I remember reading Stanley Grenz’s Primer on Postmodernism in seminary and being impressed with his clear exposition of the postmodern spirit of the age. I knew that the atmosphere was polluted, and I wanted to know exactly what it was I had been inhaling. Grenz explained—better than anyone I had ever read—the air that I had been choking on.
I also remember discovering with astonishment in his final chapter that Grenz basically embraced the epistemological paradigm shifts introduced by postmodernism. I could not fathom how he could be so amenable to a way of thinking that is completely incompatible with Christianity. It seemed like a total capitulation to the zeitgeist, and I wondered, “Wow. How are we going to respond to this challenge?”
In the decade after that, I found that Grenz wasn’t the only one who was inhaling. The postmodern ethos gave rise to whole new movements in evangelicalism. The Leadership Network splintered into conservative and progressive factions—the progressive one of course being Emergent Village with Tony Jones, Brian McLaren, et al. Since then, however, that more radical wing of postmodern evangelicals has burned-out into a reincarnation of mainline liberalism. It has become very clear that the Emergent project as an evangelical alternative is dead.
According to Collin Hansen, there is still yet another funeral to acknowledge. It’s not just the evangelical postmoderns whose light has gone out. Postmodernism itself is now dead. He writes:
No obituary appeared in The New York Times. Television newscasts offered no tribute. But make no mistake: postmodernism is dead. Even those who could foresee this end could do nothing to prevent its suicide. Demise was built into its very DNA.
If you’re a church leader, you probably missed this news. Many of our publishers, culture gurus, and so-called futurists have been touting postmodernism as the next big thing, an unstoppable force. Adapt or die, they told us for much of the last decade, neglecting 2,000 years of history when the church built by Jesus Christ has withstood nearly every imaginable assault.
This is a very helpful article. Read the rest here.