Vern Poythress’ Quotes on Modernity and Postmodern Failures in Sociology and Missiology

Responding to postmodernism’s claim that religions must be tamed from making exclusive claims on truth:

But they can be tamed only be a strong claim, namely, that religions are merely cultural preferences, since no one can know religious truth. That claim is itself a kind of religious claim, since it claims to see deeper than the adherents to any one religion. It is a godlike claim to godlike insight. So this kind of popular postmodernist recipe for cultural peace is a counterfeit for the peace and reconciliation offered in the Christian gospel. Both the postmodernist recipe and Christian faith want to promote reconciliation among diverse cultures. One, the Christian form, finds reconciliation through the work of God in Christ, and the spiritual power to love and to crucify pride. The other, a postmodern recipe, finds reconciliation in a self-achieved godlike vision of the nature of religion and language and knowledge (Redeeming Sociology 138-139).

The Christian Evangelical path:

We are to strive through the gospel to bring genuine reconciliation to people groups through cultural unity in diversity and diversity in unity. We replicate in human beings the glory of the unity and diversity in the Godhead. This unity in diversity offers an answer that differs from other common answers abroad today. Our answer differs from forced uniformity, which some people think they can attain through autonomous reason. That hope for uniformity is the answer associated with what has been called modernism. Our answer also differs from the popular recipe of tolerance, which celebrates diversity but gives up on universal truth (Redeeming Sociology  142).

© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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