Saturday, February 14, 2004

millinerd vs. baptized nihilism

Yes there are some good aspects of postmodernity, but for the bad - here's a little more pomo detoxing:
"much of so-called postmodernity is simply a nihilistic intensification of the modern project. The claim to be at the end of all master narratives may simply be a covert way of liberarting the self from any claims upon it."
This from a fantastic essay by theologian Frederick Baurschmidt.

He goes on to explain that theologians entranced by the postmodern (i.e. the hyper-modern narrative of self-emancipation), have a peculiar way of doing theology. For them...
"the Christian story can no longer be understood or presented as the world's true story; it is at best simply the story that Christians tell about the world, and which they cannot impose upon the world or even preach to the world in the hope that the world might turn and be converted. Such theologians point to the contemporary awareness and tacit acceptance of religious pluralism as creating a new situation in which notions as the necessity of Christ for salvation or the Church as the locus of grace are simply incredible and should be abandoned. Indeed, they must be abandoned, for they inevitable wage war against the Other... In this version of postmodern theology the Church's task is to bring the Reign of God, now glossed as the modern project of emancipation, to its completion."

Yup, that pretty much explains it. Fortunately however there are some much more fruitful and creative ways to do theology, such as Radical Orthodoxy (or as I like to call it Neo-neo-Platonism), which is competantly introduced and perhaps too harshly assessed here.