THE MESSAGE OF JOB FOR OUR POSTMODERN AUDIENCES in the context of postmodern cultural configuration: (1) Humanism (Loss of God) - Man the Message (note Job’s response as dependence on God; (2) Pluralism (Loss of True Truth) - This message of Job is exclusivistic contra much inclusivistic openness theology; only Yahweh is the answer to man’s ultimate questions; (3) Secularism (Loss of Shame) - (Nietzsche’s Death of God; the demise of God from the universe--Job’s God is the creator redeemer of the universe--he is not the finite god of the openness movement); (4) Narcissism (Loss of Meaning) - All is meaningless (e.g. Ecclesiastes). These four factors are mere descriptions of our postmodern crisis; they are not “explanations” of their “causes.” The following brief statement concerns postmodern’ search for meaning, which all four of the preceding factors are expressions of man’s futile effort to find answers to Job’s lamentful cry in our multicultural, tolerant/diversity syndrome. (E.g. See my forthcoming work on “The Narrative Displacements in The History of Science, From New Eastern Science to Postmodern Anti Science.” Also, “The Significance for The Truth and Relevance of the Judaeo/Christian Faith. Every category of cultural development from positivism to historicism to our cultural/epistemological relativism of our postmodernism is under the gun. Only Job’s God can unify our dysfunctional, divergent “openness” culture.
JOB’S REPLY TO THE DEATH OF GOD AND THE POSTMODERN
TRIVIALIZATION AND SILENCING OF GOD
(Job in the Temple of Postmodernism)
The essence of postmodernism is the rejection of (1) True Truth and (2) Objectivity and (3) it affirms the social construction of all reality (see my paper “Critique of The Social Construction of Reality) In our global village of 2002 we live in a “context bound” world (Wittgenstein’s language), where every language and every culture is its own worldview. Therefore rejecting the metanarrative of biblical revelation, which is essential for the evangelism/mission mandates of the scripture. Our world after 9.11.01 calls us to tolerate all diversity. This is hardly the world of Job, but if we are to honestly communicate the “universal gospel of Christ,” we must also “understand the times.” This challenge will necessitate a paradigmatic revolution in the educational preparation for God’s Servant Leaders in our world of over five billion persons who speak over 7,000 languages and dialects. We are called to be His witnesses in a world which charges Christianity and Science with the dubious claim of Eurocentricism, i.e., the universal uniqueness of both Christianity and Science. Both of these factors are totally repudiated in our postmodern, multicultural global village. (See my paper, “Christian Witness in The Territory of Terrorism” as of 9.11.01)
JOB IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
It is strange how infrequently this great work is referenced in the New Testament: Job 5.13 - He taketh the wise in their own craftiness - I Corinthians 3.19; Job 13.16 - LXX, this shall turn to my salvation; NT - This also shall be my salvation - Philippians 1.19; Job 41.11 - Who hath first given unto me, that I should repay him? Romans 11.35.
James D. Strauss