A Short And Easie Method With Postmodernists -- By: John Warwick Montgomery
A Short And Easie Method With Postmodernists
Abstract: Among the major secular opponents of the claim that there is “no other name by which we must be saved” than that of Jesus Christ is the philosophy of Postmodernism.
We contend that the often prolix contemporary theological attempts to refute Postmodernism have generally produced more heat than light. The proper approach is hardly that of John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (Humble Apologetics), who makes unnecessary concessions to the Postmodernist mentality, and, in doing so, weakens the classic case for Christianity. Rather, we need to recognise that Postmodernism is epistemologically flawed from the outset and that even its advocates cannot consistently live by its worldview.
This paper therefore treats (1) the nature and origins of Postmodernism, (2) the law of non-contradiction, illustrated by an interesting computer program in the Pascal language, and (3) the objection that “religious” claims should not be subjected to the same rigorous epistemological criteria as claims in everyday life.
Our title is derived from a celebrated and often reprinted 18th-century work of apologetics: Charles Leslie’s A Short and Easie Method with the Deists: Wherein the Certainty of the Christian Religion Is Demonstrated.1 It is our contention that the detailed and often prolix contemporary attempts to refute Postmodernism have generally produced more heat than light. We also believe that the proper approach is hardly that of John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (Humble Apologetics), where unnecessary concessions to the Postmodernist mentality weaken the classic case for Christianity.2 The right method to follow is not that of the aphorism, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” but a realisation that Postmodernism is epistemologically flawed from the outset and that even its advocates cannot consistently live by its worldview.
II. The Nature Of Postmodernism
Postmodernism, admittedly, is an amorphous phenomenon—rather like the New Age mentality: exceedingly difficult to pin down owing to the fact that its adherents and fellow travellers do not maintain a single credo. But one of the most helpful analyses of the phenomenon has been provided by D. E. Polkinghorne, who identifies four basic themes: (1) foundationlessness, (2) fragmentariness, (3) constructivism, and (4) neo-pragmatism.
The tacit assumptions of this epistemology of practice are: (a) there is no epistemological ground on which the indubitable truth of knowledge statements can be established; (b) a body of knowledge consists of fragments of understan...
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