Sunday, October 31, 2010

Post modern poison - part 3

A group that is often looked to as buying into the post modern poison is the Emergent Church. Not all within the movement would buy into the reletivizing of truth. Many young people have gravitated toward the movement simply because so many in the Church have presented a judgmental and legalistic code. Nevertheless, aspects of the Emergent movement seem to espouse that the grand metanarritive of the Christianity can't exist.

By far the most prominent leader of this group is Brian McLaren. Philosopher John Caputo has this to say about the Emergent movement and Brian McLaren, " I try to be a philosophical consultant for them whenever they ask my advice. Brian McLaren is a good friend of mine, and a lot of people I’m quite close to and really help as much as I can."[1] McLaren is at the forefront of what seems to be an acceptance of postmodern philosophy. McLaren states, "I think that most Christians grossly misunderstand the philosophical baggage associated with terms like absolutism or objective....Similarly, arguments that pit absolutism verses relativism, and objectivism verses subjectivism, prove meaningless or absurd to post modern people."[2] What's interesting is that the statement by McLaren is one that is objective in nature. McLaren consistently dodges clear statements in the Bible, concerning truth claims of the gospel writers. What appears to be McLarens road, is to present watered down truth, so as not to offend others.

Staying away from offending others seems to be the thrust of the Emergent post modern philosophy. John Caputo nicely sums up the philosophy by saying, "There’s a group of young evangelicals who are restless with the elders. They think the elders are racist and sexist and homophobic and xenophobic, and they’re sick of it. And they don’t think that the point of the New Testament is to ban gay marriages, it must have some broader point than that. It must mean something more than that. And they’ve gotten much more interested in peace and justice issues and in the spirit of the Kingdom of God, and they look to progressives like Brian McLaren to show them some alternative, what Brian calls “more generous orthodoxies”.So the orthodoxy is bad news. The orthodoxy means beating people over the head, blackmailing them with the fear of eternal damnation, making them get in line. There’s a group of mostly young people, younger evangelicals who are sick of that, and they want to hear something else. So there’s an opportunity."[3]

While it is true that Christians should not beat individuals up, it is also true that God's Word is offensive to those who are perishing (2 Cor. 2:15-16). If the post modern philosophy is embraced by McLaren or others, the poison KoolAid of post modern philosophy is taken by denying God's grand metarrative of truth.

[1] John Caputo interview
[2] Christianity Today (November 2004), p. 42-43
[3] John Caputo interview
* Interesting Brian McLaren interview

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