“Our Christian faith — and correlatively, our account of apologetics — is tainted by modernism when we fail to appreciate the effects of sin on reason. When this is ignored, we adopt an Enlightenment optimism about the role of a supposedly neutral reason in recognition of truth. (We also end up committed to ‘Constantinain’ strategies that, under the banner of natural law, seek to build a ‘Christian America.’
“To put this in more familiar terms, classical apologetics operates with a very modern notion of reason; ‘presuppositional’ apologetics, on the other hand, is postmodern (and Augustinian!) insofar as it recognizes the role of presuppositions in both what counts as truth and what is recognized as true. For this reason, postmodernism can be a catalyst for the church to reclaim its faith not as a system of truth dictated by a neutral reason but rather as a story that requires ‘eyes to see and ears to hear.’ The primary responsibility of the church as witness, then, is not demonstration but rather proclamation — the kerygmatic vocation of proclaiming the Word made flesh rather than the thin realities of theism that a supposedly neutral reason yields.”
James K.A. Smith, PhD., Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?; p. 28.
I wonder whether a lot of this modern/postmodern stuff is a replying anew the differences between Platonic and Aristotelian thought? Between Augustinian and Thomistic thought?
The latter is being played out in this new world of Post-Christendom, particularly within the context of the American Culture-War dynamic. What do we make of this?
Frankly, as I continue to move into the idea of re-formation out of the “Systems” (City of the World) and into some sort of “other than” (City of God) — perhaps a move out into the desert, metaphorically speaking — the rethinking of how we perceive and live out this Christian Life in our changing national context (really this ground shift of perceptional foundations within the culture), the more I am drawn to pre-Constantinian examples of Christianity. A “kerygmatic vocation.”