We are in what is called the “post-modern” age. This would correspond nicely with the idea that we are now in a “post-Christian” age. The two harmonize well. The modern age was the age of science. Logic, reason and the scientific method would solve all our problems. Truth existed and we were on a journey to discover it. Progress was real.
On one side this was based on the Judeo-Christian world view. No other religion has allowed the development of what we consider science. The scientific method depends on an understanding that the universe was created by an immutable God. Because He is a god of principle and is eternally unchanging, the universe He created also has those qualities. Thus, pure water will always boil at 212º F at sea level. You can take it to the bank. In all other religious systems the gods are free to be capricious and adjust the world to fit their whims.
The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, although many of its thinkers rejected God, was only possible because its philosophies were based on an understanding of the world based on the God of the Bible.
Post-modernism claims to have moved beyond that. No longer can you know truth because truth is not absolute. Truth is different for everyone. Thus the Bible is a well meaning but corrupt work and Jesus is just one view of truth, no more valid than the ideas of Gandhi. This is well illustrated by the heretical arm of the Emergent Church movement. Here are a few more quotes from An Emergent Manifesto of Hope,
p. 228, “The modern age was ruled by science and structures of control....In the past modern milieu, the humanities are asserting themselves,...”
p. 228, “...in the world we live in now, facts alone are not adequate.” (EO)
p. 191, “But Christianity’s idea that other religions cannot be God’s carriers of grace and truth casts a large shadow over our Christian experience.”
p. 203, “The more we lean into the tension between competing truths, the closer we are to the heart of God.”One of their favorite illustrations would be the Blind Men of Indostan explaining what an elephant is. We only see part and miss the whole.
I believe this should be relabeled as either “pre-modernism” or “deja vu paganism.” This philosophy does nothing more than adopt the ideas of eastern religions that are syncretic and pagan. It is not a moving forward but an attempt to turn the clock back and reestablish the rule of sun and earth worship.
You cannot be truly Christian and truly post-modern. On one side or the other you are not a true believer.
Pagitt, Doug and Jones, Tony, ed. An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. Grand Rapids: Baker
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