Linking Protestantism to Postmodernism

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Rufus, Jul 15, 2012.

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  1. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    I'm in the process of research that I need to have in 24 hours (ish), regarding Martin Luther. An Eastern Orthodox women claims that Martin Luther (and thus Protestantism) allowed for post-modernism to happen, and said that his believing in the sufficiency of Scripture allowed people to write in what they wanted, and not have the Church tell them.

    I pointed out this was a Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, but she demands "historical evidence" contrary to this.
  2. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    I think you are correct pointing out the logical fallacy at work. It seems to me that the pressure is on the EO gal to prove Martin Luther was the first cause, not you to prove he wasn't...... Happy EO hunting:lol:
  3. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    First, the issue at hand is a biblical issue, not a historical issue. Second, post-modernism is a result of the Enlightenment period. It's philosophy and the break away from thinking biblically that lead to the post-modern thinking. To give an example, the pre-modern era started with the assumption that you had to start with God, then your conclusions about ultimate reality would be correct. The modern era came around, and things like Darwinism came into existence. You start with the assumption that it's possible there might be a God, but you can think independently from God. Finally, once you start to think away from a biblical ground, you are lead into post-modernism. This is where everything is relative. Nothing really matters. There is no such thing as truth.

    That's just a short understanding of things. Pre-modern would be men like: Thomas Aquinas; Modern era would be: Spinoza, Kant, etc.; Post-modern would be: Bernard Crick, Thomas Kuhn, etc. If anything, Luther was pre-modern. He wanted and stood for truth. Since he knew there was truth, and his starting point was God, then protestantism's foundation can't (doesn't have the ability to) lead to post-modern thinking.
  4. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    The proof is he believed that he could interpret the Scriptures all by himself (not quite true, Sola v.s. Solo Scriptura), and that lets people pretend that the Bible isn't against abortion, so it allows "good Protestant girls" to get abortions.

    She said that Luther has the babies blood on his hands. That's okay though, he's already a misogynist anti-semite.
  5. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Luther never thought he could interpret the scriptures without the aid or assistance or the church. He did submit that teaching to the Holy Writ however.

    You could also pretend that the EC fathers allowed or would allow for homosexual marriage or any other thing you want. In other words having an 'infallible' ecclesiastical authority does not automatically insulate or protect one from worldly influence. Even as Protestants we would agree that the Bible, by itself, does nothing to stop us from participating in the world's sins, just as Israel continued to ignore the prophet's warnings though they were heading for destruction. Thus post-modernism only gets 'involved' in a discussion like this because it is the 'authority' to which men submit to in our time. It has little or nothing to do with Protestantism unless the Word of God is unclear, which is still a different discussion than whether or not the Scripture is sufficient.

    With regards to the original argument, you could easily counter by saying that: a) schism is bad b) the EO church was involved in the 1054 split and thus c) EO is bad. In other words, demand a real connection between Luther and post-modernism, not just bare assertions. Besides, it could be argued more successfully that the foundations for post-modernism were laid in the Renaissance and its humanistic movement, more so than classical Protestantism.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  6. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    Any other comers?
  7. reformed_vanilla

    reformed_vanilla Puritan Board Freshman

    What would the EO woman achieve even if she could prove Martin Luther allowed for post-modernism to happen? Is she trying to invalidate Protestantism? If so, by that same reasoning, did not Arianism follow from true Christianity? Is true Christianity therefore invalid?
  8. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    I think there is an element where her point is valid, but the difference relates to whether the decline in ecclesiastical authority (in the Roman sense) is a sufficient or necessary condition for the rise of post-modernism. I don't think it is sufficient, but only necessary. It is necessary because if everyone submitted to the Pope absolutely, then of course there could not be post-modernism. Yet, if everyone submitted to the Bible absolutely, then there would be no post-modernism.

    Thus, this decline in ecclesiastical authority is only a necessary condinition, therefore the argument cannot stand on its own. In fact, since Martin Luther replaced the authority of the church with the authority of God and the Bible, there is no logical connection. However, since the scientific revolution replaced the authority of the church with the authority of human reason, you have the key link in the chain that ultimately leads to post-modernism (once the authority of human reason is shown to be inadequate to solve all life's questions and problems).
  9. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    You could actually point out the irony that she is abusing the text of Luther's writings in the same manner that post-modernism does. It does not matter what the text intends to convey but it is her (or her community's) interaction with the text that determines meaning. Consequently, it is not Luther but she who suffers from the problem and he might as well have written a cookbook and she could come to the same conclusion.
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