2007-03-02

The End of Postmodernism?

I think I have stopped believing in the promise of postmodernism. It is a dead end, a self-defeating denial that only exists as a protest movement against the naïve humanism of post-enlightenment modernity.

Postmodernism, at its worst and most hypocritical, is:
- The univocal, universal, dogmatic proclamation (by primarily upper-middle class Western European males) of egalitarian pluralism for all cultures and all peoples at all times;
- A complete unified metanarrative about the complete impossibility of unified metanarratives;
- Methodological doubt about everything and everyone except one's method of doubt;
- The construction of a method to deconstruct all other methods;
- A wax nose bent to escape responsibility for the use of power;
- The claim that it is absolute Truth that all Truth is relative;
- Hypocrisy justified by denying justification.

Jesus once said that "A house divided against itself cannot stand", and postmodernism is inherently divided itself by all of the logical contradictions (and more) that I have listed above. In short, postmodernism deconstructs itself, leaving us nothing at all... absolute nihilism.

I also have this sneaking suspicion that this postmodern deconstruction is the direct, logical, genetic, unavoidable great-great-great grandchild of Protestantism, which in turn is a descendant of nominalism. But that is blog for another day.

This is not to say that there are not things to be learned from postmodernism. The drive for authentic community, the suspicion of claims to authority, and the openness to mystery and spirituality are just a few of the nice things that have grown out of the last 40 years of sustained critique of the modern project.

Now it is time to move on and integrate what we have learned. It is not enough to deconstruct what is wrong, one must attempt to construct what is right. Modernism and her assumptions have shattered and fractured in the beautiful mess that is postmodernism. It is time to pick up the pieces, and retrieve the materials that modernism cast aside, and construct a new paradigm- a new map for reality.

What will this map look like? I assume it will include what is best about modernity, as well as what is best about classical Greco-Roman thought, what is best about classical Christian thought, and it will include in ever increasing measure what is best about Asian and Islamic thought.

What will we call this next Age of human thought? I don't know. Perhaps "The Age of Integration".

But then again. I don't know. These are just my random thoughts over dinner tonight.
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This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.