My Sympathies with Postmodernism

I sympathize with Postmodern thought because at its best it describes how I think as a modern man. Neither I or anyone else I know believes in the power of a universal system of the kind that were tried between the 1920’s to 1970’s. All those systems failed disastrously into a vast abyss of incoherence, wasted money and spilt blood. Truths are better kept within localized spheres of relevance, relative to various groups- attempts at universal systems always end up pleasing nobody and usually are nothing other than power grabs, done more or less blindly, and which are therefore to be deconstructed by an analysis of the structure of the system and the beliefs it uses to justify itself. Any interaction with the system risks conceding too much to the system one deconstructs, and so we must deal with the various terms the system uses with the utmost care, for fear of conceding the truth of a single term which will by implication justify the whole system.  

Yet in the face of all this, the Christian is called to be a Light to the Nations. Paul boasted that he had become all things to all men- and yet in the face of this he spoke a single message. I don’t say this as a critique of Postmodernism. There just two things that I want to consider side by side for the moment.

1 Comment

  1. January 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

    And I completely sympathize with this post.

    I think one of the big problems with any form of knowledge now is that we are too historically and globally aware of what’s out there. Especially in theology nowadays, it is hard to say that x, y, or z has always been the universal tradition of the church: Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est. And development of doctrine often risks entering into the shadow of the Hegelian, historical dialectic, with the Church taking the place of the absolute State in this system.

    I think we can be witnesses of the truth without resorting to totalizing systems of thought that seek to roll over all differences. It just takes a little humility.

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