Don’tcha just LOVE Postmoderns? As a matter of fact, as a Christian I do. That is why every chance I get I want to show where their wishy-washy approach to life is not only incorrect, but detrimental to both the cause of Christ and to their own peace of mind (ironically!).
This morning, Justin Taylor of the Between Two Worlds blog (another blog definitely worth the time to read) quoted Kevin DeYoung, author of “Why We Love The Church” (one that is definitely on my reading list, if only I didn’t have to eventually sleep!) who took postmodern Christianity to task by illustrating the inconsistent nature of their criticisms of the traditional church. Not that there are not things that the traditional church can at least ponder and some things maybe even repent of, but if you are going to level criticism, make sure it is consistent with the Bible and at least with logic.
Here is Justin's post:
Kevin DeYoung, in Why We Love the Church (pp. 87-88, line breaks mine):
But then again, consistency is not a postmodern virtue. And nowhere is this more aptly displayed than in the barrage of criticisms leveled against the church.
The church-is-lame crowd hates Constantine and notions of Christendom, but they want the church to be a patron of the arts, and run after-school programs, and bring the world together in peace and love.
They bemoan the over-programmed church, but then think of a hundred complex, resource-hungry things the church should be doing.
They don’t like the church because it is too hierarchical, but then hate it when it has poor leadership.
They wish the church could be more diverse, but then leave to meet in a coffee shop with other well-educated thirtysomethings who are into film festivals, NPR, and carbon offsets.
They want more of a family spirit, but too much family and they’ll complain that the church is ‘inbred.’
They want the church to know that its reputation with outsiders is terrible, but then are critical when the church is too concerned with appearances.
They chide the church for not doing more to address social problems, but then complain when the church gets too political.
They want church unity and decry all our denominations, but fail to see the irony in the fact that they have left to do their own thing because they can’t find a single church that can satisfy them.
They are critical of the lack of community in the church, but then want services that allow for individualized worship experiences.
They want leaders with vision, but don’t want anyone to tell them what to do or how to think.
They want a church where the people really know each other and care for each other, but then they complain the church today is an isolated country club, only interested in catering to its own members.
They want to be connected to history, but are sick of the same prayers and same style every week.
They call for not judging “the spiritual path of other believers who are dedicated to pleasing God and blessing people,” and then they blast the traditional church in the harshest, most unflattering terms.
Excellent points all!
What is most striking to me is that by taking this approach to criticism of the traditional church, the Postmoderns refute their own argument. By their approach, they postulate that all truth is valid truth and that the details of your belief in Christ are not as important as what those beliefs mean to you. (Sounds like humanistic drivel if you ask me!) But, if all truth is valid truth, why is my belief in:
1. The literal, historical, Jesus, and His death, burial and resurrection (otherwise known as the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, our faith hinges on this point!),
2. The infallible, inerrant, Word of God known as the Bible, (the objective written standard on which our faith is built),
3. The doctrines of Grace as enumerated in the Scriptures, and espoused throughout the centuries by well respected Church fathers,
4. The doctrine of Justification by Grace, through Faith, and not of works, but unto good works, and among other things,
5. Truth is by definition objective, knowable, and ultimately exclusive,
Not a valid belief system? If all truth is valid truth, if you even HAVE a criticism of someone else’s belief system, isn't that a contradiction of your own? It looks at least like a validation of the objective, knowable, and exclusive nature of truth itself. They just may need to reevaluate their truth claims!