Douglas Campbell on Postmodernism

I loved this bit from Douglas Campbell’s The Quest for Paul’s Gospel, A Suggested Strategy

I resist a paradigmatic postmodernism not because I am a critical realist or a traditional modernist, or even because it is self-referntially incoherent (which it is), but because I am a Christian. And as such I must affirm the rationality, the order, and the basic communicability of the reality that I am now caught up in. These aspects of that reality have been increasingly revealed; I cannot deny them. …

However, also as a Christian, I must acknowledge that the intelligibility of the created and redeemed order is shot through with ambiguities and difficulties, and one of the most flawed and darkened corners of that reality remains my mind. So I endorse fully the provisional nature of all our theological claims, including what I claim theologically here – that is, their brokenness, fragility, and frequent inaccuracy. … In that sense then we are all now postmodernists; we are post modernists with a small ‘p’, so to speak.”

The bolded part shocked me! It’s not the thing I was expecting in a scholarly argument on Paul. I guess I knew Campbell was a Christian, as he does teach at a divinity school. But I was pleasantly shocked that he was so open with this little part of the book. May we be increasingly able to acknowledge our faith, (whatever they may be, though preferably Christian ;-) ) in our religious study.


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