Monday, November 22, 2004

Postmodern theology: an oxymoron?

Christopher, at Against the Grain, keys in on this story of atheistic philosopher Jurgen Habermas supporting Christianity against the attack of secular ideologies:
Habermas defines himself as, and is, "a methodical atheist." But to read his most recent essay translated in Italy, "A Time of Transition," published by Feltrinelli and available in bookstores since mid-November, Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization:
"To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."
Habermas says he is "enchanted by the seriousness and consistency" of the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, the opposite of the feeble thinking that pervades current theology:
"Thomas represents a spiritual figure who was able to prove his authenticity with his own resources. That contemporary religious leadership lacks an equally solid terrain seems to me an incontrovertible truth. In the general leveling of society by the media everything seems to lose seriousness, even institutionalized Christianity. But theology would lose its identity if it sought to uncouple itself from the dogmatic nucleus of religion, and thus from the religious language in which the community's practices of prayer, confession, and faith are made concrete."
On relations with other civilizations, Habermas maintains that "recognizing our Judaeo-Christian roots more clearly not only does not impair intercultural understanding, it is what makes it possible."
That is just an amazing statement, by an incredibly incisive thinker. Some atheists have far more truth in them than some 'Christians.' Habermas is onto something. Read Thomas Aquinas or Chesterton or C. S. Lewis, and then read Bishop Spong [or any of the postmodern, leftist 'Christians' trying to rewrite Christianity -- its language, traditions and norms] ; then, read the current secularist arguments against Christian expression. It will be self-evident as to whom is approaching reality in faithfulness to the intellect God has granted. It will be self-evident as to whom is approaching reality in relation to Truth.

Pretty neat that God is raising up people [even among atheists!] to show the hollow nature of the *new age* house...a house of cards that seeks to replace Christianity by sleight of hand and mind.

But those who attack Christ will not prevail. Much sound and fury, but not victory.

It seems that somewhere the Lord of Glory said, "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!"

Amen.




1 comment:

Les said...

That was a fascinating post. I tend to agree that those who tamper with the foundations of the gospel too much allow the world to set the parameters of dialogue which leads, inevitably, to compromise.

The church would do well to rediscover and reappropriate its classical roots.