Postmodern Certainty

Postmodernism is summed up by the belief that there are no absolutes, what is true for one person may not be true for another person and vice versa. This attitude is understandable considering the amount of differing opinions in the world. For every expert there is a counter-expert or maybe even an anti-expert. The amount of information available at our finger tips is incredible but may not be reliable. Postmodernism undermines our trust in other people's beliefs, but increases the certainty in our own.

People in general believe that they are right because it is impossible for someone to hold a belief that they think is wrong. When human nature is combined with postmodernism we find people who believe they are right without any external reference. This is true of Christians and non-Christians alike.

Christianity is based on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ being the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20), which means that Christianity is built on the teachings of the Apostles and Prophets about Jesus Christ that are found in the Bible. The Bible is our infallible guide to absolutes, however, there is one problem, our interpretation of it is not infallible. Many of the problems between and within Churches are that each person takes their own interpretation as correct and the opposing view as damnably incorrect. This interpretation could the their own or what they have heard from their favorite teacher, nonetheless, it is not infallible. Does this mean that we can never get to the absolutes in the Bible because we can never be sure of our interpretation?

It seems that most Christians in North America are stuck in this infallible interpretation mode. Since we find it difficult to believe anyone, we default to only believing ourselves. Instead of each person building on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, they build on their postmodern foundation of doubt and  idolatry. The Bible says that a testimony is only valid if there are two or more witnesses. If there is only one witness then that one person becomes judge, jury, and executioner (John 5:31-32, Deut. 19:15). Likewise, if we are self-referential we become a god to ourselves.

Postmodern certainty can be overcome through the Spirit of God directing us to the great cloud of witnesses. We cannot make decisions about belief solely on our own interpretations, but we must consider the interpretations of our brothers and sisters in Christ, those who have died and those who live now. Knowing that it is probable that we hold at least one view that is wrong, should humble us to listen and consider another person's point of view. This consideration should not only extend to our contemporaries but mainly to those who have preceded us because each generation has the same blind spot. Doesn't every generation think they know the fault of the one that came before it? And don't we all agree that, "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it?"

Christians throughout the generations, filled with the Holy Spirit, believed in God's Word and attempted to live by it. Knowing our frailties should lead us to consider carefully their way of life and examine closely the things they believed. If we will acknowledge our own blindness we may have just enough light to see the Truth, and the Truth will set us free (John 8:31-32).

p.s. Some beliefs cannot be compromised if they depend on Christ both in their substance and in their workings. A person must stand before God alone.


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