Friday, June 18, 2010

Emergents, Mysticism, and Postmodernism

The philosophical influences of postmodernism have fundamentally affected the epistemology, metaphysic, and ethic of the EC movement in numerous ways that will in turn seriously shape its hermeneutical methodology. Epistemologically, the EC movement has clearly abandoned a distinctly Christian theory of knowledge. There is no mention of arriving at how things really are through faith, which is grounded in the historical event and person of Jesus Christ. Rather there is an emphasis on the mystical encounter of God through human consciousness, as though human consciousness can be trusted as a reliable source for intimate knowledge of God, or even a legitimate religious experience for that matter. John Frame writes,

"The Christian knows by faith that this world is not of his own making, that there is a “real world” – a world of facts – that exists apart from our interpretation of it...What prevents us from constructing an absolutely crazy world? Only our faith. Only our faith assures us that there is a “real world” that exists apart from our interpretation. Only God’s revelation provides us with a sure knowledge of that world and so serves to check our fantasies.”

The only justification we have for claiming to possess true knowledge, is that we know by faith through God’s revelation. We interpret the facts of God’s world according to his interpretation of the facts of that world. If the EC movement denies to Scripture the status of God’s inerrant revelation, it follows that some theory of knowledge must take its place. A Christian theory of knowledge humbly submits itself to divine revelation. It does not reject it in favor of unaided human reason or an unjustified reliance and overconfidence in human consciousness. Greg Bahnsen writes,

“The word of the Lord is self-attestingly true and authoritative. It is the criterion we must use in judging all other words. Thus, God’s word is unassailable. It must be the rock-bottom foundation of our thinking and living (Matt. 7:24-25). It is our presuppositional starting-point. All our reasoning must be subordinated to God’s word, for no man is in a position to reply against it (Rom. 9:20) and any who contend with God will end up having to answer (Job 40:1-5).”

If the sole authority for knowledge is not the self-attesting Word of God, then it must rest elsewhere. Moreover, if that ‘elsewhere’ is either the human mind or human consciousness, as the EC movement contends, then the question becomes which human mind, or which human consciousness serves as the norm? There can be only one starting point and one ending point to arrive at absolute truth. That point must begin and end with the triune God who has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ through sacred Scripture. This is because the source of all created reality is God. Human beings are not the source of reality, and therefore, cannot serve as the final authority for how we know facts about that reality. Every other theory of knowledge, reality, and ethics proves to be considerably deficient. These voices are simply multiple iterations of the voice of autonomy as it cries out in the streets looking to seduce its next victim. The only safety from this creature is found in the objective truths that are the acts of God speaking to us in the person of Christ through the medium of Scripture as his Spirit graciously illumines our darkened minds to understand.

1 comment:

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    Press Release: April 19,2010

    A story about my life-long struggles to find inner truth through my knowledge and understanding about mysticism and metaphysics as a black american woman. I agree, people live what they believe



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