Is Postmodernism for real?

[D]on’t we live in a postmodern culture in which…appeals to traditional apologetic arguments are no longer effective?  Since postmodernists reject the traditional canons of logic, rationality, and truth, rational arguments for the truth of Christianity no longer work!  Rather in today’s culture we should simply share our narrative and invite people to participate in it.”

William Lane Craig responds:

In my opinion, this sort of thinking could not be more mistaken.  The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unlivable.  Nobody is a postmodernist when it comes to reading the labels on a medicine bottle versus a box of rat poison.  If you’ve got a headache, you’d better believe that texts have objective meaning!  People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they’re relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics.  But that’s not postmodernism; that’s modernism!  That’s just old-line Positivism and Verificationism, which held that anything you can’t prove with your five senses is just a matter of individual taste and emotive expression.  We live in a cultural milieu which remains deeply modernist.  People who think that we live in a postmodern culture have thus seriously misread our cultural situation.

Indeed, I think that getting people to believe that we live in a postmodern culture is one of the craftiest deceptions that Satan has yet devised.  “Modernism is passe,” he tells us.  “You needn’t worry about it any longer.  So forget about it!  It’s dead and buried.”  Meanwhile, modernism, pretending to be dead, comes around again in the fancy new dress of postmodernism, masquerading as a new challenger.  “Your old arguments and apologetics are no longer effective against this new arrival,” we’re told.  “Lay them aside; they’re of no use.  Just share your narrative!”  Indeed, some, weary of the long battles with modernism, actually welcome the new visitor with relief.  And so Satan deceives us into voluntarily laying aside our best weapons of logic and evidence, thereby ensuring unawares modernism’s triumph over us.  If we adopt this suicidal course of action, the consequences for the church in the next generation will be catastrophic.  Christianity will be reduced to but another voice in a cacophony of competing voices, each sharing its own narrative and none commending itself as the objective truth about reality, while scientific naturalism shapes our culture’s view of how the world really is. (emphasis added)

from Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

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