The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World
(by Voddie Baucham)
(Voddie Baucham is dean of the seminary at African Christian University and previously served as Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. He has authored numerous books, academic journals, and magazine articles. He is married to Bridget and they have nine children. They currently live in Lusaka, Zambia.)
This message appears as a chapter in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World.
Friends…this will be a 9 Part series. Please, please, take the time to work through this series. dh
What Is Wrong with the World?
If you ask proponents of postmodernism what is wrong with the world, the answer is very simple. People are either insufficiently educated or insufficiently governed. That’s what’s wrong with the world. People either don’t know enough, or they are not being watched enough.
How Can What Is Wrong Be Made Right?
The solution to our woes is more education and more government. That’s the only answer our culture can propose: teach people more stuff and give them more information. How do we combat AIDS? We combat it through AIDS awareness. How do we combat racism? We combat it by offering anti-hate classes. What about the man who beats his wife? We send him to anger-management classes. Just give people more information and everything will be fine.
But if you take a sinful, murderous human being and educate that individual, he merely becomes more sophisticated in his ability to destroy. The world is far more educated today than it was during World War I. So how are we doing? Are we seeing fewer wars? No. Just more sophisticated killing techniques. Now we can kill more people in less time than ever before in history due to our “education.”
If more education is not the answer, perhaps the solution is to be found in more governance. Really? There are two problems with that kind of thinking. First, who’s governing the governors? In order for governance to be a real solution, there would have to be a special class of people who could govern the rest of us while having no need of governance themselves. The second problem is the depravity of man. Man will not simply improve as a result of being governed. On the contrary, he will just find loopholes and exploit them.
Christian Theism and Life’s Ultimate Questions: An Exposition of Colossians 1:12–21
The answers provided by postmodern secular humanism leave its adherents wanting and empty. How then do we respond? We open our Bibles to Colossians 1 to see how the Christian worldview responds to these same issues. Let’s see how the supremacy of Christ can be applied to life’s ultimate questions: (1) Who am I? (2) Why am I here? (3) What is wrong with the world? and (4) How can what is wrong be made right?
Who Am I?
Christian theism answers:
[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:15–16)
(Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations in this chapter are taken from *The New American Standard Bible [NASB])
Now some of you might be puzzled as to how this text is an answer to the question “Who am I?” The answer is that you cannot figure out who you are until you first discover who he is. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He is the exact representation of the Father. He is the picture of God in human flesh. He is God on this earth. He is God with us, God among us. He is the Almighty, “for by Him all things were created.” He is the Creator of all things.
Which things did Jesus create? He created all things in heaven and on earth. Thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities — all things were made by him. All things were made through him. This harkens back to John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” which in turn harkens back to Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” If we read on we find these marvelous words: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
So who am I? While our postmodern culture says that I am the result of random processes, Christian theism says I am the crowning glory of the creation of God (compare with Psalm 8:5). Christian theism says he knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Christian theism says I am no accident. I am no result of random processes. Christian theism says that whether I am tall and beautiful or small and not so handsome, whether my body functions perfectly or is severely deformed, I am the crowning glory of the creation of God, and as a result I have inherent dignity, worth, and value. Christian theism cannot comprehend ideas like racism, classism, or eugenics. (Part 5, con’t Monday)