Monday, July 25, 2005

Postmodern Youth Ministry - Tony Jones

Posted in: Theology

Tony Jones wrote a book entitled, "Postmodern Youth Ministries". At first glance I thought the book would be a refutation of postmodernism. Unfortunately I was wrong. In his book, Tony explains, and agrees with, various tenents of postmodernism. He writes:

-Objectivity is out, subjectivity is in. One person, or group of people, cannot claim an objective viewpoint. To be objective means one can stand outside of something, look in, and judge it. But you cannot really be objective because you're always stading somewhere...

-Question everything. Nothing escapes deconstruction. There are no thoughts, theories, assumptions, or hypotheses that get a free pass, even if they make perfect sense...

-There is no Truth with a capital "T." Truth is in the eye of the beholder - one person's truth is another person's theory. So, as I found out sitting at a table trying to persuade a postmodern nonbeliever with foundationalist arguments, the language surrounding religion and belief has changed. Everything is relative.

-Never make lists! Things are simply not objectively quantifiable... Chaos and inevitability are the rule, so when you make a list or attempt to quantify something, you will surely leave something out (which I surely have), and you will definitely betray your own subjectivity (which I definitely have).

As Gandolf said to Saruman, "Tell me friend, when did reason give way to madness?" Forgive me for the strong rhetoric, but madness is exactly what this is! These are the thoughts of a mind given over to passion. Unfortunately for Tony and his friends at Youth Specialties, when men are ruled by their passions, they become slaves of their own fallen nature. Passion may be inclined toward the perfection of our nature, but it MUST be guided by reason!

What Tony and his colleagues are doing will immediately and ultimately undermine the faith of his followers. This should be clear upon reading these tenents, for they are more secular than the writing of some atheists. These postmodern lines of thought are what C.S. Lewis strongly rejects in his article "The Poison of Subjectivism". Ideas have consequences, and the consequences of these tenents do more harm than good.

5 Comments:

Blogger davis said...

Question everything? Why?

Nothing escapes deconstructionism?
Does deconstructionism escape deconstructionism?

There are no thoughts, theories, assumptions, or hypotheses that get a free pass, even if they make perfect sense...

Does the thought/theory/assumption or hypothesis that there are no thoughts, assumptions, or hypotheses get a free pass if though it doesn't make any sense?

7:52 PM  
Blogger M. Hipsley said...

Riddle me this . . . If everything that Mr. Jones says is in fact accurate (and that is not even remotely possible, but I'll give him the extremem benefit of the doubt) then why get upset with foundationalism, truth with "T", claims to objectivity, positions that escape deconstructionism, lists, or things that are objectively quantifiable? Seems to me that under his cirteria these should be equally acceptable. Unless all of the truth claims that he is asserting are (gasp!) true with a "T". Oh the horror!

Regardless, Matt, I will pray that Mr. Jones god ("G" left out for obvious reasons) will free you from this modern paradigm in which you are so obviously stuck. Then you too will be free to go and tell people nothing just like at Youth Specialties.

2:59 AM  
Blogger Peter Thurley said...

I always smirk and shake my head when I hear deconstructionists and postmoderns make such claims. They're so blinded that they can't even see that their own claims fail a self-test. And when you point that out, they are unable to say anything intelligent, except to mutter something about along the lines of "You're looking at it the wrong way!"

12:02 PM  
Blogger davis said...

Peter,

I guess you've encountered the "If you criticize it, it's only because you don't understand it" card from PoMo's before. And we can't see it- we're stuck in a modernistic framework, and until we 'die into the new', we will never get out.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Matthew Graham said...

I'm kind of surprised that no one grilled me on my "exaltation of mans fallen reasoning abilities".

5:27 PM  

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