Recently i finished a psychology class, and though i fundamentally disagreed with the class and felt it was a waste of time, i did learn something toward the end of the class. i was required to do a study on any topic in the field of psychology, and i chose personality. Personality is something which has always intrigued me, because if Christ came to earth as a human, then He had a distinct personality. If we are to be becoming more Christlike, then ought we to be changing our personality to be more like His? But this is not the point of this blog entry. The point is this: personality is unique – everyone has one. No two people have the same personality. Personality is made up of the way an individual responds to different stimuli in his life. Many people face the same stimuli: hunger, rejection, pain, love, etc. What makes people unique is how they respond to that stimuli. The pattern of response is what characterizes a person and makes him unique. So what does this have to do with post-modernity?
Postmodernity not only denounces metanarrative and therefore calls into question absolute truth, but it also focuses on communal, group living. They find the great fallacy of modernity in its emphasis on the individual. Individualism seeks only for self. Modernity is fundamentally self-centered. It cares nothing for the group. However, they say, Christ came and was all about other people. He was not focused on Himself. He wanted to help those people around Him. Therefore, salvation in modernity was focused on getting the individual out of hell, or having a “personal relationship with Christ.” However, Christ didn’t just come for the individual, they argue. He is reconciling the whole world to Himself. All creation, humans with the rest of creation, will all be reconciled to God. Therefore in post-modernity Christ came to redeem the world, not just the individual.
This perspective, however, destroys humanity. Personhood and individual-hood is not simply an evidence of modernity. God made man in His image, with intellect, emotion, and will. Those things, while they work together in a group to form society, are unique in themselves. To swing the pendulum so far that personality is eliminated is to destroy humanity. Though this perspective may seem popular at first, ultimately this perspective cannot last long. As people realize that their identity is being stripped from them, they will flee from a postmodern perspective.
Though obviously this is not the most important issue in postmodernity, it did occur to me, and i thought it warranted a discussion.