Saturday, October 26, 2013

Concerning Faith, Doubt & Certainty: The Failure of Postmodern Logic

Postmodernism in the theological sense is the idea that nothing is certain, that everything is an “experience” & a “journey”. Postmodernism advocates that if there is absolute truth, it is ultimately unknowable.
It is called postmodernism indicating that it is after or beyond modern. Modernism & Postmodernism aren’t so much timeframes as much as they are frames of mind...or epistemological approaches.
Postmodernists claim that theology & approaches to God & religion have experienced a period where it seemed the goal was to reach conclusions, to understand truth & certainty. Postmodernists claim that is the wrong approach & that instead it is about the “journey”.
A quote from a postmodernist I know is as follows:
“Because the argument is ultimately reduced to the dichotomy of certainty and doubt, we end up rejecting the very substance of faith, which is mystery. It is something to be embraced, not shunned, and that is something Modernism has excelled at doing. I thank God that enough Christians are seeing some of the values of Postmodernism and are starting embrace faith, mystery and doubt without fear.” (postmodernist logic)
The logic behind this postmodernist quote is that “faith is a mystery” & ultimately faith, mystery & doubt are antonyms of certainty. At first this may all sound very intellectual but it is all predicated on false definitions of faith, mystery & doubt.
The Bible DOESN’T compare faith with doubt, but rather with certainty.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
In the Bible, faith is defined as fidelity not a blind-leap or opposite or certainty. Fidelity is loyalty as in marriage. Imagine if a spouse was constantly trying to deconstruct/doubt their marriage – what would that do to fidelity?
Of course, since the postmodernist uses a secularized form of faith instead of the Heb 11:1 definition, the postmodernist erroneously builds on the false premise. In the end, a postmodernist approach, which calls us to “embrace doubt”, is anti-Christian & leads to functional atheism, no matter how “religious” the person may appear.
As for mystery, the Bible defines mystery more as the “unrevealed” but when Jesus came to earth, He came to fulfill & reveal. He then appointed apostles & sent the Holy Spirit to be the foundation of the REVEALED Christian Faith. (Eph 2:20, Eph 4:11-15, 2 Thes 2:15, John 16:13)
And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables (Mark 4:11)
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began (Romans 16:25, see also; 1 Cor 2:7, Eph 1:9, Eph 3 especially Eph 3:4-5,9-11)
To the postmodernist, we are STILL operating as if we were in mystery mode, rather it seems postmodernism is to be likened “to those who are outside, all things come in parables” – or riddles or “puzzles” which they feel like they can never really put together or even suppose to put together.
The postmodernist approach to Christianity is completely unbiblical -- & that label is not thrown out as an aspersion on postmodernism, but as we see from the many passages quoted above, postmodernism epitomizes the OPPOSITE of Hebrews 11:1.
God is knowable in as much as He has revealed of Himself & we know that God came in the form of Christ for the very purpose of revealing to those to “whom it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.” So, don’t doubt, don’t dwell in mystery & confusion but embrace faith & certainty & surety. Embrace REAL Christianity, a finished journey where Christ came & was tested in all ways as we & lived & died & rose again on our behalf. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
For more on this subject, listen to Mark Driscoll's speech on the Emergent Movement:

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