A Post--Post-Modern Post
Has it ever troubled you that post-modern thinking is not a logically consistent mode of thought?
I mean, post-modernism claims that you cannot know anything... except the fact that you can't know anything. That kind of statement cannot be sustained, and in fact, a way of thinking based upon this maxim doesn't really work. Let me see if I can illustrate what I am saying.
Post-modernism seems well characterized by the analogy of the group of six blind-men who bumped into and encountered an elephant one day. The first blind man put out his hands and felt the side of the elephant and declared, "An elephant is like a wall." The second blind man put out his hand and grasped the trunk of the elephant and said, "No, an elephant is like a snake." The third blind man put out his hands and touched the tusk of the elephant, observing, "It's sharp! An elephant is like a spear." The fourth blind man bumped into and reached around a leg of the elephant saying, "an elephant is like a tree." The fifth blind man felt over an ear of the elephant. "How wide and thin!" He said, "An elephant is like a fan." The sixth blind man was hit by the tail and grabbed it saying, "An elephant is like a rope."
The point of the parable is that all are right and all are wrong at the same time because they cannot grasp the reality. Post-modernism claims that reality for people is like the elephant encounter that these blind men had. The only thing you can be sure of is that no one can actually be sure they understand it. They go on to say it is arrogant to claim certain knowledge about anything. The only viewpoint that cannot be correct (according to post-modern thinking) is the one which claims to actually be exclusive truth. They say this is the one line you cannot cross, you cannot have certainty that you are right and others are wrong.
The problem with this thinking, of course, is seen within the parable itself! The person who tells the story (i.e. the post-modern thinker) is actually another, unmentioned, character in the story. The narrator constitutes a 7th man, and he is the only person who SEES both the elephant and the blind men for what they really are! In other words, post-modernism, unwittingly becomes the most arrogant of all claims! It says there can be no exclusive claims, but this itself IS an exclusive claim. According to the parable, everyone is blind EXCEPT for the post-modern thinker! How much more arrogant can you get?
The person who says "no one can really know" is actually making just as bold, and just as arrogant, and just as grand a claim as the one who says "I know what this means." There is no difference between one who claims to know exclusive truth and one who claims "no one can know exclusive truth." The notable difference is that one position is not self-contradictory while the other is. Post-modern thinking contradicts itself by its own maxim, whereas pre-modern thinking at least is self-consistent with tis view that exclusive truth exists and can be known. Perhaps equally troubling is the attitude created by post-modernism of pride in having "more knowledge" about it than anyone foolish enough to claim to have found the answer. This makes them less likely to engage in honest dialogue because of their surety, whereas those who admit truth can be known ought to be able to discuss and debate the facts rationally.
So, lets say you begin where a post-modern person does, with the belief that nothing can be known apart from that which is personally experienced (and even that is subject to doubt because our senses can lie). Even in that way the Bible can withstand the post-modern investigation. They can try out what the New Testament teaches and see if it works in their own experience, and it will. When it does, then they have to consider how this book gained such insight into the human nature and mind to be able to have accurately portrayed something so complex as humanity and reality some 2000 years ago.
This would lead the post-modern thinker back to the idea which the text itself suggests, that it is of divine origin, and would engender a trust in the text and its author at ever deepening levels which will eventually lead back to pre-modern thinking in that respect.
My point is this: post-modernism cannot survive on its own; it will either lead back to a reasonable way of thinking or it will end with insanity, because it is not a logically stable position.
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just some thoughts from the minister with the Ft Cobb church of Christ.