Shaking The Foundations

Shaking the Foundations:

The Shift in Scriptural Authority

in the Postmodern World

Dr. Jim Denison

(Note: An earlier version of this essay appeared in Review and Expositor, August 4, 1998)

When the foundations are destroyed, what are the righteous to do? I wanted to see for myself. For years I’d read and heard about “postmodernism,” a new way of seeing truth and the world. Scholars claimed that this “paradigm shift” is leading to a world view unlike any the church has encountered, and that it renders most of our ministry methods obsolete. But I wasn’t sure this shift was as threatening as its prophets claimed.

So I arranged to send a film crew to interview people in our community. The church I pastored, Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, is in Buckhead, the nightclub district of the city and only a mile from the most popular hangouts for younger adults. We asked some television ministry volunteers to take a camera and hit the streets. They were to tell people they’re making a documentary about religion in America, but not to tell them they’re from a church. They simply asked people what they thought of religion, good or bad.