‘Perspectives on Multiperspectivalism,’ Conclusion

Here’s the conclusion to my article, ‘Perspectives on Multiperspectivalism, in the work written in honor of John Frame, Speaking the Truth in Love: The Theology of John Frame, ed. John J. Hughes (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2009). Maybe it will get a few people interested in reading the whole thing:

In the first part of this article I have introduced John Frame’s perspectival methodology. I have also clarified what multiperspectivalism is not. It is not relativism, doesn’t reduce all differences to one of perspective, it isn’t inconsistent with an affirmation of sola Scriptura, and is not an unbiblical construct.  By addressing these misunderstandings I have hoped to have shed light on the issues between perspectivalists and non-perspectivalists.

In the second section I have sketched out the benefits of a perspectival engagement with postmodernism. Positively, postmodernism has rocked the foundations of Enlightenment faith in autonomous reason, reevaluated language and social discourse, emphasized presuppositions, and attacked modernist individualism. Despite its severe imbalances, this is a needed redirection after the last few centuries. Nevertheless unqualified approval cannot be given to postmodernism. As previously noted, common grace is active in every era, but so is the principal of antithesis. While relativism is not something distinct to postmodernism-lest we forget the ancient sophists- never before has there been such a dominant and widespread ethos supporting and nourishing relativism in a variety of flavors.

But we can say both yes and no to postmodernism. I have organized a number of postmodern concerns by perspectival emphasis. Lyotard’s discussion of metanarratives launches a powerful attack against the myth of neutrality. Jesus made the same point when he declared that no one can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24) Derrida aims to highlight that interpretation is never final, is never adaequatio intelletus ad rei (i.e., the perfect adequation between intellect and substance). Paul said this two millennia ago when he wrote that “we see in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor. 13:12) Postmodern insights may serve as excellent illustrations and reminders of what God has already told us in his word. Between Van Til’s example of a bilingual presentation of biblical content and Frame’s methodology, perspectivalists are in an excellent position to speak the truth in love to postmoderns.


Posted on July 11, 2009, in John Frame Stuff, Philosophical Apologetics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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