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Mo and PoMo, Part 2

January 22, 2010 A205

John MacArthur

Post-Modernism... except Christian propositions, of course.

Modernism is now regarded as yesterday's way of thinking. The dominant world-view in secular and academic circles today is called post-modernism.

Post-modernists have repudiated modernism's absolute confidence in science as the only pathway to the truth. In fact, post-modernism has completely lost interest in "the truth," insisting that there is no such thing as absolute, objective, or universal truth.

Modernism was indeed folly and needed to be abandoned. But post-modernism is a tragic step in the wrong direction. Unlike modernism, which was still concerned with whether basic convictions, beliefs, and ideologies are objectively true or false, post-modernism simply denies that any truth can be objectively known.

To the post-modernist, reality is whatever the individual imagines it to be. That means what is "true" is determined subjectively by each person, and there is no such thing as objective, authoritative truth that governs or applies to all humanity universally. The post-modernist naturally believes it is pointless to argue whether opinion A is superior to opinion B. After all, if reality is merely a construct of the human mind, one person's perspective of truth is ultimately just as good as another's.

Having given up on knowing objective truth, the post-modernist occupies himself instead with the quest for "understanding" the other person's point of view. So the words truth and understanding take on radical new meanings. Ironically, "understanding" requires that we first of all disavow the possibility of knowing any truth at all. And "truth" becomes nothing more than a personal opinion, usually best kept to oneself.

That is the one essential, non-negotiable demand post-modernism makes of everyone: we are not supposed to think we know any objective truth. Post-modernists often suggest that every opinion should be shown equal respect. And therefore on the surface, post-modernism seems driven by a broad-minded concern for harmony and tolerance. It all sounds very charitable and altruistic. But what really underlies the post-modernist belief system is an utter intolerance for every world-view that makes any universal truth-claims -- particularly biblical Christianity.

In other words, post-modernism begins with a presupposition that is irreconcilable with the objective, divinely-revealed truth of Scripture. Like modernism, post-modernism is fundamentally and diametrically opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.