Postmodern Irony

So I heard about John Franke’s new book, Manifold Witness, a book whose thesis is apparently that truth is inherently plural and that this is a profoundly Christian way of thinking.  Doug Wilson has begun reviewing the book here.  Wilson quotes from Brian McLaren’s foreword:

That for human beings, truth is inherently plural. John asserts this, not because it is fashionable (it’s the very opposite among his guild in the theological academy), but rather because he believes it is true, and is willing to suffer the scorn of some of his peers for this truth as he sees it. He asserts the plurality of truth, not as a capitulation to non- or anti- Christian thought, but rather as an expression of profoundly Christian thought — and specifically, of emergent, missional, and trinitarian Christian thought. In so doing, he gently implies that the dominant alternative view — that white, modernist, Western Christian scholars and institutions have a monopoly on truth — is actually a capitulation to modes of thought and power that have betrayed the life and gospel of Jesus Christ” (p. xii).

Aside from the fact that McLaren has the audacity to claim that Franke’s postmodern muddle is not fashionable in the academy (the academy is the engine that drives it!), does anyone else notice the profound irony in what McLaren says here?  Allow me to paraphrase:

John Franke advocates a pluralist view of truth, thereby denying a singular view of truth, because he is deeply convinced that his view is singularly true.  Anyone (probably a white male) who disagrees with him is hopelessly lost in falsehood, because the singular truth that Franke proclaims about truth being manifold can make no room for competing views of truth.  All truth is manifold, except of course, for the absolute, singular truth that truth itself is manifold.  Of that, I am absolutely certain, and anyone who looks at it differently is captive to modernist presuppositions and is, therefore, promoting falsehood.  John Franke is so certain of the absolute truth of his view that truth is manifold that he will gladly become a martyr for the cause. 

It looks like Manifold Witness is going to be another journey into self-contradictory postmodern quicksand, as if we haven’t had enough of that lately.

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One Response to “Postmodern Irony”

  1. Ali Says:

    I’m actually suprised that this is still being pushed. Aren’t these discussions passe?

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