Friday, August 11, 2006

Are We All Postmodern?

While in Indonesia, we talked some about Spiritual Warfare and the concept of the "excluded middle" in western culture as set forth by Dr. Paul Hiebert. As westerners, we have become so dependent upon and trusting of science and technology, that we tend to doubt anything that can't be explained scientifically or logically. To a large degree, we have worked to kill the concept of spirituality.

Having just read the account of Elisha making the axe head float in 2 Kings 6, I am reminded that this is a favorite target for liberal scholars to cast doubt upon biblical credibility. According to many, if it seems unbelievable then it is impossible, or at least, improbable.

However, in "less advanced" Eastern cultures, these extraordinary stories are accepted without question. The people of these cultures believe in and experience unexplainable spiritual phenomena regularly, so miracles are relatively easy to accept. As many might explain, they simply know no better; an advanced scientific mind expects that miracles are surely explainable with more knowledge and understanding.

I believe this points to an interesting reality. Generally, people are more "post-modern" by disposition than even "post-moderns" realize or are willing to admit. Everyone more readily accepts or believes things that agree with their own experiences than things that do not. Indonesians, for example, are untrusting of a simple cleaner like bleach because they are unfamiliar with it, the can not see it work. Yet, many in that culture believe that wet means clean simply because they can watch water wash away dirt (surely, this is a place where science would be very valuable because the could see the effects of bleach on germs and bacteria). Whether we like to admit it or not, experience usually trumps all else.

All cultures and people are shaped by experiences. As western Christians, we fight for the credibility of the Bible against opposition from the outside. We even struggle with ourselves to understand miracles recorded in Scripture. However, maybe even the fight is partially a result of our cultural indoctrination. The Bible is truth, it is God's Word given to man and God can never lie. God is truth and His word is a trustworthy foundation, not because I say so, but because God says so. Try as they may, man can never strip away the credibility of God's Word, because truth is not based on our experiences, rather it is realized in the Son of God, the embodiment of truth, who is, "The way, the truth and the life."

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