The thoughtful reader must be perplexed by the frequent use of such terms as post-Reformation, post-Protestant, and post-Christian as they are used as designations of our times. This usage is indicative of certain types of perspective which the evangelical should be able to recognize if he is to understand what is occurring in the thought-world of the church today. It is proposed to note here some of the pluses and minuses of the trend toward viewing our day in terms of these “posts.”
To designate a period of time as coming to an end, so that another epoch can be distinguished as supplanting it, is to show a keen sense for history and for historical placement. That this is a relatively modern tendency is clear to those who study history, for our familiar divisions of history into such periods as ancient, medieval, and modern reflect something which has been judged well after history has hardened.
Along with indicating a sense of history and of historical context, the designation of epochs “on the spot” reflects a strong tendency toward placing of value judgments upon historical periods. It is not usual for one who thus handles history to lament the passing of an era, and to view with regret the emergence of a post-era. At times, the one who thus judges seems rather to feel a sense of relief that an epoch is over and done with. In other words, this tendency may signify a lack of historical perspective, of perspective and of rootage. To a degree far greater than is generally recognized, history is a continuum; and those who fancy themselves to have generated a genuinely new epoch often succeed only in reviving an ancient error or a passing vagary.
To get down to cases: there are those who feel that we ...1
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