Post-Modern MumboJumbo

When someone speaks, they assume that the words they speak have inherent meaning which will be inherently understood by all those who equally know the language spoken, so that the meaning they seek to convey is that which their hearer will reasonably receive. The intended meaning is assumed by the speaker based on this principle, as is his assumption that the listener will understand the same meaning.

The only verbal communication for which men seek to excuse this universal principle is the Bible. We cannot insist on a single meaning of a text, for any number of non-linguistic reasons according to those who deny doctrinal absolutes. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Kant, Swedenborg – these we can know and propound with absolute certainty despite the authors having lived in a different time and culture, and being dead. Every school child in the western world is subjected to 9 – 20 years of teachers asserting the intent of diverse authors and the meaning of their fictional works, despite a total lack of communication by those authors of either quantity.

But somehow, the almighty God who created the tool of language to enable communication to and among humans has not Himself communicated in such a manner as to allow us to know with certainty His intended meaning? Utter nonsense! This presses close to accusing God of irrationality, idiocy, or caprice.

Post-Moderns would do well to remember that every generation prior to theirs worked within the framework of understanding that language is a system with inherent meaning and structure, with concrete principles driving its application, including the resolution of instances where more than one meaning of words or phrases is possible. While Post-Moderns may insist, however foolishly, that their own communications possess no concrete meaning and cannot therefore be said to be fully or surely understood, all those communications of prior generations were expressed with the assumption of inherent meaning, and must necessarily be approached from that same point of reference. The Post-Modern is wrong to impose his subjective meaninglessness onto the words of those who spoke absolutes, and understood themselves to do so. He is obliged to defer to the author’s intentions; otherwise he sets himself as a higher authority that the speaker or writer. In the case of the Bible, God’s Holy Word, this is blasphemy.

Christ told His disciples, “I have told you that you will know…” Matt 24:25; 33,44. On other occasions, He said He had told them so they would believe. Jn 16:4; 14:29, 13:19. This necessarily presupposes that His words had concrete meaning which His hearers would be able to understand with certainty. Christ also declared that by living in His words, we are truly His followers and we will know the truth. This requires that Truth be absolute and discernable, and that Christ’s communication would be comprehensible and sure to those who would follow Him.

The Bible is very clear that God made absolute statements with predetermined meaning in language to ensure that we could know what He said and meant. In denying this fundamental truth, Post-Moderns are wrong.