We’ve lived in a world no longer black and white for a long time now. From politics to religion we live in a world of every shade of gray. We slide deeper into the gray each and every year.
As evidence I need only to read the papers of the college students I teach. This year I took particular note. I gave the class an assignment to react to an article pointing out why one denomination was “right” and another one was “wrong.”
Wow, did I get some interesting reactions. More than ever in the past I had students angry at the author of the article. How could he judge another person’s theology? How could he judge my religion?
Even those that agreed with the author said things like, “Even though I practice the author’s religion, I respect other people for their beliefs.” There is no line drawn, no recognition of absolutes, no black and white. Have we become too tolerant?
In her book, Reaching Out without Dumbing Down, Marva Dawn uses a baseball analogy to show how postmodernism works:
A pre-modern umpire once said, “There’s balls and there’s strikes, and I calls’ em as they is.” Believing in absolute truth that could be found, earlier societies looked for evidence to discover that truth. A modern umpire would say instead, “There’s balls and there’s strikes, and I calls’em as I sees’ em.” For the modernist truth is to be found in ones own experience.
Now a postmodernist would say, There’s balls and there’s strikes, and they ain’t nothin’till I calls’em.” No truth exists unless we create it.”
Even students from a conservative, Christian university straddle the fence between modernism and post-modernism. What will happen when absolutely everything is tolerated? I fear that it will not end well.
There’s a reason that Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” He Himself is the dividing line between life and death, sin and forgiveness, black and white. And, as intolerant as it may sound, there are absolutes in life. They begin and end with God’s own Word…and with His Word made flesh.
Will pre-modernism ever make a return? Would you want it to?