Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Post-modern or Pre-modern

There is a paragraph in John Piper’s biography of William Tyndale where Piper points out that many of the methods and foundations of the emergent church today are nothing new. He states that the proponents of this new way are only able to pull off their stunt because American’s are ignorant of our recent past.
It is ironic and sad that today supposedly avant-garde Christian writers can strike this cool, evasive, imprecise, artistic, superficially reformist pose of Erasmus and call it “post-modern” and capture a generation of unwitting, historically naïve, emergent people who don’t know they are being duped by the same old verbal tactics used by the elitist humanist writers in past generations. We saw them last year in Athanasius’ day (the slippery Arians at Nicaea), and we see them now in Tyndale’s day. It’s not post-modern. It’s pre-modern—because it is perpetual.

With this in mind, I was reading a piece from C.H. Spurgeon's Lectures to My Students last night where he intimates that the fathers of the faith were much more firm in their faith then the men of his own day. It struck me odd that what he wrote, true as it was, is so very true of our day. It makes you wonder if there is really anything new under the sun. This passage, likely written around 1880, could be written tomorrow, and it would still be timely.
Some things are true and some things are false: I regard that as an axiom; but there are many persons who evidently do not believe it. The current principle of the present age seems to be, “Some things are either true or false, according to the point of view from which you look at them. Black is white, and white is black according to circumstances; and it does not particularly matter which you call it. Truth of course is true, but it would be rude to say that the opposite is a lie; we must not be bigoted, but remember the motto, ‘So many men, so many minds.’”

Piper is right, these things are not post-modern! They are pre-modern—because they are perpetual.

2 comments:

David Madeira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Madeira said...

This is fascinating, Chris. Thanks for posting this.