When I was rereading How Now Shall We Live by Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcy for my Wednesday night adult class at church last week (which I ended up missing due to the flu) I encountered a passage that I wanted to share.
Colson and Pearcy are talking about worldviews in conflict in particular naturalistic worldview that is so prevalent in Western culture and a biblical worldview. This clash between those who adhere to a Judeo-Christian framework and those who favor postmoderism and multiculturalism, the authors note referencing political scientist James Kurth, is more significant than the clash between the Western world, the Islamic world and the Confucian East.
With naturalism everything is left to chance. There is no transcendent God overseeing the affairs of men. There is no origin. There is no accountability.
If you view your origins this way it trickles down. If there is no transcendent God, there is no transcendent source of truth. This comes to a head when suddenly for a large group of people truth no longer exists, at least not how those with a biblical worldview would see it. Truth is subjective, it’s personal. Everything, including truth, is reduced to a personal preference. There is no universal standard, and no truth is considered absolute – truth that would be true for all people, all places and all times.
Colson and Pearcy write:
As a consequence of relativism, the naturalist treats all cultures as morally equivalent, each merely reflecting its own history and experience. Contemporary trends like postmodernism and multiculturalism are rooted firmly in naturalism, for if there is no transcendent source of truth or morality, the we find our identity only in our race, gender, or ethnic group. But Christians can never equate truth with the limited perspective of any group. Truth is God’s perspective, as revealed in Scripture. Hence, while we appreciate the cultural diversity, we insist on the propriety of judging particular cultural practices as morally right or wrong. Furthermore, Christians regard the Western tradition and heritage as worth defending, that is, to the degree that historically it has been shaped by a biblical worldview, (pg. 21).
They continue not only have we seen a shift in how we view truth, but a shift in our culture in how we view self. Postmodernism has taken us from existentialism a focus on our individual self and the choices we make to multiculturalism.
It was a small step from existentialism to postmodernism, in which even the self dissolved into the interplay of the forces of race, class and gender. Multiculturalism is not about appreciating folk cultures; it’s about the dissolution of the individual into the tribal group. In postmodernism, there is no objective, universal truth; there is only the perspective of the group, whatever the group may be: African-Americans, women, gays, Hispanics, and the list goes on. In postmodernism, all view points, all lifestyles, all beliefs and behaviors are regarded as equally valid. Institutions of higher learning have embraced this philosophy so aggressively that they have adopted campus codes enforcing political correctness. Tolerance has become so important that no exception is tolerated.
But if all ideas are equally valid, as postmoderism insists, then no idea is really worth our allegiance; nothing is worth living or dying for – or even arguing about, (pg. 23).
This explains the gay rights movement, this explains much of the racial tension we have seen in Ferguson and elsewhere and this also explains why President Obama can’t so much as even acknowledge Islamic terrorism as he is first truly postmodern President.