Postmodernism in the Church: A Hinderance to the Gospel

PostmodernismPostmodernism is a philosophical position in which meta-narratives are denied and hence absolute objective truth is illusory. If objective truth does exist, it is not possible for any one person to attain such a God’s Eye perspective on the world. With the denial of such objective truth, what is then highlighted are the individual sub-narratives of every person. People have their own individual truths or individual narratives all of which are equally valid. Unfortunately, such unbiblical denials of objective truth have infiltrated the church and have greatly hindered the effectiveness and proclamation of the Gospel.

Postmodernism (and its denial of objective truth) is diametrically opposed to a sound biblical worldview perspective yet many within the church have implicitly adopted such a poisonous position. Think about it. How can a position, which denies objective truth, be compatible with a worldview that claims the Bible is true and its negation is by extension false? How can one consistently affirm in one breath that Jesus is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:16) yet on the other hand, all other religious perspectives are equally valid given that they reflect different narratives other than our own. Indeed, this must be the case says the postmodernist, since there is no way to transcend our own perspectives and bias so as to see which worldview is in fact true to the exclusion of competing worldviews.

The danger comes when Christians adopt such philosophy. When objective truth is denied, the Gospel inevitably gets lost in the sea of opinion. The denial of objective truth drains the strength and uniqueness of the gospel message. When Christians then affirm that the Christian gospel is nothing more than just “our” opinion in regards to its truth, is to deny the God’s eye commentary on the world and the people within the world. The inherent sinfulness of men is no more a declaration of a righteous God that “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), but rather, it is an opinion that is equally valid with positions that are in opposition to itself. When the church adopts such illogical thinking, its witness to a lost and dying world is weakened and the weight and urgency of the gospel message is diminished.

The claims of the gospel as presented in scripture are objective claims that are true independent of the “other” narratives circulating throughout our society. And before one ridicules such dogmatic assertions, let us remember the fact that when it all boils down to it, every position held by an individual is dogmatic. Every position claims that it itself is true and its opposite is false. For example, when the postmodernist denies the reality of meta-narratives and claims that one cannot attain the true and objective nature of reality, they are in essence calling all worldviews that claim we can know reality truly to be false. Furthermore, when the postmodernist claims that objective truth is illusory, they are making a claim that is objectively either true or false. If truth about reality cannot be known…”Is that statement true?” If so, then the statement is false. If the statement is false, then no one is obligated to hold to it. Postmodernism and the denial of objective truth and meta-narratives self-destructs under the strict and objective standards of logic.

Christians need to be careful in their desire to not offend people, that they in turn actually offend God by denying his objectively true Word. Let us stand firm and not participate in the hinderance of the gospel by denying its objectivity and convicting power.

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