Where the West is headed now, and how the Eastern Church might play a role
I do not wish to under emphasize one of the points I made in the previous post. Protestantism is, at once, the nurtured child and the nurturing mother of the modernism that is so rejected by the post-modernists. The two, and to be fair we might also include the RCC have grown up hand in hand to the point that it is difficult to know where aspects of one spawned aspects of the other and vice versa. To be overly simplistic, the Western Church in the form of the RCC began the journey down the road of explicit rationalism and scholasticism within the first millennium of church history and once the Protestants came along they simply expanded the paradigm. Late arriving secularism (no doubt itself bearing a very similar relationship to modernism as Protestantism does) would then take the philosophical system to its logical, albeit extreme conclusion.
And now we stand upon a great precipice, which we as a society (quickly becoming a worldwide one) teeter toward a sort of absolutist relativism. Veith tells us that postmodernists value diversity and there can be little doubt that the culture creating forces of our society today are striving to ingrain in us the “smiley-happy” slogan that pleads with us to “Celebrate Diversity.” Now, don’t get me wrong I have no qualms with people being diverse, but I am not convinced that it is always something to be celebrated…rather often it might be something we should lament – especially within the church. I think Veith’s article does a great job of noting where the concept of “truth” has evaporated into a sort of meaningless idiom that can ONLY be ascertained by individuals and is really only intended to be used for those individuals. In the end we find that one individual’s concept of “truth” is as valid as the next person’s. Unfortunately, this very quickly spills over into the realm of ethics. Veith writes that the only moral absolute in the postmodern world is that people must be free to choose…in essence right and wrong are primarily dependent on the extent to which a person was free to choose what is “true” for them. All we need do is look at the world around us, listen to conversations, and watch a little television to see that this concept is becoming more and more dominant. And so we seem to have the following ideas dominating aspects of postmodernist thought: a celebration of diversity coupled organically with a moral and epistemological relativism. And yet strangely, we are encouraged by the postmodernists to dislike individualism? Am I the only person who sees an intimate connection between all of this and individualism?
More to come…
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 11:44 AM [+]