Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)




Western civilization is in transition.

After centuries of modernity, western culture is beginning to see the world around it in an entirely different worldview. For the past two to three hundred years, reason and empiricism ruled: if a claim couldn't be proven scientifically, or if a proposition was shown to be umeasonable, then that claim or proposition was discarded as untrue. Truth was defined as that which could be proven through reason or science.

Of course, this posed a sticky problem for the church. After all, how could one scientifically prove the supernatural? How could one make a reasonable argument for a miracle, such as the resurrection of Christ? David Hume, a pioneer ofthe Enlightenment, asserted the modernist proposition that even if the resurrection did happen, it proves not that Christ was divine but only that he somehow managed to cheat death. Interestingly, however, the church made a tactical error in answering this assault of reason and science upon it: it chose to fight fire with fire, and created its own pseudo-science to demonstrate the truth of the Bible. Faith turned into apologetics-indubitable propositions "proving" the Scriptures.

This attempt to fight modernism by embracing it led to three results: 1) faith became dependent on reason; 2) the paradoxes and mystery of God and the scriptures were harmonized in one-dimensional, often anti-intellectual interpretations; and 3) the church found itself still shackled to modernity when the world view unexpectedly shifted to postmodernism.