Thursday, July 3, 2008

Postmodern Culture is a Myth

The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unlivable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics. But, of course, that’s not postmodernism; that modernism! That’s just old-line verificationism, which held that anything you can’t prove with your five senses is a matter of personal taste. We live in a culture that remains deeply modernist.
— William Lane Craig,
“God Is Not Dead Yet”
Christianity Today (July 2008)
Many changes have been emerging in the western Church in recent years based on the notion that the world has gone “postmodern.” William Craig’s incisive comment lays bare that concept. Relativism and pluralism are applied, not across the board, as would be so if we truly were in a postmodern age. Rather, it is applied selectively, only to those things which cannot be verified by the empirical method—and that is the heart of modernism.

The problem with modernism, as it was before and is now, even under the new window dressing of “postmodernism,” is that the empirical method, or verificationism, cannot itself be verified by the empirical method. It cannot be proven by any of the five senses, so it falls under the weight of its own requirement: Since it cannot be proven by the senses, it must therefore be a matter of personal taste.

The answer to the problem posed as modernism, in its old and new forms, is not to back away from classical apologetics, but to continue upholding the reasonableness of the Christian faith.

We commend the work of Dr. Craig in this endeavor. He has written extensively in this field, and you can find some of his books here.