Friday, October 06, 2006

Voddie Baucham: The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World

Voddie Baucham is a big, passionate man. It's inspiring and moving to watch him preach about Jesus and the Gospel with such passion and conviction. I thought Baucham had, by far, the most challenging topic as it relates to the postmodern world. He was charged with the task of speaking about truth in the postmodern world. Truth is tenuous in postmodern epistomology, so trying to talk about how to engage postmodern people with the absolute, authoritative, universally applicable truth of Scripture is a little like building a sturdy house of cards. It can be done, but only with the greatest care and attention.

Baucham began his message with this thought: If there is an issue, and if there is conflict between Jesus Christ and postmodernity, since Jesus is supreme over all things, then Jesus is the victor. This is, I believe, an important foundational statement. The temptation, because of man's infatuation and over-hyped confidence in human reason, is to put Jesus on trial, not postmodern thought. Human secularism is quick to deconstruct the historical man/God Jesus Christ, but slow to recognize the flawed ideology of postmodern thought patterns and truth claims. But Jesus is supreme over all things, including human reason, and for this reason, Jesus wins everyday and twice on Sunday.

Baucham gave a solid apologetic for how to engage postmodern people with Jesus' claims. He broadly defined postmodernism as a new spin on secular humanism. People, for all ages, have asked basically four questions about life: 1) Who am I?; 2) Why am I here?; 3) What is wrong with the world?; 4) How can what is wrong be made right?

How does the secular humanist answer these questions?
  1. Who am I? You are nothing. You are a random, evolutionary beast. There is no over-arching purpose to your life and existance.
  2. Why am I here? You are here to consume and find pleasure in anything you can. "Enjoy all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can." A tragic consequence of this is that if you have no purpose and you only exist to consume and enjoy, all that matters is that you are more powerful than anyone who stands in the way of what you desire to enjoy.
  3. What is wrong with the world? Secular humanism says that two things are wrong with the world: a) insufficient education; b) insufficient government.
  4. How can what is wrong be made right? People need to know more and be told what to do, then the world will be a better place.

These are empty answers.

Baucham then gave a biblical apologetic to these same basic questions from Colossians 1:15-23.

  1. Who am I? (Col 1:15-16) We don't know who we are until we know who Christ is. "All things were created by Him and for Him..." Man is the crowning glory of the creation of God (Gen 1:26-27). Christian theism has no classification for racism, classcism, and eugenics (euthanasia and abortion). **This was a particulary meaningful part of Baucham's message (regarding euthanasia and abortion) as we were reminded that the circumstances of one's existence do not change the value God places on one's life.
  2. Why am I here? (Col 1:16-18) We are here to bring glory and honor to Jesus, not simply to consume and enjoy.
  3. What is wrong with the world? (Col 1:19-21) You. And Me. "...hostile in mind, doing evil deeds..." When people ask why a good God allows evil they miss the point. They think the problem is "out there" instead of dealing with the real problem, the hostility and evil of all men towards God and one another. The problem with postmodern epistomology is that it begins with man at the center, not the supremacy of Jesus.
  4. How can what is wrong be made right? (Col 1:22-23) The answer is Jesus and faith. We desperately need a Savior. We need the substitutionary atonement and redemptive work of Jesus' bloody, broken body on the cross, raised to life in power three days later, who now sits on the throne at the right hand of God the Father, awaiting word to return in glory, destroy His enemies, and reign as King for all ages.


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