Postmodernism Not So Modern After All

Postmodernism: Redefining Reality
Justifying Sin – Revealing Nihilism

The more I study the Bible the more I realize that modern philosophy, especially postmodernism, is not so new revealing the wisdom of the Preacher, “…there is nothing new under the sun” (Ec 1:9-11). Postmodernism is nothing more than existentialism (method of defining oneself by oneself (2Co 10:12)) and nihilism (result of existentialism (Ec 1:14)).

The English word “vanity” in the last verse above is the Hebrew word, “hebel” which conveys a mere breath that is here one moment and gone the next leaving behind nothing or emptiness, “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow” (Ps 144:4). This occurred with the original sin and repeated in every life since (Ge 2:15-17; 3:1-6).

Existentialism: Methodology of
Redefining One’s Life (Godhood)

God warned Man (Adam: Hebrew for man) not to eat of one tree or he would face the empty chaos of sin, dying spiritually, and would eventually die physically (separation of soul from the body). Man conveyed this to Woman. Lucifer, the dragon of old denying the result of sin, death {nihilism}, beguiled Woman with the promise of being as gods {existentialism} (Re 20:1-3). To be as gods means one has the power to redefine one’s existence according to one’s belief system. This was the promise of the Accuser (Satan) but it was also the Lie (2Th 2:11). Man who saw the effect of sin on Woman, who was deceived, willingly disobeyed God and sinned knowingly (1Ti 2:13-14).

Nihilism: Result of Redefining Existence
Emptiness, Guilt, and Fear

After the sin and its expression in the flesh, the Hebrew conveys the idea of sexual union, the coupled sought to hide their groins and hide themselves from God. Sin did not bring fulfillment but emptiness, guilt and fear (Ge 3:7-11). God’s judgments were not really judgments but the detailing of the results of sin both on the individuals and the physical creation (Ro 8:20-22). Since the Bible speaks of sin’s effect on creation let us take a look at creation’s beginning to discover a lesson usually overlooked.

God could have created this physical creation by any means He chose, He is God after all. Yet, He chose the method detailed in the opening pages of Scripture, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Ge 1:1-5). There was darkness, emptiness and chaos. Then God spoke, “Let there be light.” This is not physical light, which was created on Day Four, but His light which came into the world to roll back the darkness (Jo 1:1-5, 9-14). God created this universe out of the chaos of sin’s darkness. Lucifer had already sinned in Heaven. God’s creation reflected his sin and the work of the Father, Son and Spirit to bring Life out of the chaos of sin. God brought order to the chaos and created life in its order. Man has sought to live in chaos and darkness {nihilism} rejecting the Light of God and His salvation. When Man and Woman sinned they reintroduced chaos into God’s ordered creation, which He limited or man would have been overwhelmed. The Bible is the Gospel; an account of how God brought life to Man while humanity rejects the Light choosing death over life.

Job, the first book actually penned, details the philosophical viewpoints of four men concerning God, Job being the man representing religiosity. Each man has some element of true yet reveals little understanding of God. Eliphaz {God is gold} declares that man who trusts in emptiness will only receive emptiness {nihilism}; true (Jb 15:31)! Job, whom many consider righteous with God, has missed the truth also. Natural man cannot discern the truth of God because of the existentialism of his sin that results in emptiness of understanding {nihilism}. Elihu {He is my God} declares that natural man does not want to seek God for life but only wants relief from the consequences of sin (Jb 35:9-13). When God confronts Job, He asks many questions about Job’s ability to be a god. These questions deal only with empirical creation {that which is known via the five senses (science)}. Job stands in muted, knowing he is powerless to know or change even the smallest aspect of creation. How then can he change his condition from sin to life? He then declares that truth lies only with God Who will give him life (Jb 42:1-6). He demonstrates this by recognizing his sinful condition and repenting, accepting God’s gracious gift of life.

Now, I mention both Genesis {Fall} and Job because these accounts undergird the declaration of the Psalmist that creation declares the existence of God (Ps 19:1-4). But man  rejects the existence of God and follows his own existential philosophies; i.e., religions to include pseudosciences. God allowed man to follow these ways even though they result in emptiness shown by the downward spiral of degradation of humanity (Ro 1:18-28). For example, evolution takes the knowledge of creation, twists it and claims life comes from disorder in a random ever upward spiral of mutations achieving order. This is the very opposite of God’s teaching of creation and of common experience. Second Law of Thermodynamics {Science} teaches that order can only move to disorder; disorder cannot move to order except by the intervention of an intelligent entity. Thus, those tools that could lead man to the knowledge of God’s existence are perverted to disprove God’s existence! Why? Because sinful man does not seek God but wallows in the dark chaos of sin (Ro 3:10-18).

Postmodernism, with its companion Critical Theory {Frankfurt School}, denies the existence of ability to understand reality by refuting the concept of absolutes. Everything must be understood through the context of one’s experience which defines one’s existence. The pseudosciences of psychology, education, sociology and nursing promote this vague existentialism across all facets of culture to the level of the individual. Guilt is an aberration forced on man by religion fostering a culture of fear and intolerance. God’s word, meant to give light and life to humanity, is twisted to prove God either does not exist or is Himself evil. The effects of these pervasive forces, operating under the pretext of fostering peace, love, tolerance and the unification of all peoples everywhere have instead resulted in wholesale cultural violence and personal discordance. People willingly degrade themselves publicly and are declared brave when in fact they are steeped in fear, anger and guilt; the fruit of nihilistic sin. A woman stands in an auditorium dropping paint “eggs” from her vagina in the name of “giving birth to art” when in fact she has publicly degraded herself and all who applaud her. The outward display of appearance reveals the inner person for everyone to see. The image of modern people today is little difference from the image of pagan people from the past as shown by the graphic below. Rather than displaying independence and freedom the person demonstrates his bondage to fear, guilt and emptiness. Man in his existential redefining of self justifying sin has legitimized the nihilism. Nietzsche wrote, “…we have killed God…” He meant that Western culture was defined by God’s word but rejected. Yet, society had not yet remade itself in its own image. Western society is doing that today, morphing into nihilistic discordance of violence, fear and guilt while seeking to suppress the truth of God which could save it.

Postmodernism: Degradation of Self into Meaninglessness

Author: LeeS

Retired naval nurse, Dad, Husband, Christian who seeks to share the Bible with those who want more than the superficial milk given out in the majority of today's churches. God has taught me through hard experiences as well as through book learning (Master's of Ministry, Doctor of Ministry).