In my recent debate with a Gnostic Magus on a Reformed facebook forum, I was accused of being “postmodern.” First, what does postmodern even mean? The well-informed reader knows this is a trick question. Even if you give the correct answer, you will still be wrong. There are at least 3 correct answers.
Presumably the magus meant something like “fresh and edgy.” I don’t know. I saw no argument to the effect. My guess is that these internet theologian-warriors mean something like “relativist.” But what do we mean by relativist? Probably something along the lines of “not holding to classical reformed dogmatics.”
I guess. Shucks, I don’t know. As is usual with debating TRs, there was no argumentation whatsoever. But let’s go with the (incorrect) definition that postmodern = relativistic = no objective truth. How does Torrance and my reading of Torrance fare? Torrance writes (this is my outline of his argument in The Trinitarian Faith):
- Radical shift in the pious’s understanding.
- Moved from in-turned human reason (epinoia) to a centre in god’s revealing activity in the incarnation of the Logos (19).
- view of faith: not subjectively grounded, (BOOM!) but objectively grounded (again, BOOM!) persuasion of mind, supported by the hypostasis of God’s being (SNAP). Hilary: in faith a person takes his stand on the ground of God’s own being (De Trin. 1.18).
- scientific knowledge: episteme–standing or establishment of the mind upon objective reality (I am just running up the score at this point).
- It is through faith that our minds are put in touch with a reality independent of themselves (thus, the death-knell to Kant and Hegel. Puritanboard is shown to be false)..
- It is through faith our minds assent to the inherent intelligibility of things, yield to their self-evidencing (shades of Descartes!) and are adapted to know them in their own nature (kata phusin).
- Faith is not non-cognitive.
- it involves the mind’s responsible assent to the self-revelation of God in Christ.
- it arises under the creative impact of God’s word (21).
- it is listening obedience (upakoe tes pisteos).
Conclusion: we must learn from God himself what we are to think of him (Hilary, De Trin. 5.20).
I remember somebody commenting on the Pyromaniacs blog that ‘postmodern’ might serve as the equivalent of ‘Nazi’ in an Evangelical version of Godwin’s Law.
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