Postmodernism for Dummies

I recently enjoyed a jog with Phil Johnson, and I found this lecture to be quite helpful. Johnson contrasts three distinct eras of thought: premodernity, modernity and postmodernity. In the process, he demonstrates why postmodernism is even more antithetical to Christianity than modernism. He warns about the influence of the emergent church in general and Brian McLaren in particular, citing shocking statements from McLaren’s own writings. He provides the following summary of the three lines of thinking:

Phil Johnson Chart

Finally, he makes some stellar statements regarding the relationship between postmodernism (or any other ism) and biblical Christianity. He urges Bible believers to oppose postmodernism just as our forebears opposed modernism. And he insists that any adaptation of Christianity to the spirit of the age does not promote our message, but perverts it.

“The postmodernist way of looking at the world is…fundamentally anti-Christian. And if anything, postmodernism is worse than modernism ever was.”

“It’s one thing to understand the spirit of the age, and quite another to adapt to it.”

“The Christian message has always been out-of-step with the times. That was true even before the modern era. The message of the cross is an offense. To the rationalistic Greeks who desired wisdom and to the mystical Jews who seek after a sign, we have only one legitimate message to give. It is the preached message of Christ crucified–to the Jews a stumblingblock and to the Greeks foolishness. Let’s acknowledge that. Let’s embrace it. The gospel has always been out-of-step with the wisdom of this world. But the foolishness of God is wiser than the men and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Let’s have confidence in that truth. And let’s not be seduced by the subtle arguments of those who are willing to give up everything that is true and clear and authoritative and certain. ‘We have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto you would do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.'”

Good stuff!

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4 Responses

  1. Postmodernism is idolatry as it worships people.

  2. but thanks for summarizing! It really helped (for school)!

  3. […] This lecture by Phil Johnson (which I blogged on here) is another helpful synopsis of both secular Postmodernism and it’s pseudo-evangelical […]

  4. […] Image from Chris Anderson, “Postmodernism for Dummies,” My Two Cents, December 12, 2006, accessed January 7, 2017, https://mytwocents.wordpress.com/2006/12/12/postmodernism-for-dummies/. […]

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