The following is the abstract for a paper I wrote for one of my DMin classes at Grace Theological Seminary. I think it is a subject that is going to be very important for those of us in ministry.
To read the paper, please click here:
The Effect of the Postmodern Concept of Truth on the Stand of the Church Against Public Moral Issues
The concept of absolute and transcendent truth is foundational for the church and necessary for its existence. This concept has been challenged, however, by the postmodern mindset is that there is no absolute, foundational, or overarching truth that is applicable to every person throughout all of time. To the postmodern, “truths” are fluid and relative, and are nothing more than constructs of a person’s background, training, and community.
A rejection of transcendent truth necessitates a rejection of Scripture, which serves as the authoritative guide for the church. It is through Scripture that God reveals Himself and the truth that man needs to know. Deconstruction, which searches out apparent inconsistencies in speech or a text, further destroys confidence in the Bible. Deconstruction allows people to derive their own personal meanings from the text rather than seek to determine the authoritative intent of the authors. When personal and erroneous interpretations of the Bible are accepted as valid, the Scriptures no longer guide the church and the lives of Christians.
Since the church is based upon the authority of the Bible and this authority is questioned by rejection of absolute truth, the church itself has been weakened. Without a solid foundation, many Christians no longer take a firm stand on the moral issues that are discussed in the Bible. As a result, the influence of the church on the community has been destroyed. Three prevalent ramifications of this are the debates over creation (which gives man dignity), homosexuality, and abortion. Society in America today is willing to accept evolution, homosexuality, and abortion because it no longer recognizes the authority of the Word of God. Unfortunately, Christians are increasingly coming into agreement with society. Far worse, many Christians and Christian organizations are even offering support to these anti-biblical ideas.
The remedy for this unfortunate situation is for individual Christians to stand against the mentality of postmodernism and return to acceptance of truth and the authority of the Scriptures. Church leaders need to take charge by instructing their people about the nature of truth and the fact that God has revealed truth through the Scriptures. In churches, the Bible must be taught as fact rather than just stories or general concepts of how God has worked in history.
Christians also need to learn how to speak in language that postmoderns understand, but without validating their false beliefs. This may be best accomplished through non-verbal means such as emphasizing the biblical concept of community and living out fundamentally held beliefs. While those with a postmodern mindset may reject the existence of truth, they will inevitably come upon difficult times in their lives. During these times they need to know that Christians have a message that is based upon reality.