2011 Henry H. Knight III is Donald and Pearl Wright Professor of Wesleyan Studiesat Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri.
A Future for Truth: Evangelical Theology in a Postmodern Worldby Henry H. Knight
Confident that universal truths could be identified and agreed upon by rational persons everywhere, modernity threw off external authorities such as religious dogma and insisted on the freedom of the individual to discover truth through his or her own reason. We now live in the twilight of the modern world, when the pluralistic character of our societies demands that we recognize many competing claims to truth. This new, "postmodern" situation in which we find ourselves is an especially difficult challenge to evangelical theology, which defends historic Christian truth-claims as universal, and Christian Scripture as uniquely authoritative for everyone. Many evangelicals have tended to rely on modern assumptions regarding universal categories of human reason and experience in their insistence that Christ is Lord of all, and that the Christian life, while distinctive to Christianity, is meant for all people. Postmodernism, on the other hand, emphasizes particularity and abandons the search for universals. It asserts that, while the Christ event may be true for Christians--that is, helpful or therapeutic to them as persons--to claim it is true for everyone is unwarranted and disrespectful of diversity. Little wonder, then, that evangelicals view postmodern thought with discomfort and suspicion.
- United Methodist Publishing House
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- 6.12(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)
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