“In prison, the political officer asked me harshly, “How long will you continue to keep your stupid religion?”
I said to him, “I have seen innumerable atheists regretting on their deathbeds that they have been godless; they called on Christ. Can you imagine that a Christian could regret, when death is near, that he has been a Christian and call on Marx or Lenin to rescue him from his faith?”
The officer laughed, “A clever answer.”
I continued, “When an engineer has built a bridge, the fact that a cat can pass over the bridge is no proof that the bridge is good. A train must pass over it to prove its strength. The fact that you can be an atheist when everything goes well does not prove the truth of atheism. It does not hold up in moments of great crisis.”
“As there are many who believe they are Christians and in reality are not, we found that among the Russians there are many who believe they are atheists, but in reality they are not”
Following on from my last post “Where’s Truth?” , where we looked at the effects of post-modernism on absolute truth, I would now like to take a look at how post-modernism is affecting the professing Christian church, in particular the Emergent, or Emerging Church.
My purpose in doing this series is not to attack individuals per se, although it would be impossible not to name some key players, but to bring to light the philosophy behind much of the Emergent Church, where it is leading and where it will ultimately end up. Whilst there are some aspects of the Emergent Church which are not all bad, I think it is important to understand what it is that is propelling this movement forward and its ultimate purpose.
I am in no way a philosopher as such, but I do think that it would be wise first to consider the astronomical effects with which philosophy has affected society, culture and humanity. One needs only to look to Plato or Aristotle to see how their social philosophies have affected human eugenics theory, leading to the immoral abortion crisis in the world today. Another example is German philosopher Karl Marx, whose social theories influenced politics such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism, and history tells the culmination of these regimes.
Philosophy is, according to Wikipedia,: “the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension, “philosophy” can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group.”
So when we talk of philosophy, it is not some “pie-in-the-sky” thoughts and theories that have no bearing on our world, it is the exact opposite. As I see it (for what it’s worth) various branches of philosophical thought are published, usually through universities and the world of academia, it filters through to the students, it enters the workplace and the media in all its forms and eventually takes hold in the political realm as human opinion shifts into a new paradigm of belief and value systems.
So to get back to the Emergent Church and how it fits in with all of this. The Emergent Church has recognized that we are now living in a Post-Modern world and that people think differently from how they used to think. Their position is that because society has changed, in this new world the old ways of doing “church” and Christianity no longer work. Therefore a movement has begun that seeks to transform Christianity into something new – something that appeals to this post-modern generation, something that is relevant.
And just like any other movement in society, this Emergent movement is underpinned by a system of Post-modernist philosophy. This system is called “de-constructionism”.
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