Andy Parker’s Concluding Thoughts on Postmodernism

Webster’s defines a lapdog as a, 1.) small dog that may be held in the lap, and 2.) a servile dependent or follower. As I think of the wayward pundits of postmodernism I can’t help but have the image of lapdogs in my mind. Anybody that has seen a lapdog knows they are usually fuzzy, yippy little things that always infect the air with an unpleasant odor. These dogs usually stand low to the ground and as a result generally wreak of their own urine. As the false teachers and vain philosophers of postmodernism seek to destroy the very notion of absolute truth they reveal whom their father is and on whose lap they sit. These vexatious teachers look harmless from a distance and perhaps even friendly and warm, but when one gets closer they feel the air become heavy with a putrid stench and their ears are bombarded by a belligerent bark.

These lapdogs have one goal in mind and that is to divert the glory that rightfully belongs to God and place it on autonomous man. At the heart of postmodernism is the rejection of modernity. There is the old dictum, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but regrettably this is not the case with postmodernity. It is true that modernism was no friend of Christianity. Modernism sought truth without God and took every opportunity to attack God and the Christian worldview. Postmodernity has seen all the devastation which modernity has caused through world wars, totalitarian regimes and state sponsored genocide. Thus, postmodernity has rejected the cancerous effects of modernity. “The irony is delicious,” writes D. A. Carson, “The modernity which has arrogantly insisted that human reason is the final arbiter of truth has spawned a stepchild that has risen to slay it.”[1]

Although postmodernity rightly criticizes modernity we must never become confused and see these teachers as friends of Christianity. This also goes for the ones that come to us claiming to bear the divine name of Christ and look as harmless as lapdogs. Where modernity sought truth without God postmodernity seeks God without truth. In all honesty, both are damned because they equally hate God.

If any postmodern eyes happen to run across this paper I am sure they will point to me and say, that is exactly what we are talking about! This guy is everything that is wrong with orthodoxy! To which I kindly respond with a smile. In order to disagree with my assessment one must first believe that I am wrong. In order to do this they must think and then respond in propositional form. If my assessment of postmodernism is wrong then they must believe that I have misinterpreted what they are saying. But in order for them to do this they must, at the same time, admit that they did intend to communicate meaning through their writings or their speech and that I don’t have the right to misconstrue what they were trying so desperately to communicate. Thus, they continually try to communicate truth claims to their audience but they do so under the false guise of neutrality. Like a master magician using the art of misdirection these seemingly harmless lapdogs attempt to gain our trust by striking down the false straw men they have created all the while bringing in an anti-Christian doctrine in through the backdoor.

These heretics call doctrine as interesting as grass clippings while creating and communicating doctrines of their own. Their problem is not with doctrine per se, but rather with Christian doctrine. The fact that one would have to render obedience to a divine Creator is repulsive to them. Thus, they seek to create their own doctrines. For all of their false humility they are really in open rebellion against God.

Postmodernism claims to be enlightened, and fundamental to their doctrine is the disciple of ethics. What they are really preaching, however, is really just moralistic therapeutic deism. After denying that truth exists, and putting the Bible on par with a fairytale these fuzzy mutts have no standard on which to base their ethic. Their constant appeals fall on deaf ears. How do I know what I ought to do? They can’t appeal to the Bible because they have admitted that it has no authority, and is errant, fallible, not revealed by God, subjective, relative, and mythological.

If they can’t appeal to the Scriptures to whom will they appeal? They can’t appeal to God. They have already affirmed that there are no absolute truths, and that we can’t be sure of anything that claims to be revealed by God. So how do we know how we ought to act? Is it an inner light? Perhaps a burning in the bosom? But without the Holy Scriptures they are left without any foundation to interpret this inner light. Maybe its God, maybe it is Satan, or maybe it is just indigestion! The fact of the matter is that without the Scriptures fallen man is left in the middle of the ocean without a life raft.

Postmodern writers like McLaren often quote Scripture, but this then presents the obvious question, Why? If the Bible is simply a series of stories that are not factual or historic why appeal to them at all to convince others your doctrine is correct? This is like saying, “This car accident never took place and let me tell you whose fault it is.” Statements like these make no sense whatsoever and yet postmoderns make them all the time.

Psotmoderns tell us that we should live better lives, and awaken the giant within. Why? I don’t know – they haven’t really provided an answer. This is in direct opposition to the Bible which presents an eternal Triune ontological God who is there and has chosen to reveal Himself by power and glory. He has created all things to reveal His glory. Thus, all of man is derivative and dependent. Man’s being is dependent upon God’s being. Man’s knowing is dependent upon God’s knowing. Man’s will is dependent upon the Divine will.

Adam denied this and sought to be autonomous and turned to the devil, who is the father of all lies, as his source of truth. Thus, man is in spiritual darkness and ethical alienation from God. All truth must correspond to God, and through God’s divine common grace He keeps man from the logical conclusion of their worldviews and allows them to function within the world He created. It is through God’s divine saving grace that one is able to know true truth – and have a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus have their minds illumined through the Scriptures. Any attempt at moralism outside of the Scriptures is a cry on deaf ears. Therefore, all gospel preaching requires that we first call sinners in ethical alienation from God to repent and believe in the source of all truth, Jesus Christ.

Postmodern teachers are spiritual vagabonds vacillating from place to place. They paint Jesus as a wise sage that looks more like Oprah upon closer inspection. They have created a theology that looks like Frankenstein’s monster and they have done so by raping Christian terms of their meaning. Because they have a thin veneer of Christian gloss they seem somewhat fuzzy and warm from a distance, but let us never forget upon whose lap these filthy little mutts are sitting!

[1] Ibid., (D. A. Carson), 100.

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