Today’s blog post is by a York student, David Ekere. David has been involved in my ministry since the 2013-14 academic year. By his own admission, he wrote a seven page paper on “Why Teens Leave the Church” one night when he was “bored from studying”! We might be seeing a future youth pastor in the making! And he sent it to me for my feedback. Part of my ministry’s mission is to develop the leadership potential in students. Hence, I choose to empower David’s voice and passion by posting a revised version of his paper on my blog. I have to edit the paper down to a more blog-friendly length, and also changed his paper’s tone. So, here is the David-approved edited version with my brief responsive remarks after the paper.
One morning I was watching TV with my 2-year-old daughter. A skit in a children’s show taught, “Science always saves the day!” That is scientism in a nutshell. Science is elevated to the role of Savior. Remember our “Star Trek” hero Mr. Spock? He was a science officer.
Modernism has a strong faith in the ability of science and technology to save the day. As in “Star Trek,” science is seen as the means to solve all the world’s evils. By means of the scientific method, we can gain the right knowledge and understanding of how something works and why things go wrong and come up with solutions for it.
We have applied the scientific method to all areas of study. In literary studies, for instance, interpreting a work of literature has turned into a science [in the late 1960s]. To properly analyze a text, we must read it in a detached and objective manner. We must leave our own values behind, and we cannot judge the text’s values as right or wrong. Like scientists, literary scholars should not make ethical judgments but merely seek to discover and present the facts. These days, however, we acknowledge that we cannot leave our values behind even if we want to. And ethical considerations are now OK in literary studies. Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Modernism? Part 2”
(Another old article I had written. This was originally published in The Banner, April 23, 2001, pp. 24-26.)
Postmodernism is all the rage these days. Plenty of books and articles have been written about it. Students take classes about it. Even The Banner published an article on it last year (Jan. 31, 2000).
Many Christians oppose postmodernism’s teachings, especially the claim that there is no absolute truth – or at the very least, if there is absolute truth, that we can never know it. I think Christians have good reasons to be suspicious and critical of postmodernism. However, in their fight against postmodernism, many have allied themselves with modernism. These Christians see modernism as the bastion of absolute truth and a safeguard against postmodernity’s skepticism and relativism.
This is a dangerous trend. We must remember that before postmodernism came along, modernism was an enemy to the faith. Simply because Christianity and modernism now share a common foe in postmodernism does not mean that we should be allies!
Modernism as an intellectual movement has bred many idols. Among them are rationalism, scientism, and individualism. Even Christians have not been immune from unwittingly bowing down to these idols alongside their worship of the one true God. Before we observe these three idols, let us take a brief look at their source – modernism. Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Modernism? Part 1”