Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's All Because We're Afraid. Yeah, That's It!

I was reading this review of "ParaNorman (http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/09/03/paranorman-and-the-fear-of-a-christian-america/) which is a movie that sounds like it repeats the same old postmodern narrative that everyone who draws a line around truth and morality, in order to define what is true and what is good, does so because he or she is afraid. Fear of mystery, fear of the unknown, fear of not having something to hold on to, binds us to make rules.

Of course, I would absolutely agree with this if I were an atheist. The problem is that if atheism is false then boundaries are defined by the transcendent source of truth and good, namely, God. Hence, whether a human has as his motivation fear, love, the drive to not be an idiot, etc. for his pursuit of identifying what is true and good is really irrelevant to the question, "Can we recognize what is true and good and should we pursue it in ourselves and others?"

I've argued many times before, if you believe in God, and that He is loving, you must believe that He has communicated these things through an external source to ourselves. Hence, you, by virtue of necessity, must believe in a transcendent revelation that gives a foundation for defining what is true and good. And that, conversely, means that you can define what is false and evil.

What does that have to do with a human motivation for defining something as good or bad? In fact, the postmodern mantra is so obviously stupid and self defeating, one would think that everyone would immediately point out that pomos are arguing that it's bad to define truth and falsehood, good and bad, for others (which is defining something good or bad for others), it's bad to have fear as a motivation, as we all fear, and are therefore motivated to speak out, that we'll be afraid that we or others will use fear as a motivation. Notice that the postmodern has no hangups about saying such dogmatic statements with complete and absolute certainty. That's because all of these self refuting claims are a facade.

Of course, this is the typical postmodern ploy that is evidenced in man's rebellion against God long before postmodernity ever came on the scene. I can play around with truth claims and say that no one can really say what is true and good for others, but of course, that's a statement asserting something that the person believes to be true and binding upon all other people. In essence, what happens is that man just attempts to dislodge God's authority through His revelation by saying that truth and good cannot be known with certainty (as the serpent said to Eve, "Did God really say . . .") in an effort to lift up his own ideas and practices as authoritative. In other words, it's not that he doesn't believe that truth and good can be known. It's that he wants his truth and good to be exalted over God's, as he exalts his own life over the life God has laid down for him to live.

So this ad hominem that presents people who define truth and good with certainty as a bunch of fear-driven ignoramuses who just aren't enlightened enough to let go is a red herring. Everyone is making truth claims and proclaiming what is good versus what is bad. Everyone!!! The issue is belief, not fear. If you believe there is a lion in the room with you, you'd be stupid not to act upon your fear and do something to protect you and your family from it. Likewise, if you believe you're going to miss out on true life in the God who made you, you'd act upon that fear, that stems from love btw, in order to prevent that loss. If you believe you're going to burn in fire for all eternity, you would be afraid. The issue isn't whether one is afraid or acts in fear. The issue is belief. You're not afraid because you don't believe a hungry lion is in your living room, or that you're missing out on the life God laid down for you, or that you're going to burn in fire for eternity.

Anyone who did believe these things and yet still had no fear would be rightfully seen as a complete idiot. So maybe some people do have a fear that their loved ones will perish. Maybe some have a fear that not glorifying God through good and truth will lead to destructive consequences for themselves and others. Maybe they love God and others and don't want to see God dismissed and others destroy themselves. But regardless of what motivates, definitions of truth and good are either made up by people or they are defined by revelation by God. In the postmodern assumption, however, there is no God, only man. So man is on his own. He is left to himself to figure out what he personally thinks is good and true. God is either not there or He does not intervene in a way so as to give aid in our understanding. So we are left with the many assumptions of atheism in a pomo system, which makes it all the more ironic that theists espouse this rubbish. If nothing else, however, it may show us once and for all that a non-revealed theism is just atheism in another form. Only a revealed theism, one that allows God to define truth and good as opposed to the autonomous man, is true theism. But true theism, then, cannot say the self-defeating things about truth and good that many postmoderns do.

So, let's all get this very straight then. We define truth and good as Christians because we're real theists, not because we're atheists who are afraid. Maybe that's the story of all false theists, but that's not the case with Christians. 

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