This post follows on from The “Emergent”-cy of Post-Modernist Christianity where we saw that philosophy can and does shape reality. Just like any other movement in society, the Emergent church movement is underpinned by a system of philosophy. I would like to look at this philosophy, called “de-constructionism”, in order to discover its roots and where it is leading. The outcome of this philosophy is very REAL and is taking hold in the Church right now. I believe it is very important for every Bible-believing Christian to be aware of how the enemy is working, because none of us are beyond deception.
What is De-Constructionism?
“De-constructionism” is: “a philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep-seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning” http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=deconstructionism
De-constructionism is a “fascist world-view where all authority is rejected and truth is denied by attacking language”. (see “Where’s Truth?” on “absolute truth”). Its roots are from ex-Nazi Heiteger but developed by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. As Nietzsche had previously asserted that “life is meaningless” (known as Nihilism) so this philosophy carries nihilism further – into literature itself, and says that:
- Language is meaningless
- Language contradicts itself
- Language is lying
- Literature lies
By applying this philosophy to a book, poem, paragraph or sentence the text is de-constructed and it is found that every word contradicts itself, contradicts the other words and contradicts the whole work itself.
So to write : “The sky is blue” for example, may not actually really mean that the sky is in fact blue. It could mean that the sky is another colour, but we just call it blue. It could mean that the sky isn’t blue or even a colour at all. It could mean that I am not even really talking about the “sky” after all, but something else entirely. “The sky is blue” cannot be understood because all words are meaningless and contradict themselves.
So we see how de-constructionism has removed absolute truth from literature.
What would happen if this method was applied to the Word of God, ie the Bible?
What would happen if Christians adopted this method of studying the Bible?
The Emergent Church
Unfortunately they are both already in full-swing, within the Emergent Church. Many of the Emergent Church’s leaders (whom are Evangelicals, not Liberals!), such as Tony Campolo, Rob Bell and Brian Mclaren, have studied and adopted de-constructionism as their method of studying the Bible. Here is what Leonard Sweet, Brian Mclaren and Jerry Haselmayer wrote in their book “A is for Abductive”:
“Traditional modern interpretation is fond of finding the one “true” meaning in a text while de-constructionists do not give any one reading privileged status, but rather are interested in hearing the interplay of many interpretations that arise from within many different interpretative communities.”
So in essence, they do not view the Word of God as the ultimate authority – all opinions, views and interpretations are equally valid. This would mean the Koran and other ancient non-Biblical texts are just as valid too. This is classic relativism denying the absolute truth and authority of the Bible in their drive to be :
- “relevant” to a new generation and
- palatable to non-believers
The First De-Constructionist
In fact this is not a new “literary technique” at all. It is as old as time itself! Satan’s aim, as the world’s first de-constructionist, has always been to cause human-beings to doubt God’s Word. We see that his tactics haven’t changed since the beginning of time.
In Genesis 3:1 he said to Eve: “…Has God indeed said…?”
The denial of the authority and truth of God’s Word has led to the demise of the preaching and expounding of God’s Word within the Emergent church and rather “dialectics” are now being encouraged. Dialectics is discussion, analysis, criticism, contrasting ideas etc. Absolute Truth is side-lined while each individual’s opinions, interpretations and views are held in high regard. And in the light of relativism, each opinion is equally valid and opposing “truths” are ok.
Ultimately Satan’s aim is to break down “absolute truth”. Why?
Because he is paving the way for a One-World religion, getting ready for the Anti-christ. How?
By combining a “thesis” with an “antithesis” and making into a “synthesis”.
A thesis is a “proposition (of truth) to be maintained or proved”, such as Christianity. An antithesis is a “contrast of ideas; direct opposite of”, such as Islam as the opposite to Christianity. A synthesis is the “combining of elements into a whole.”
It looks like this:
Chrislam is gaining momentum outside of Nigeria now, and Wycliffe Bible Translators have just translated the first “Chrislam” Bibles (that remove or change terms deemed offensive to Muslims and thus creating a Muslim-friendly Bible).
Next time… The Falling Dominoes in the Emergent Church