Get this quotation from D. A. Carson:

Thoughtful Christians will not want to align entirely with either modernism or postmodernism, of course, but the kindness of God in His “common grace” ensures that there are useful things in both epistemological structures that a Christian may usefully exploit, and things in both structures to confront.

This comes out in his discussion on Challenges for 21st-Century Preaching (HT).

The question is, if we choose not to “align entirely” with either modernism or postmodernism, what do we align with? Of course the inevitable—and dreaded—answer is “biblicism” which usually ends up looking suspiciously similar to modernism. Then of course biblicism tends to leave five men equally confident about five differing positions and therefore tends to be tellingly postmodern.

While I agree that, generally, we are all biblicists here, I don’t find the generic category of much value when considering our epistemological paradigms. In other words, I prefer to call myself a postmodern who recognises the weaknesses and dangers of postmodernism than to sit on the fence.

Perhaps there is another way of approaching this issue. Bob Bixby has messed around with the concepts at times. I’d love to see the idea expanded by a mind more capable than my own.

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About Jason Harris

Jason is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. He is currently working on his PhD from James Cook University as well as serving as pastor at CrossPoint Church. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007. You can contact Jason at


  1. Alen 22 January, 2009 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    You didn’t capitalize “The Bible” :P Very good observation as well Jason. It’s not a Bible, it’s “The Bible”. AKA The ESV :D

  2. Jason 22 January, 2009 at 7:51 pm - Reply


  3. Kez 24 January, 2009 at 4:22 pm - Reply


  4. Kez 28 January, 2009 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Sorry, I was just musing out loud there…lol That was a good, positive-sounding ‘hmmm’, though!
    Modernism, postmodernism, epistemological structures, biblicism, generic category, epistemological paradigms…
    I am following you here and it is a great post, Jason – I was just momentarily distracted by all the Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism. =P

  5. Jason Harris 28 January, 2009 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism! That is a great word!

    The thing about big words is that they often encapsulate big ideas. They also tend to be more precise than other ways of saying the same idea. I think there’s a time for big words and a time for less big words. =P

    Big words in order to impress people is not a good idea.

  6. Kez 2 February, 2009 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Awww…I was just teasing!!! I love big words just because they fit so much more meaning into a sentence. I love your big word blogs and only pay you out about it because everyone pays me out for doing the same thing!!! LOL! Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism is a big word, but then I got that one from you, too!!! =D

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