By T.R. O’Daniel

 

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, calls postmodernism, “the rejection of all fixed authority. Truth is relative, morality is simply a reflection of the society, and there are no fixed principles for life.”

The problem of who is the voice of authority goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Throughout the majority of church history, authority was considered to reside in the Catholic Church. Church tradition was equated with the Word of God. After the Reformation, Protestants began to move the voice of authority to scholars and in practice viewed the community of scholars’ voices to be on par with the Word of God. The implications of this problem are voiced by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen when she speaks of Christian scholars who “have been unconsciously influenced by the Platonic assumptions so much a part of mainstream scholarship: they have come to believe that academics are a special breed of philosopher-kings answerable to no one else and that the academy is the only really valid court of appeal in matters of truth and its application.”

James Bowling, in the book, Values in a Christian Liberal Arts Education, correctly states, “A biblical world-view which espouses ethical and moral absolutes is needed in modern society.” Anyone who does not accept that all authority ultimately resides in God and His Word lacks a correct foundation for decision-making. A basic Christian principle is: “Neither I nor society is the authority. God is the authority.”  This is in direct contrast to postmodernism that has no fixed authority.

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