One person has said that attempting to define postmodernism is as easy as nailing Jell-o to a wall. That is true. Postmodernism is very difficult to define. One reason is because no one is usually consistent in their postmodernism. Another reason why it is difficult to define it is because to define it would violate the postmodernist's premise that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist.
Normally, we have begun these lessons by looking at the question of theology. We will not do so this time because the key feature of postmodern thought has to do with truth--the study of truth and how we know truth (or, if we can know truth at all!).
What is often said is that we shouldn’t talk about truth (or Truth), but truths. That is to say, truth is not an eternal constant on which everyone can agree. If it exists, it changes and is different for different people and different cultures.
Let’s put it this way: In the study of humanism we said that truth could be understood through investigation and reason. Existentialism was a reaction, saying we know truth only as we experience it. In the postmodern mind, truth is questioned altogether.
In the end, the postmodern worldview says, “The only thing of which we can be certain is that we cannot be certain.” The thrust of post modern thought then calls you to question the conventional.
If there is a truth it is perceived as a construct of one’s culture and time. The language and culture that you are in shapes you—just as the language and culture of the African bushman shapes him.
Strictly speaking, a true postmodern could not believe in the existence of God. For that would mean that there is a supreme being that has created reality (and therefore, created truth that could be universal and knowable). At best, the postmodern would say that we can believe in God if it helps us, but that does not mean He actually exists outside of our own relative experience.
For this reason Michael Patton distinguishes between the “hard” postmodern and the “soft” postmodern. A soft postmodern would be someone who is attempting to syncretize the principles of postmodernism with Christianity. This person would then say, “Yes, there is a God. However, we can’t know that much about him because of the limitations put on us by our culture and language.” God becomes the eternal mystery, ever deserving our worship but never being personally known.
Patton says, “Attempting to define exactly who God is, what exactly He requires, how redemption is accomplished and applied is something that must be held in tension considering our own limitations.”
In the end,
We don’t go to church to learn about God; we go to worship God. We don’t go so that we can better understand, articulate, and defend our faith; we go so that we can commune with fellow believers. Our goal is not to confirm our beliefs, but to deconstruct our "unfounded" beliefs so that we can truly worship God in mystery. Here is how the emerging Church might answer divisive questions of Christianity past and present:
When it comes to reality it may be real, or it may not be. Other realities may certainly exist, but we cannot know for certain. In this world 2+2 may equal 4. However, it might not be so in an alternative universe.
When it comes to what is real there is a sense in which fantasy is fussed with reality and the difference is rarely able to be discerned. Reality may be fantasy, fantasy may be reality. Who knows? Better question, “Who cares?!”
One may only think of the Matrix movies. Here we see alternate realities, at least three to four of them, all lived by the same person. Each reality has its own dynamics.
Brian Godawa, in his book Hollywood Worldviews, gives the example of the movie A Beautiful Mind. This story is about a math professor of supreme intelligence. He is recruited by the Defense Department to crack codes and help solve cases. It is only at the end that you find out he is schizophrenic and much of what you've seen is altogether false.
When we talk anthropology, we usually begin with man’s beginning. In Christian thought, man is created in the image of God. In humanistic/existential thought, man is understood to be a product of evolution. Postmodern thought doesn't typically deal with these categories though.
The main emphasis in postmodernism is that we are a construct of our culture. The language that is imposed on us defines us and defines our limitations. The way you have been raised and the things you have been taught are all things that have been imposed on you by your family and culture. You are what you are because of what you’ve been made into by those around you.
Cultural commentators will even talk about the loss of the human identity. With the loss of truth, man is basically lost. We don’t know what reality really is, so how can we know ourselves?
The question of right and wrong is just that, a question. It all depends upon your situation and the culture in which you live. Take this example that Michael Patton gives in his article, “Understanding the Postmodern Mind and the Emerging Church”:
"The 'wrongness' of homosexuality presented in both the Old and the New Testaments is only wrong because of the primitive understanding of the time and culture in which the dictates were given. Today it is not wrong since we have a 'greater understanding' of the physiology of sexual orientation. Therefore, the morality of a persons sexual orientation is not defined by some so-called 'eternal principle' to which all people of all times must adhere, but by the situation in which the person finds themselves."
You all remember the clip with the student from the university talking about his beliefs and the beliefs of the radio talk show host. He could not say that the views expressed by the host were wrong. They simply weren’t right to him.
The real test of ethics comes down to tolerance. The postmodern says that all ethical choices must not only respected, they ought to be accepted as legitimate. The only real intolerable thing is someone who will not tolerate another view.
Some great postmodern flims:
“Much of the film’s narrative’s structure and dialogue is unintelligalble rhetorical jargon and suedo inteletcual philosophizing designed to baffle the audience into thinking that there is greater meaning and substance to the characters and plot.” 
Scream I, II, III--It begins with a spoof of a horror film, then the sequal spoofs itself. The Third movie is a spoof of a spoof of a spoof.
 Dave. Postmodernism in our Society.
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