Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Postmodernism is a Myth Devised by Frustrated Youth Pastors"

Christian apologist William Lane Craig said something like this at a recent conference, "Post-modernism is a Myth Devised by Frustrated Youth Pastors". I would suspect that Dr. Craig is referring to the Emergent Village folks; Jones, Paggitt, et al. Craig says that the EV folks have misdiagnosed our culture. Craig contends that we have not entered a post-modern culture; rather, we are thoroughly modern. Now more than ever, he insists, we need to provide rational arguments for the Christian faith. We need not resort to vague narratives and stories. Craig should know. He picks debates at packed university venues around the world.

Since I think that 'Billy' is the bomb (Dr. Craig's wife affectionately calls him Billy), I have to sit up and take notice when he makes such a bold statement.

To my best recollection, Craig also indicated that rationalistic, enlightenment hope is alive and well.

I had suspected that Craig's view is a truer assessment of Western culture than the broad label 'post-modern'. We worship science. Like Napolean Dynamite's brother, Kip, we love technology, and we expect medical advancements to save our lives. Inventions have enriched our lives and good old-fashioned Enlightenment empiricism is even applied to the Church (church growth movement?).

I'm not a philosopher, but I think Craig is onto something here.


  1. I blogged on this too a bit. I've said for a few years that the post-modern way of living is too bankrupt to last. Like Craig said - when you accidentally eat rat poison, you better hope the words on the bottle mean something. I say instead - that what we have in America are many moderns who lack logic - not from stupidity as much as from laziness. So they easily believe illogical things (not that Tony Jones is such). Also, I'm not sure the Emergent church is really growing much - and I don't think it's reaching out much - or reaching across ethnic, social, or age boundaries. It wouldn't surprise me if it's pretty much dead in 20 years - or highly changed. I think Matt P said something to the affect that these guys were burned by evangelical Christianity and have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. At times I feel burned and want to join them - not really, but at least I feel burned and frustrated.

  2. I think it's the newest iteration of the sort of left-wing modernism -- neo-orthodoxy -- that infected the old denominations in the 1920s and 1930s, mixed with what used to be called Romanticism.