On the Reality of Meaning

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Postmodernism has done a number on American culture, and resultantly upon the Church. These effects are drawn out in many different ways, and through many different avenues. Underlying all of them, however, is the same conflict between man and God since Genesis 3; the authority behind words. Eve questioned what God really said, and placed the authority to choose between God and the crafty serpent in her own mind. She made herself autonomous; she decided not to follow the authority and command of the Creator.

One impact of modern thought on the Church has been at this very juncture. The Bible, it is claimed, cannot be allowed to speak dogmatically to modern life. The categories are simply different, and modern man must make his own decisions about morality, social justice, and civil government. Science has progressed far beyond anything God ever spoke regarding the world, and the Scripture all around is simply outdated. Not only is this so, but the Bible is also impossible to interpret. This, most of all, is the fall back argument of modern liberal Christianity. What the Bible says about homosexuality, for example, is outdated and there are various interpretations, so we just can’t know for sure.

One way to address this sort of error is to simply let it play out. Fundamental denials of the way in which God created the world will, necessarily, prove themselves absurd. This fact doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call such things absurd, but it does mean that the course cannot be trodden indefinitely. The image of God in man means something, no matter how else we may label it. One thing which it means is that man was created with the ability to both communicate and understand communication. God created humanity in order to enter into covenant relationship with them. God created us with the ability to communicate. The fact that you are reading this post proves the point. Humans communicate, and we understand words.

The claim that words are meaningless, or that we can’t really know what an author intended to convey, is absurd. Especially when that author is God; the one who both created us with the ability to communicate, and decided to communicate His Word to us.

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