SOCIETY: Darkness At Noon: Postmodernism (3 parts) (Mohler, 051206)


THEME: Postmodernism has dominated our culture and has tried to expel Christian faith from the public arena. It is a mind-closing tyranny. The true church of Christ must stand up on the Word of God and must not be compliant to these cultural trends.




Where can we see the signs of postmodernism in the society?

·         We live in a time of prosperity; we live in a time of trouble. We are no longer seeing the first signs of cultural trouble, but rather the indicators of advanced decay. We are living in the midst of an intense season of cultural, political, and moral conflict because postmodernism and Christian faith.

·         A central dimension of this reality is the dawning of a post-Christian age. The society has become so secularized that they can only be described as post-Christian in composition, in culture, in theme, and in worldview and understanding. We can look to the nations of Western Europe and see what a post-Christian culture begins to look like

·         Look at the cultural elites—the political elites, the legal elites, the judicial, academic, and entertainment elites—look at them, and you will realize that they are largely post-Christian in their mentality.

·         Postmodernism redefines everything, including truth, beauty, dignity, and marriage. It is expressed in art and music and literature.


·         We understand the challenge of postmodernism to Christian truth.

·         Tolerance is perverted into a radical secularism that is anything but tolerant.

·         The main pillar is dedication to moral relativism, and an understanding that truth has no objective or absolute basis whatsoever.



What can be used to demonstrate the closing of the postmodern mind?

·         Nihilistic philosophy of literary deconstructionism: it is the reader who comes to the text with meaning and determines what will be found within the text.

·         Unfortunately, deconstructionism has also found its way into many pulpits. It is now up to us to decide what it should mean, so we can turn the Biblical text on its head. The biblical text, they argue, has to be understood in terms of our modern understanding. Modern psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and cultural studies have something to bring to the interpretation of the text, they argue, something to tell us which the human authors of Scripture missed.


Rev 22:18-19

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.


·         The closing of the postmodern mind is the opposite of what postmodernism claimed to be its aspiration. Postmodernism claimed that this new postmodern age—with the end of modernity, the demise of scientific objectivity, and the openness to new forms and understandings of truth—would lead to an opening of the mind. But as is always the case, the totalitarian opening of the mind always ends with the radical closing of the mind.

·         In the world of postmodernism, all institutions are plastic, and all principles are liquid. We can reshape anything. Nothing is given. Nothing is objective. We can take any institution, be it government or church, or marriage, or family, and we can make of it what we will.

·         Across much of Western Europe there is legislation in which it is can be considered a crime to speak of the sinfulness of any sexual lifestyle, and of homosexuality in particular.

·         In Belgium and the Netherlands, there are now official protocols for killing children and infants in hospitals. 31 percent of pediatricians have admitted to killing babies, and 45 percent of neonatologists have admitted to euthanizing infants—even without informing the parents that that is what happened to their child.

·         A recently published book by Sam Harris entitled The End of Faith even claimed that faith itself is a form of terrorism, and that the United States can no longer afford its long cherished ideal of religions toleration and religious liberty. Thus, secularism is trying to restrict religious freedom.


How has the church react to postmodernist domination of the culture?

·         In the past decades, the church has surrendered in a spirit of cultural compliance. If we continue to be complacent in this culture, if we are compliant in the face of its demands and expectations, then there will be no preaching of the gospel.

·         The secular argument—which is the prevalent position in the academy—and argues that Christians have no right to make Christian arguments in the public square.

·         [The society accepts only secularist arguments, forgetting secularism too is a religion.]

·         [example: a jurist was accused of biased because he considered the sentence using his Christian principles.]

·         There are many who will say that what must be pressed in this debate over same-sex marriage are the deleterious social effects of undermining marriage – and leave all theologically-based arguments out of the picture. That argument, however, is not only wrong in principle, it is a pragmatic failure.

·         Any church that would normalize and celebrate what Scripture condemns has set itself in direct opposition to revelation, reason, and the witness of the martyrs. Many churches have been just that.

·         The entire biblical truth claim is under assault in today’s culture. We see the tightening grip in the tenacity of all this onslaught. We see a culture that increasingly loves darkness rather than the light. We can see the logic of the culture, and we can see that the church has been compliant too long.

·         In a post-Christian age, confronted with the challenge of the postmodern mind, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is called to be a post-compliant people. Anything less is just another form of spiritual surrender.


What should our reaction be?

·         We tend to swing like a pendulum between a naive optimism and a wrongful pessimism. In reality, we have no right to be either optimistic or pessimistic. To be either optimistic or pessimistic is to be deluded, and in some sense to deny the sovereignty of God.

·         We have no right to be optimistic, but we have no right not to be hopeful.

·         Be ready, be alert, be watchful. Be a watchman on the wall. Have your eyes open. Be ready for action.


What are the main points in postmodernism? (from reading last year)

·         Rejection of Reason & Objectivity: There is no single world view that captures reality. Reason is to be distrusted because there is no way to know which person’s reason is reliable. There is no such thing as objectivity.

·         Rejection of Absolute Truth: There is no “truth” to appeal to for understanding history and culture. There are no moral absolutes. Everything is relative.

·         Suspicion towards Ideas: Ideas are cultural creations. Texts, whether religious or philosophical or literary, do not have intrinsic meaning. We need to be deeply suspicious of all ideas given the way that ideas are used as tools to oppress and confine humans.




CHURCH: Sorry, Athanasius - It’s Not Over (Mohler)


THEME: Mainline Protestantism continues its slide into doctrinal oblivion. This is illustrated by the heretic moderator of the United Church of Canada.




What has happened to mainline churches?

·         Over the past century, virtually every essential doctrine of the Christian faith has been denied by liberal theologians and church leaders, usually without sanction.


How is the moderator Phipps heretical?

·         Phipps denied the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the existence of heaven and hell, and, most directly, the deity of Christ.

·         “I don’t believe Jesus is the only way to God. I don’t believe he rose from the dead as scientific fact.” After being criticized, he apologized, for hurt feelings but not for heresy and is unrepentant.


How did the church react?

·         Evangelicals are outraged, and have accused the moderator of standing outside both the Bible and the denomination’s statement of faith. Their outrage, however, has been lost on the United Church’s bureaucracy.

·         The church’s General Council stood behind the moderator, noting that “Rarely, if ever, do we use doctrinal standards to exclude anyone from the circle of belonging.” Evidently, the doctrinal standards of the United Church of Canada are there for the taking or the leaving-even for the moderator.

·         The true scandal is in the church’s refusal to deal with the heresy and call the moderator to account. This doctrinal cowardice indicates just how far the church has fallen, and how empty its confession now stands.

·         Athanasius, the great bishop theologian who opposed the Arian heretics in the fourth century, triumphed over the heresy at the Council of Nicaea. But not a few years afterwards, the same doctrinal problem occurred.

·         Conclusion: True believers can only escape from these churches. In evangelical churches, everyone must be alert and stop any slightest tendency to heresy.