I’ve been commenting at other blogs about postmodernity lately.
Over at Every Thought Captive, Phil Steiger takes on Myron Penner’s post on Postmodern Apologetics at the blog-book, A New Kind of Conversation. I interact with him on things like the role of Reason in our apologetic, false dichotomies, and whether or not the modern philosophical paradigm has lead to evils. Phil is thoughtful and our disussions are always very good.
Over at that book-blog (A New Kind of Conversation), I’ve submitted my “Emmanuel Apologetic” as comments to that Myron Penner post on apologetics. Someone not yet convinced of the authenticity of postmodern philosophy named “Al” has taken some of my thoughts to task, which I appreciate. So, we've been dialoguing back and forth.
Here’s an excerpt:
Al Sunday, November 20, 2005 09:50 AM
RE:An Emmanuel Apologetic
Can anyone help me from an Emmanuel Apologetic or Postmodern Evangelical perspective to address the following three current apologetic issues:
1. The Jesus Seminar and Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code." Both of these have captured the allegiance of millions of enthusiasts in our midst who are fleeing from Christian communities with their very unorthodox view of Jesus, including my niece an nephew.
2. The naturalist materialism that has sucha firm grip on our educational and scientific establishments that they seem to be uterly unwilling to consider any evidence that suggest intelligent design in the cosmos and the biosphere.
3. The anti-heterosexist crusade that seeks to ban from public education, media government, and anywhere in the public square all expressions of preference for heterosexual marriage. My grand-kids are being taught this in books and class in public school.
How do Emmanuel Apologetics or Postmodern Evangelical perspectives address these current issues in our midst?
Bob Robinson Sunday, November 20, 2005 12:05 PM [11.13]
RE:An Emmanuel Apologetic
To the Jesus Seminar and DaVinci Code apologists, I’d say that of course there are reasoned arguments that clearly refute them. But our intellectual and reasoned arguments mean little to nothing if we are not displaying the true Jesus before them as a community of believers. To merely have “better arguments” reduces the situation to bantering and who has better debating skills. But to have a kerygma that projects “this is the real Christ-—compassion and love and a resurrection life filled with hope” gives credence to our reasoned statements that simply cannot be argued with. I submit that the reason Crossan and Brown get a hearing is because the Christian community has done such a poor job in being Emmanuel in this world. The plausibility of their counter to Christianity exists because the Christian “God With Us” witness has been so implausible (it has been so poorly lived out).
To the naturalist/materialist that cannot accept an intelligent designer, we simply dismiss them as too modern and unable to accept the mysterious and supernatural. Modern Darwinist theory will die under the weight of postmodernity, since it is so dependent on naturalist/materialist causes. Darwinism is the epitome of modern thought—the idea that we can arrive at “Truth” through objective science. It does not allow for a “subject” to exist that cannot be examined objectively, that is, a Creator who made the world out of his love. This "Truth" cannot be found through objective science alone; it is found in the story He reveals to us (both in the Scriptures and in the very Creation we study). When we counter with nothing more than another scientific debate, appealing to “Reason” instead of the wonder of the story, then it again is reduced to bantering and who has better debating skills. Not that we cannot appeal to the wonder of the design in Creation, but that cannot be the primary apologetic; it is the secondary apologetic.
To the "anti-heterosexist crusaders," we must live out a loving marital heterosexual life that shows that traditional marriage models true love more than any other kind of “love” that people presume exists. Any other argument without that primary proclamation sounds hallow. By the way, we evangelicals have done a VERY POOR job of doing this, since our divorce rate is as high, if not higher, than the general public. No wonder people scoff at our attempts to tell them that God’s preference is heterosexuality, since we have not portrayed a very good “Emmanuel Apologetic” in that regard!
technorati: emerging church, postmodernity, apologetics