Monday, April 8, 2013

Post modernism, Christ and Classical Education

Awesome artwork from here!

I've been thinking about post-modernism for a couple of weeks. I was in an on-line debate about addiction and butted heads with a gal who is also a therapist. I received a private msg from a 3rd party that stated, "I'd always heard that a therapist was a therapist until I read what both of you wrote and the reality of a therapist coming form a position of faith and one who isn't is radically different. Thank-you (coming from the position of addictive patient) of validating what I always knew to be true (taking personal responsibility) with what I was told by my counselors (that she had a disease and therefore no personal responsibility)" The deal was that the other therapist was coming at the discussion from a post-modern, narrative stance. While I believe that narrative therapy can be profoundly helpful, I also believe, know, see and hear that one can deconstruct reality into practically nothing. Nihilism won't help the addict. Or really, anyone else, for that matter. It might, however, drive you to drink.

And, of course I'm reading about it and seeing how the MFT field developed from a psychoanalytic stance and a belief that 3 generations creates a schizophrenic to postmodernism that states that no one really creates anything, one just needs to narrate a more helpful view. K, then.

And postmodernism offers itself as that new helpful view. Trust, loyalty, love, family, along with things like babies, contracts, the law, end up being whatever you want them to be. Words are what you make of them, there are no concretes, no absolutes; revisionism is the new hipsterism and those not on board will have only themselves to blame for their inept lack of political correctness.

And yet from a faith stand-point Jesus was the ultimate narrative therapist. He was always re-writing stories- the wise stewards were given more, the lame walked, the demoniacs got dressed and sat by the fire and passed the potatoes. But He was hardly post-modern. Words had meaning, yeah baby. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The word did not get deconstructed and float off into never land. He was reconstructed -Resurrected -and came back as the Living Christ. Christ is the ultimate paradox and even theories are turned on their heads in Light of Him.

Classical education, too, flies in the face of post-modernism It not only suggests, but practically dictates that there are truths to be known, facts to be learned, verbs to be conjugated and laws to be written on one's heart. Group projects (which everyone hates anyway because the lazy joker in the group does squat) give way to determined, sustained, intensive study. Which is really counter-intuitive in a post-modern culture, as well as in the modern educational one.

In conclusion, interview your therapist and if they are pushing their agenda, or their world view, find a different one. If you are a Christian, find someone who doesn't think your faith is sign of weakness or mental illness;  make sure your God has some fire-power and isn't just a god of wood and stone, 'cause those gods all burn up in the end; and finally, find a way to educate yourself and your kids so that it lines up with your value and belief system. So that it makes sense. So that you have something of value at the end of the day, or at the end of the degree.


Faith said...

Excellent observations and advice. The world has become absurd in its post-modern relativism. It can be hard to keep one's head on straight!

Amy Maze said...

It's really nice to hear your thought on this issue, especially tying it to classical education. It is really getting more difficult to live in a world where nothing is truth, nothing has a definition. Thanks for sharing this with us a Trivium Tuesdays!