OceanSide church of Christ
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POSTMODERN THOUGHT (1)
Victor M. Eskew
Thought influences behavior. The wise writer of Proverbs affirms this in Proverbs 4:23. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The heart is the center of reasoning, will, motives, and the emotions of man. That which enters into this sanctuary of man will express itself in behavior. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Prov. 23:7).
Throughout the course of history, many “thought systems” have existed. These thought systems influence the thinking and the behavior of the citizens of nations. These systems of thought spring from literary movements. Authors at various points in history influence the minds of those who read their works. In turn, the readers act in accordance with the thoughts they have been given.
The Christian knows that the thought systems of man often run contrary to the thinking of Christ and His holy Word. When an evil thought system contradicts the Word of God, war is ignited. Truth cannot let this evil system take root. Paul understood this, and wrote the following words to the church at Corinth: “But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:2-5). Paul realized that the Christian’s battle is not physical, but spiritual. It is a battle for the minds of men and women. Strongholds, imaginations, and high things must be cast down in order for God’s will to prevail.
With Bible knowledge at a very low ebb, the thought systems of man and of Satan have permeated the thinking of the citizens of the United States and the church in a negative way. Since the late 1800s unto the present, two evil thought systems have infiltrated our nation. One of them is called modernism (late 1800s – 1960s) and the other is referred to as postmodernism (1960s to the present). Some of the tenets of modernism have been carried over into this postmodern era. Postmodernism has taken modernism to a higher level and has added to it ways to approach the issues today’s world. In this series of articles, we are going to examine five fundamental principles of postmodern thinking. These principles form the foundation for the other beliefs that are advocated by postmodernists. When these principles are understood, a person develops a better understanding of what is happening to our nation and of what is taking place in the church.
Some people might wonder how these systems of thought infiltrate a nation of people. There are several venues that disseminate the concepts of postmodernism. One avenue is our colleges and universities. Colleges and universities house the thinkers and many of the authors of our society. Many of these scholars, professors, and authors believe the foundational elements of postmodernism. They write, lecture, and teach about these things regularly. All that goes into the minds of those who hear these individuals involves postmodern thought. Youth go to these houses of “higher learning” innocent, eager to learn, and questioning the world around them. Their professors take advantage of this and fill their sponge-like minds with the poison of postmodern thought. Many of our youth come out of these institutions as warriors on the side of postmodernism.
The media is another big proponent of postmodern thought. News casters, journalists, and the guests that are invited on their shows have been educated by the teachers of postmodernism. Their media outlet gives them a way to advocate for postmodern thought. Television, radio, newspapers, and magazines push the postmodern agenda. These advocates make fun of all those who oppose postmodern thinking. They call their opponents dumb and uneducated. They would have all to believe that those who promote godly thinking and values are high school educated hicks who live lives in rural America or who are lowly factory workers in our cities. If you raise the Bible in defense of Christian thought, you are really persecuted. Your thoughts are said to be based upon myth and man-made material that is old and irrelevant to twenty-first century man.
Dear readers, we must come to understand that we are in a war. Each of us must be willing to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12). We must be willing to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3). To do this, we must put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17). We must learn how to wield the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). We may have to repent of some of the false teaching of postmodernism that has infiltrated our minds (Luke 13:3). Then, with courage and God on our side, we must go out into the world in an effort to fill it with truth and righteousness (Mark 16:15).
We pray that each reader will digest these articles with eagerness. Then, let us go out into our communities with a desire to cast down stronghold, imaginations, and high things that oppose God’s will. We will replace this evil thinking by bringing every thought of man into captivity to the obedience of Christ.