It All Depends by Philip Rempel

It All Depends

Philip Rempel on Randomness & the Providence of God

During my undergraduate days, I started hearing, in the Christian group in which I was involved, the use of the word “random” as an appreciative slang adjective, functioning as a sort of subcategory of “cool.” Meeting a friend unexpectedly, or declaring an unusual hobby or an odd taste in music, might draw an approving, “That’s so random!” I think the phrase was meant, at least semi-consciously, as a joyful response to the wonderful variety and unexpectedness of the world God has made. However, it seems to me that, far from being a Christian response to creation, it is at heart profoundly unchristian, and is evidence of a widespread and unthinking capitulation to the language of secular postmodernism.

All stories involving postmodernism seem to start in the “once upon a time” of the Modern world—and this one is no different. The deficiencies of the Enlightenment worldview are more apparent to us than those of postmodernism because the Enlightenment is further removed from us; and since the postmodern era owes so much to the modern, it is almost always necessary to see the two periods together.

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