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Post Modernism and the Death of Critical Thinking

February 19, 2019
By Donald M. Larson, PhD

What is post-modernism, and what does it have to do with me? Dennis McCallum in his book, The Death of Truth, describes it as a methodology and movement that is transforming our culture. Radical post-modernism is a part of our children’s everyday lives (movies, music, books and television) and may be one of the greatest threats to western Christianity.

One difficult aspect of defining post-modernism is its lack of doctrine. Although there is no post-modernist manifesto, there is a common set of beliefs. Post-modernists believe that truth is relative – there are no absolutes and they are absolutely sure about it. According to George Barna’s book Real Teens, 60 percent of Christian teens believe the Bible is accurate and yet 70 percent believe, “There is no such thing as ‘absolute truth’; two people could define ‘truth’ in conflicting ways and both could still be correct.” The post-modernism view of truth is invading our churches and homes.

One of the most dangerous practices of post-modernism is deconstruction. This means that readers must find their own meaning in what is written, and that the author’s intent is irrelevant, because “he is unaware of the meaning of his own work.” Have you ever heard, “What does this verse mean to you?” This is a post-modern question. It does not matter what the Scripture means to us individually. Scripture was written with one meaning but can have many applications. The question we should ask is, “How do I apply this verse?”

Nancy Pearcy in Total Truth states that post-modernists are attacking the “concepts of rationality and science, debunking them as expressions of Western, white, male power.” This is why the most prestigious universities now offer courses such as Feminist Algebra, Adultery Novel, Cyberfeminism, and Women and Religion. Post-modernists believe that white males must be emasculated and feminized. Have you ever heard, “He needs to get in touch with his feminine side”?

One of the best known aspects of post-modernism is “political correctness.” Philip Atkinson defines it as a communal tyranny in which thoughts, words and deeds that are legal become forbidden by the mob and result in punishment. Congress has attempted to pass a bill that would make it illegal for a pastor to preach the truth on certain passages in the Bible. Have you hesitated to quote the Scriptures, because it is not politically correct?

Post-modernism cannot allow for critical thinking, because it will crumble. When a person logically thinks through this philosophy, he or she will find that it is a hollow shell built on feelings. Emotions are important – God created us to be emotional thinking beings. Post-modernism attempts to remove the thinking part.

The post-modern revolution is occurring all around us, and we are succumbing to it. We cannot fight this battle if we do not know and understand the Word of God, critically think through issues, and diligently teach our children to stand for absolute truths.

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