Metamorphosis, Part 3 (questioning everything)

John MacArthur – Grace to You

I have examined and critiqued postmodernism elsewhere (see The Truth War, 2007). It should be sufficient for our purposes in this context to summarize the postmodern mind-set by describing it as dubiousness about practically everything. As we noted, the starting point for modernity was a rejection of biblical authority (setting aside belief in the supernatural as an untenable or merely irrelevant opinion). Instead, science and human reason were foolishly treated as reliable and authoritative. In the end, the disastrous failure of so many modern ideologies utterly debunked modern rationalism and delivered a deathblow to modern certitude. Postmodernism therefore subjects every idea and every authority to endless skepticism.

Modernity’s most basic assumption was that the way to achieve unshakable certainty is through a rigorous application of the scientific method. (Whatever could be tested and proved in the laboratory—or logically deduced from scientific “facts”—was deemed true; everything else was written off as mere superstition.) Moderns were convinced that a basic foundation of settled scientific knowledge would easily provide a trustworthy authority by which all truth claims could be tested. That process in turn would eventually bring about a uniform consensus regarding all the fundamental realities of life and human existence.

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Metamorphosis, Part 2 (proliferating ignorance)


John MacArthur – Grace to You

 

The World Wide Web had quietly been implemented less than a year after the Soviet Union broke up. Still, by 1993, when the first edition of Ashamed of the Gospel hit the shelves, no one but the earliest Internet insiders had even heard about the Web—much less seen it. Most people had no clue how quickly or how drastically the Web would alter the world as we knew it.

I remember being told at a strategic planning retreat in 1996 that the World Wide Web would eventually become the primary vehicle for the dissemination of our radio broadcast and recorded sermons. (At the time, radio and cassette tapes were still the only media we were using for audio content.) When the men at Grace to You who stay abreast of new technologies predicted that within twenty years or so cassette tapes would be a totally dead technology, I thought they were exaggerating. “You can’t access the Internet in a car,” I pointed out. “Even if you could, who wants to carry a computer on the car seat, when it’s so much more convenient to pop in a cassette tape?”

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Metamorphosis, Part 1 (end of the cold war)

John MacArthur – Grace to You

The world of 1993 was another time in many significant ways. That was a unique year, strikingly different from the rest of the 20th century—but also nothing at all like the Internet era, which was just about to begin.

History will no doubt always remember the early 1990s as a pivotal time in human history. In 1992, conservative op-ed commentator George Will published a compilation of his newspaper columns written over the prior three years. He titled the anthology Suddenly, which perfectly captured the spirit of the day. Suddenly, confusingly, everything was in flux. Worldly fads and philosophies were changing faster than ever. The changes were global and profound, affecting everything from art to zoology. Ideological changes, societal changes, political changes, and moral changes were the order of the day. The shifting of so many opinions and boundaries all at once was both drastic and disorienting.

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