The Sounds of Silence

The following is excerpted from the book Before the Final Trump by D. D. Edwards.

 

The cross has shut up man to grace or judgment. . . . Every effort to recover themselves is but a denial of their doom, and a denial too of the grace of God, which stoops to bring them blessing where they are and as they are.”

Sir Robert Anderson

Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping, Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain—

Still remains…..Within the sounds of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone; Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more . . .

Postmodern Briefing

The Renaissance, followed by the Enlightenment advanced the concept of man’s dependence on himself and the “impossibility” of the supernatural (i.e. God is dead, man is god, and miracles are not possible). While all of this began in Europe, through the centuries it trickled into America. By the Twentieth century and the advent of two world wars, the trickle became a torrent!

Postmodernism is a philosophical movement that is rooted in modernism but proclaims the bankruptcy of certain aspects of modern thought. . . . it denies the modernist belief that there is an objective truth . . . that can be discovered using reason.”[1]

The postmodern bomb has fractured the very foundation of the entrenched, traditional Judeo-Christian values most Americans hold.

David Hume had a profound impact on Immanuel Kant and Kant had a profound influence on others. Hume influenced Kant in such a way as to turn him to skepticism.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) . . . awakened from his dogmatic slumbers by David Hume, . . . to agnosticism. . . . argued that God is unknowable (even by revelation). . . . He insisted . . . that we cannot know reality in itself (the noumenal realm) but only what appears to us (the phenomenal). Thus . . . science is possible . . . but metaphysics[2] is not possible. Further, Kant bifurcated the observable realm of fact and the realm of value. This dichotomy has been disastrous for biblical studies . . . [leading] to a denial of the . . . existence, of factual and historical record in Scripture and a stress on the moral and religious dimensions that have dominated liberal theology (italics mine).[3]

Fifty years ago, Elvis Presley’s career was sizzling and he was drafted into the Army, giving him fodder for yet another movie. And forty years ago, most people in America listened, at least occasionally for “The Master’s Voice” and still subscribed to a Judeo-Christian belief system. For the most part, people believed in the God who created all things.

Just over twenty-five years ago, there was still trace evidence of these foundational beliefs. Indeed, on October 4, 1982, under the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, in a Joint Resolution, both the United States Senate and House of Representatives declared 1983-The Year of the Bible. In part, they affirmed:

Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our Nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures (italics mine).[1]

Interesting verbiage in light of today’s culture, is it not? Congress proclaiming they recognized the formative influence of the Bible and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures; what a difference twenty-five years makes.

Destructive Disconnect

The Congressional Proclamation made in the Reagan era could never happen today and that probably surprises no one in this severely politically correct, handicapped world. A recent Barna Group reveals a scary reality. In a research report on worldviews, Barna posits that, “91% of all born again adults and 93% of Protestants do not possess a biblical worldview.”[1] From a different angle, that means only 9% of so-called born again believers and just 7% of Protestants possess a biblical worldview.

This information prompted Barna to do an assessment of American Pastors. Here are the results of that research:

Based on interviews with 601 Senior Pastors nationwide, representing a random cross-section of Protestant churches, Barna reports that only half of the country’s Protestant pastors – 51% – have a biblical worldview[2]. . . . [Of] the Southern Baptists’ . . . (71%) had . . . a biblical worldview . . . 57% of the pastors of [other] Baptist churches . . . had a biblical worldview, as did 51% of non-denominational Protestant pastors, 44% of pastors of charismatic or Pentecostal churches, 35% of pastors of black churches, and 28% of those leading mainline congregations [i.e. Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, etc.].[3]

This is more a result, than a symptom. Yet again, it illuminates the results of the intense postmodern pressure spewing brackish water into our society, which is soaking it up like a sponge.

A Deconstructed World

The point here is that America is all but saturated by a postmodern/deconstructed worldview. Postmodernism and deconstructionism are two sides to the same coin. A fairly long word, deconstructionism, but chiefly it is “a form of hermeneutics, of interpreting a text.”[1] However, deconstructionism has big arms and embraces many philosophical “isms.” It “embraces conventionalism . . . all meaning is relative . . . [it embraces] perspectivalism . . . all truth is . . . [based on] one’s perspective . . . [it embraces] semantic progressivism . . . a text can always be deconstructed.[2] It embraces even more, but these will suffice to affirm these “isms” are why effective apologetics are critical today.

Atheistic, postmodern-deconstructionism is the sea-water spray shorting out the engine of our Representative Republic and the Church. Textual interpretation for America’s founding documents, as well as the Bible is often the focal point of the postmodernism’s attack. As to the latter:

The Bible is seen as a text that is used to take power over people’s lives . . . a power play over the weak. . . . [French philosopher] Michael Foucault . . . called any pursuit of truth a “will to knowledge that arbitrarily establishes its own ‘truth.’” . . . [that] is then imposed on others. . . . the problem with this idea is . . . it lacks self-awareness and self-consistency. . . . if Foucault really believed that . . . then how could he communicate such ideas without using words and attempting to persuade us as well? . . . if he really believed his own philosophy, why didn’t he remain silent?[3]

In other words, Foucault’s argument is self-defeating, and runs contrary to the law of Non-Contradiction. Why?—because he is conveying his idea using statements consisting of words, therefore it is the case his own text “is being used to take power over people’s lives!


[1] Geisler, BECA, 192.

[2] Ibid., 192,193.   Geisler BECA

[3] Ravi Zacharias and others, Beyond Opinion, Ravi Zacharias, ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 6-7.

[1] George Barna, Think Like Jesus (Brentwood, TN: Integrity Publishers, 2003), 23.

[2] See Appendix A for specifics and definitions of this survey.

[3] Ibid., Barna, TLJ

[1] William J. Federer, America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations (N/A: Fame Publishing Inc., 1996), 709, 710.

[1] Bowman and Boa, 162.      

[2] Metaphysics is the study of the nature of being and beings, existence, of time and space, and causality

[3] Geisler, 1999. Beware of philosophy: a warning to biblical scholars. Christian Apologetics Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, 5.

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