Wednesday, March 16, 2005

No Room for Personal Truth

Al Mohler has been writing a lot about post-modernism lately. I'm not enamored with post-modernism, but my issues with it are vastly different than Al's. Today Mohler posted a weblog that finally deals with what is the heart of the issue for him. For him, "Evangelicals are faced with a stark choice: either to join the postmodern descent into a truthless, foundationless confusion, or to stand with conviction on the truth of God's Word."

For Fundamentalists, theology is always a debate about the Bible. The foundation for their faith is not Jesus, it is the Bible. A simple affirmation of the authority of the Bible is not enough for them. For them, only an affirmation of the inerrancy can save you from joining "the postmodern descent into a truthless, foundationless confusion."

In their eyes, if you affirm biblical inerrancy, you have an objective foundation for the truth claims of your worldview. If not, you "are embracing the radical subjectivity, perspectivalism, dehistoricism, and relativism of the postmodernist academy."

The demand for an "objective" foundation reveals Mohler's standard for truth. For him, truth is propositional. It is a property of words and/or sentences and governed by the rules of logic and reason. At bottom, for Mohler, truth is embodied in the cold, dead logic of timeless precepts and rational propositions.

Mohler's theology is more rationalist than Christian. That is why he fails to discuss Incarnational Truth. In his theology, there is no room at the inn for Truth that is personal. Truth embodied in the "Living Word" with arms open to personal relationships with real people is too "subjective" and "individualistic" for him.

Mohler assents to the idea that, "Christians understand truth to be more than propositional," but he neither understands this Truth, nor discusses it. Instead, he emphasizes that truth is "never less than propositional."

Mohler may be satisfied living in relation to "propositional truth," but I think I'll keep trying to live in relation to the living, personal Word of God to which the Bible points.


Coleman said...

Good analysis. Fundamentalists are typically as, if not more, modern or as much a product of the Enlightenment as those they denounce. Of course, it's tough to convince them of this. They often worry about the slippery slope of being non-literal, but there's another such slope on their side as well. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.

Mike said...

Yes, great comments. "The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon."