Theology 1 Session 4: Categories of Theology

by Administrator 21. February 2017 07:11
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30

Writing about Session: 4 Postmodern Epistemology, Dan Jones shares his thoughts on one of the discussion questions.

Discussion question #9: Explain how was your thinking most challenged by the lesson.

I will focus this blog on postmodernism as it pertains to the United States. I believe this will provide a current example of the degradation of the Church, as postmodern thinking has had a very visible effect on Christianity in the West.

The best and most relevant definition of postmodern thinking is this: feelings, fairness, and subjectivity replace fact, logic, and objectivity. In other words, postmodern thinking suggests that truth can be anything you wish it to be; therefore, there are no absolute, objective truths. Recent examples of this line of thinking have made rounds on the news cycle multiple times. A male, wishing himself to be female, declares to the world that he now “identifies” as a female, and demands to be treated as such. A large number of people reason that a “fetus” is not a life, but a bundle of cells that can be disposed of at leisure at any time in the pregnancy.

Postmodern fairness couples with relative truth to attempt to force these examples to be acceptable to our society. It would not be uncommon to be branded with an undesirable moniker if one spoke contrary to these positions. These are just two examples of societal moral decay brought about by postmodern ideology. What is the Church supposed to do in a society that currently demonizes any opinion that is contrary to postmodern ideals of fairness and feelings?

Now enters the decay of the Church brought about by moral decay of society. In recent years there have been some denominations and congregations that wholeheartedly embrace a “change with the times” type of message. Some embrace and permit homosexual relationships, transgenderism, abortion, and preach a social justice “gospel”, with no attempt to declare the sinful and unbiblical nature of these activities. Instead, they are presented with a false gospel that falls far short of salvation.

These types of congregations provide for a “feel-good” church experience. For the postmodern, there can be no judgment, no objectively right or wrong action (sin), and no prospect of punishment. These things are all relative to the individual. This leaves sin open to interpretation. They are presented with all of the good things of Christianity, but none of the “bad things”. The wrath of God is overlooked, as that implies that there are objective truths about sin and morality.

The postmodern idea that man is generally good (not fully depraved) provides an element of universalism to the issue of salvation. There are many that follow this goodness-based system, which doesn’t necessarily stress faith in God, but rather, faith in self. This problem is perpetuated by congregations that wish everyone to feel welcome and included, but err by promoting falsehoods and overlooking the truth of Scripture. In essence, they are enabling the situation that 2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns us about:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Again, how does the Church react to such societal changes? By enduring the change and upholding the truths of Scripture without compromise. Congregations should welcome all who come through the doors but must, without exception, vigorously preach biblical truths that are only found in God’s word. The ideology of the postmodern age is not the first stumbling block the Church has had to deal with, and certainly won’t be the last. Christ’s true Church will always endure any persecution or societal paradigm shift.

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Theology

Comments (1) -

Heather McClain
Heather McClain
2/21/2017 4:34:45 PM #

Thanks Dan, I really enjoyed this. Enjoyed is probably a poor choice of words when one considers the topic of conversation. It is definitely a very scary time in our country!
I have definitely noticed dramatic changes in this postmodern world in the last eighteen years. It seems everything has to be fair or politically correct. Kids get medals not just for placing but for participating. They have taken away letter grades in fear of hurting a child's feelings.

Well, when it comes to Christianity, you are right! This postmodern world wants us to compromise our own religious beliefs. It demands that we approve of their lifestyles but how dare we talk about the gospel. Often, it feels as though we are to give up our faith.

I loved your last paragraph. "How does a church react to such societal changes? By enduring the change and upholding the truths of scripture."      
I spent the day looking up many verses.

Romans 1:26 We know homosexuality is dishonorable before God.

Ephesians 5:4-5  Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be Thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Galatians 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, Idolatry,  sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkedness,  orgies, and all things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Christian's know what the Bible says.

Next you mentioned, "Congregations must welcome all who come through the doors but must, without exception, vigorously preach the biblical truths that are only found in God's word."

We have to remember we are all sinners!

Galatians 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command:
"Love your neighbor as yourself. "

James 4:12 There is only one law giver and judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?

Ephesians 5:7–8  Therefore, do not become partners with them, for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

You are correct in saying we need to open our doors. Christian's aren't supposed to avoid contact with nonbelievers but we are to avoid joining with them in their sin.  We need to be good ambassadors of Christ. We should not condemn but pray for their salvation and the blindness of their hearts. We are all born of a sin nature. We can only pray that the unsaved will realize their sins and ask for forgiveness.

Romans 10: 9-11 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."

God is perfectly loving and perfectly just. All sinner's are saved by God's grace.

Thanks again! I really had to do some soul searching in my answer.  

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