In helping families at Shepherds Hill Academy, I see many parents ill equipped of the concept of postmodernism.
More importantly they don’t seem to be able to identify its effects on their teen’s life.
Christian parents in today’s culture must understand postmodernism in order to hand off a biblical worldview to the next generation.
I’d say understanding the importance of a worldview may be the most crucial battle parents face today.
So, postmodernism, what is it? To start, I want to point you to some names that will help you learn more about this subject. Check out these resources to help in comprehending complex topics involving postmodernism: Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, C.S. Lewis, and Summit Ministries.
What is Postmodernism
Postmodernism, essentially, believes that truth is not absolute. In short, truth is what you want it to be. It says, “your truth is true for you and my truth is true for me.”
However, it does not take long for this theory of “no absolutes” to self-destruct. The statement alone is an absolute statement.
An example in your house may be that your child wants to come home after 11:00pm. However, the house rule is to be home by 8:00pm. In this example, according to a postmodernist, whose position is considered right?
Emotionally Based and Subjective
For a teen not properly guided postmodernism seems more appealing because it is largely an emotional based worldview. Actions become justified because it “feels” right or “true.”
Typically the “ought” in decision making is taken out of the equation. For example: if a teenage boy wants to have sex with his girlfriend, his decision is too often misguided by his emotions, and not what he ought to do. Even further; if his girlfriend becomes pregnant, through the lenses of postmodernism, neither could be opposed to an abortion. Abortion and premarital sex may “feel” right; however, there is a transcendent truth that overrides feelings; not to mention lasting consequences.
Essentially, today’s teens create their own reality. Once they have created their own reality, they justify it through subjective thoughts.
For your home, you must begin to identify subjective truths from your kids, and yourself, and remember God’s perspective. His is the absolute Truth on any matter. This is something few people are willing to acknowledge or abide by.
What are some examples of postmodernism you have identified in your home or community?
Trace Embry is the Founder and Director of Shepherds Hill Academy, a Christ-centered wilderness-style therapeutic residential program, as well as a private accredited boarding school for troubled teenagers. He is the Host of the "License to Parent with Trace Embry Radio Program." He is also a public speaker, and teaches parenting classes. Visit his parenting blog at "Insight for Today's Culture with Trace Embry."