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Thursday, November 10, 2005

New Articles linked

Check out some of the added links to articles. Since I am working on a review of Namcy Pearcey's book, Total Truth, which in part tries to revive the presuppositionalist (in the inclusivistic and inductivistic sense of Dooyeweerd, Carnell, Henry, and Schaeffer, and not Van Til) approach to theology and apologetics that was characteristic of much of early to middle twentieth century British-American Evangelical thought, it is good to find some links trying to forward the neglected discussion (see the David Naugle links). It shows that evangelicals, departing from the supernaturalis vulgaris of 19th century Evangelical theology (and also demonstrating some of our typical "Johnny-come-a-generation-too-lately" behavior toward academic fads -- in this case Neo-Kantianism), had a prior claim to be contributing to the interest in Post-modernism of the non-hardcore and somewhat constructive sort.

Because of the great personal debt I owe to the life and ministry to the late Francis Schaeffer on the plus side, and because such an approach proved to be almost totally unworkable in an actual professional university enviroment of academic philosophy and religion on the minus side, I have a special interest in Pearcey's work. However, it seems to me that it's a case of many soldiers trying to siege a castle with an impressive looking wooden battering ram against a solid metal door, failing to make a dent and knocking themselves senseless in the process, staggereing around dazed for a significant length of time, and then finally coming to themselves asking "What was it that we were doing? Oh yes, we were taking this castle with this battering ram" completely oblivious to the results of their first try, and thus trying again.

Christians tend to miscalculate the current fashion for post-modernity as lightening of the standards of scepticism and a return to the situatedness of knowledge, and thus expect that since they also have a perspective, the Christian scholar will finally get a place at the table. But academic post-modernity is not essentially different from modernity in its foundational premises (dispite all the talk about "anti-foundationalism". One can see this in Neitzche's three senses of truth (1) "truth" means that everyone is necessarily commited to reductionistic and naturalistic account of the world, (2) therefore "truth" means that there is no truth about persons, art, morals,God, anything of the huamities sort, (3) therefore "truth" is only what we will with absolute intrepidity to be true in the areas just mentioned. Modernity focuses on (1), post-modernity on (3). They get into fights but it is fraternal warfare. There really is no dawning tolerance of a plurality of views. Post-modernity is as materialistic as modernity is. The gate-keepers remain vigilent against Christian softness on worldviews.

This is not completly true. People were suprised to find a genuinely Kierkegaardian element in Derrida (just as in the case of Wittgenstein's Tractatus 7) but he died before his membership in good standing could be revoked. But it is generally true enough that alert Christians graduating college are already being wisely made leary by experienced advisors to avoid no-win situations in higher academics. This is true enough that Alister McGraith is starting to suggest that Christians invest more in "organic scholarship", scholarship outside the usual institutions and accreditations. This works for Nancy Pearcy whose main educational institutions are Christian hot houses, to be sure very nice and prestigous ones in Christian circles, but hot houses all the same.

I want to give everyone another chance and not give up yet. There is always something I missed.

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