This is a follow-up blog to the previous one on the DaVinci Code. If you read any of the posted comments you noticed a mention of post-modernism. This may or may not mean anything to you, but it is the term coined in an attempt to identify our current cultural mind set.
I do not know a textbook definition of post-modernism, but I do recognize it when I see it. It is a skepticism that questions basically everything and views truth as a subjective choice rather than any kind of moral absolute. “Is” (if you recall the words of our former president) can have another meaning and the truth about God can just as easily be found in a book about a code as in a book called the Bible. In fact it is not necessarily a truth that brings fulfillment, it is the search for that truth and it is the knowledge acquired along the way that elevates- hence the shades of gnosticism that many have noticed.
At first glance post-modernism may see to be truly a horrific evil. Anything that questions the validity of Scripture cannot seem to be a good thing. But in reality there is an element of post-modern thinking that can be good- not only is the truth taught by Scripture challenged, but so too is the “truth” of Darwinism or the “truth” of other sciences and philosophy. Nothing is sacred, but nothing is necessarily dismissed either and in this environment the Christian message can make major inroads.
But don’t take my word for it- there is a precedent- back in the first century. The more I learn about first century culture the more I am convinced that 21st century culture mirrors it in numerous ways. The societal climate of the first century was multi-cultural, poly-theistic and- can I say it- post-modern. Go back to Mar’s Hill and Paul’s exchange with the Greek philosophers. There were a plurality of “truths” represented on that hill yet Paul had some success with his presentation of the gospel. They didn’t enthusiastically embrace it, but they didn’t totally discount it either. They were open to discussing it further. I see the same opportunities now.
We have to be wise however. “Churchy” talk usually doesn’t connect to post-moderns. We have to educate ourselves to speak in their language- like Paul did on Mar’s Hill. This takes us back full circle. Maybe we do need to read the DaVinci Code. Paul was well versed in the philosophers of his time.
Post-modernism is here to stay- for a while anyway- but instead of despairing let’s take God’s truth through the door it is opening and see what happens. I believe God’s Word is up to the challenge.
I would greatly enjoy your thoughts on this topic.