernism first began to dominate secular society s worldview, many in the religious world were more than eager to try to get in step with the spirit of the age. Some abandoned their belief in the supernatural elements of Scripture and tried to reduce the Bible message to the moral elements of Jesus teaching. Because of the influence of modernism, many so called mainline denominations ultimately abandoned the Bible, becoming even deeper spiritual wastelands.

truth is whatever point of view the individual prefers.We are not living in the modern era anymore. it begins with an anti-Christian presupposition. and its philosophical starting-point entails a denial that Scripture is objectively and authoritatively true. and Bible teachers. all that really matters is the dialogue between ideas. Like modernism. Moreover. seemingly few church leaders are set for the defense of the faith against postmodernism. Modernism is no longer the most immediate philosophical danger facing elders. The postmodernist is not even convinced anything real objectively exists. it is just as hostile to the truth of Scripture as modernism ever was. the postmodernist is convinced that nothing can explain reality. This is the postmodern age. To the postmodernist. it is probably true that the vast majority don t even understand the enemy. Truth itself simply doesn t matter much to a postmodernist. If elders. that hasn t stopped postmodernism from making inroads into the religious world and leaving a profound imprint. This is the postmodernist belief system in a nutshell. preachers. And every idea deserves equal respect. and postmodernism now poses at least as great a danger to the truth of Christ as modernism ever did. and Bible teachers are not aware of the problem or . In fact. Instead. Unfortunately. Unfortunately. unable to articulate why postmodernism poses any threat to Christianity. preachers. the postmodernist thinks that what is true for one person might not be true for another. What is postmodernism? Postmodernism abandons the belief that science can explain all reality. Although postmodernism is a dramatic departure from modernist thinking.

Church leaders believed and were not ashamed to say plainly that Christ is the only way to heaven. lapel pins. That is a startling and inexplicable change from thirty years ago. After all. Or so postmodernism says. The one cardinal sin in a postmodern world is to suggest that one belief system . affecting the clarity of the Bible message we are sending to a lost world. that is no longer true. not people. Sadly. One Way emblems on bumper stickers. Already there are preachers and Bible teachers who fear to proclaim the exclusivity of Christ. they meant we should respect people and treat them kindly even when we believe they are wrong. the influence of postmodernist thought will no doubt seriously erode the Gospel presentation. In other words. Even among so-called conservative evangelists there are some who are suddenly embarrassed to say they believe Christ is the only way to heaven. when One Way was more or less universally recognized as the slogan of evangelical preachers and Bible teachers. and that all other religions are false.alert to its threat. Why? Under postmodernism. who are we to imagine that our belief system is superior to any other? To hold strong convictions or have settled assurance about matters of faith is unwarranted conceit. and other insignia were commonplace. the new tolerance is for ideas. But notice that the definition of tolerance has subtly been changed. if truth is merely a matter of personal opinion. Postmodern tolerance means never thinking anyone else s beliefs are wrong in the first place. To regard the Bible as unassailable truth is the greatest arrogance of all. When our grandparents spoke of tolerance as a virtue. one virtue rises above all others: tolerance.

The Apostle Peter added: Nor is there salvation in any other. In reality. nothing is more intolerant than postmodern tolerance. . We cannot abandon the exclusivity of the Gospel. Christ Himself claimed to be the way. for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is ultimately irrelevant if it is merely one of many pathways to God. An evangelical Christian s passion should be helping believers gain a deeper understanding for and a greater dependence on His Holy Word. and they insist everyone else must also abandon all certainty.com. We serve the Lord. They don t believe objective truth exists. Such a worldview is antithetical to authentic biblical Christianity. He said. Permissions and restrictions.is right and all others are wrong. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). Postmodernists demand that everyone think alike. no matter how unpopular it may be at the moment. and the life. the truth. What is your passion? Next / Index Home | Greatest Love Story | John's Jesus | Life of Christ | Online Bible | Kid's Korner | Feedback | Mission & Philosophy | A Religion Library | Additional Resources | Devotionals Copyright © 2005 StudyJesus. Equal latitude must be given to every view. But popularity should never be the goal. It is probably safe to say that in any church. a rigorous seeking and standing for biblical truth does not usually generate popularity even within our own fellowship.

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