Author’s Note: As a premillennial dispensationalist, I’m a bit of an enigma to my biblically conservative brethren. It tends to follow that if you are a believer in the doctrines of grace and in cessationism, you will likely be amillennial in your eschatology. However, there are still many of us who hold to a premillennial view and even believe in (gasp) a literal rapture of the church. The following article is not meant for those who hold to an alternate eschatological view. Nor is it an invitation to start an eschatology debate. There are proper places and forums for those discussions to occur. This is not to say if you disagree with my eschatology that you are not welcome here. You most certainly are. However, it is to say that I want to address an issue specifically that affects my premillennial brethren and do not want to obfuscate the issue with an unnecessary argument. Much thanks for your cooperation in advance.
As I type this article, it is August 21, 2017, and the first full solar eclipse in several decades has come and gone. Much to the dismay of many “end of the world” websites, nothing happened. Seriously, nothing. The eclipse came and went. Many families and schoolchildren got to experience the remarkable precision of God’s handiwork in the heavens. Some places in the United States experienced a darkening of the skies as the moon cast its shadow while passing before the sun. People wore specially made glasses that let them stare at the eclipse without burning their retinas to a cinder. But that was it. Nothing significant happened. The world did not end. World War III did not begin. The Middle East did not invade Israel and the Messiah did not return for His church. Just another celestial event occurred that allowed us to give glory to God for His marvelous handiwork.
Why do I make a point of this? Simply because, for as long as I can remember, there are those within the premillennial camp who seem to look for just about any event that they can point to that says Jesus is coming back. Not soon, or quickly, as in a biblical sense. But as in, tomorrow. No seriously, I mean tomorrow. As though we can pinpoint a day or hour that it is happening. That somehow there is a message in these events that we can discern the exact point of His return. All we need is the right Lucky Charms decoder ring and a little luck, and we can get this thing figured out. Oh, and that admonition that Christ gave us, that no one knows the day or the hour (Matt. 24-36)? That just means we have to figure out the correct Bible code first. Until then, we won’t really know.
This week Chris and Rich discuss how post-modern philosophy destroys intellectual discussion of truth. They also talk on the issue of racism from a biblical perspective and how the Christian must address the issue.
Postmodern philosophy declares that all truth is valid truth. Since every person’s particular definition of truth is considered to be, in fact, true, there can be no competing ideologies. In other words, everyone can hold to their own personal ideology, regardless of whether or not it can be proven true, because it is true in the mind of the beholder. Since it is true to the person holding it, it is not necessary to actually prove or defend said truth, as it does not have to be true in the eyes of any other person. This results in creating a personal echo chamber wherein truth holders surrounds themselves with only that information which affirms their belief and never allows anything in that could challenge their thoughts.
The problem with the postmodern belief system is that it still allows other persons or groups to belief and espouse truths that contradict our own. Despite the fact that multitudes of people attempt to live in their personal echo chambers, opposing belief systems will ultimately crash into each other. To use an extreme example, if a person believed that traffic laws did not apply to them, and that they could drive on any side of the road they chose, a person who believed the opposite would one day have a face to face meeting with them. Likewise, our individual belief systems impact how we think, speak, and act. No matter how much culture says your beliefs can only be your own, and hence, should not impact others, the reality is that we will act out on our beliefs in our interactions with other people. Therefore, our personal echo chambers cannot filter out other belief systems no matter how hard we try to plug our ears.
Once we are confronted with truths that contradict our thinking, especially if we hear those truths espoused en masse, we are forced to defend what we believe. This is one of the most difficult aspects of the post modern philosophy to deal with in practicality. We cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of society, so we must live with the reality that ideas have consequences. Our personal truths do not exist in a vacuum. They impact our lives in how we live, how we work, how we vote, and so forth. When people are allowed to pursue whatever truth they wish, they ultimately we live out those truths around us. They will speak to us and act toward us in ways that are inconsistent with our personal truths. We are then forced into a series of options: we can remain consistent with post-modernism, allowing their actions to impact our lives in uncomfortable ways; we can abandon postmodernism, returning to the search for truth by debating which belief is actually true; or we can determine that competing belief systems are intolerant and offensive, thus are not deserving of protection in the postmodern philosophy. It is this last option that has been resoundingly accepted in our current culture.