Against Postmodern Religion


I read a lot; and most of it is not fiction or written for popular audiences but to specialists. I want to give a seed thought about Biblical interpretation and thinking about how you think.

"Art is in the eye of the beholder" it is said.

Today one might also say "One's Christian walk is in the eye of the individual". At least in some subfields of Protestantism. :)

The original concept is from the era just after the Enlightenment and produced such meaningless works as toilets in art galleries (Duchamp), rotten sharks(Hirst), red squares (abstract impressionism), and the worst-painted faces possible by a trained artist(Picasso).

I have begun to think that detaching one's Christianity from anything but one's subjective conception of a proper walk(subjective interpretation of the Bible, subjective hearing of God, lack of adequate correctives to true the analysis) is along the same metaschema of thought as produced the rotten shark in art.

Deep education and experience in a relatively recent and shallow field (computer science) has taught me that pretty much all self-taught players struggle to really contribute meaningfully in novel ways to the field. It's a genuine rarity for that not to be the case. I am persuaded that the same is true for theology / Biblical studies / etc- a field much deeper and more complex than computer science. There's too much out there for an ordinary person to read, synthesize, gather correction from adequately competent individuals, rebuild the thought post-corrections, and make a genuine novel contribution. Doesn't mean one can't learn and advance the local state of knowledge, but probably not both correct and original.

It's the modernist/postmodernist framework of thought that defines the individual as the center of the conceptual universe; to subscribe to the idea that you yourself are the final arbiter of correctness for yourself is a fundamentally Postmodern idea; my consistent impression across every single work I've read on ancient history- not being a specialist myself - is that the modern & postmodern conceptual systems are utterly alien to the people who wrote the Bible and who are the subjects of the narratives in it through the entire span of time that it was created in.

To follow on - using the generic "you" - you don't have to subordinate your thought to another, but you probably don't have adequate education to build your own personal theology and come out with yourself or your family & friends unscathed.

I am of the mind that looking at different theological systems' outcomes, using your judgement, and selecting one whose outcomes align with Christ's way is likely a better thought framework and more aligned with both Biblical ways and the reality of theology than operating on a purely individualistic basis.